Garden parties. They conjure up immediate images of elegant women in Regency Era dresses drinking from bone china and looking like they’ve just stepped out of Bridgerton or long flirty evenings of al fresco dining in Greece. Chic and yet casual (not to mention COVID safe!), outdoor entertaining is the hottest new trend and learning how to host a memorable – nay, legendary – outdoor party is downright crucial.
Long lunches, sunset soirees, picnics – get ready to make a name for yourself as an entertainer by following these simple tips for hosting the perfect garden party.
Light The Night
Natural sunlight is one of the major draw cards when it comes to outdoor entertaining. The warm glow of the summer sun is great for creating mood and stopping your guests from feeling the chill. However, as the sun fades, you need some way to keep the mood alive. Outdoor lighting needs an element of practicality as well as style. String lights or festoon lights are a great way to bring a touch of magic to your outdoor space, whether you choose to weave them through the trees or create an artificial canopy across your entire space. If you don’t have a power outlet in your outdoor space then you might want to invest in solar lighting which has become more technically advanced and readily available in recent years.
Other lighting options to consider include hurricane lamps, lanterns and outdoor candles. If you consider candles then you might want to purchase a citronella-based candle which will help keep mosquitoes away from your guests. Another pro-tip is to remember that if you have any pathways leading your dining space you’ll want to light them to welcome your guests to your space.
Update Your Outdoor Furniture
Typically we equate indoors with comfort and, if you ask us, the absolute peak of comfort is a solid and comfortable couch. Whereas couches are comfort personified and dining tables are typically sturdy and chic oftentimes we neglect our outdoor furniture. No one wants to sit on itchy grass or eat on rusty outdoor tables so, if you’re looking to entertain outdoors, you’ll need to step up your outdoor furniture game.
Consider perhaps an outdoor lounge with waterproof cushions or a chic outdoor dining set. Banish the idea of the cheap frosted glass table with a collection of rickety chairs, there are so many stylish pieces of outdoor dining furniture available across the market. To get a better idea of what you might be looking for make sure to check out Remarkable Furniture.
Make Sure Your Guests Are Comfortable
Unlike the indoors, your garden isn’t wholly designed for comfort. If you’re having an outdoor dinner party, cocktail party or long lunch you’ll want to make sure that the comfort of your guests is your number one priority. From outdoor gas heaters and fire pits in the wintertime to fans, mosquito repellant and cushioned chairs in the summertime think about the space you’re going to be asking your guests to spend time in.
When you’re cooking for outdoor entertaining the prevailing thought that it conjures up is that of a picnic so you’ll want easily handled, brightly coloured serving platters and dishes designed for sharing. You’ll want everyone to be able to help themselves. Think salads, pasta dishes, tartines, tapas things that can be easily shared between a large group. For more picnic inspired design inspiration check out this article.
For most of us, cooking is the biggest challenge when it comes to hosting a party. When you’re preparing for a dinner party the dishes you choose should be impressive but able to be prepared easily, you don’t want to miss your entire party while you’re in the kitchen cooking. So think about dishes you can pre-prepare and then whack in the oven when you’re ready. To get some inspiration head here to see some of our favourite dishes for entertaining.
With the informal vibe of outdoor dining, you’ll want to make sure the guests serving themselves extends to drinks. Perhaps you’d like to set up a ‘bar’ with varieties of wine, spirits and non-alcoholic options so that people can serve themselves. You might also want to make a bowl of punch or a batch cocktail if you’re looking to do something a little bit special.
Now you’ve prepared, all that’s left is to invite your guests. They’ll be in for a great night!
About the Author
Lucy is the content manager at Current.com.au. From Sydney, Australia, Lucy specialises in home improvement, DIY and tech writing. She loves staying up to date with industry news so she can bring well researched, timely and accurate information to her readers.