Summertime and the hosting is easy…I’m sharing my top 10 tips for summer entertaining!
With one of the the hottest UK and Europe summers on record, many of us have been enjoying al fresco dining like never before. I could definitely get used to this weather every year couldn’t you? It would take the edge off our never ending winters to know we had summers like this one at the end of it that’s for sure.
Whilst fairly soon we’ll be back to lighting the fires, cosying up in a wool blanket and serving roast dinners (I like this too I have to say), there’s still time to make the most of the sunshine and entertain outdoors.
So what makes the perfect ‘al fresco’ experience?
Here are my 10 top tips…
Add colour and cosiness with vibrant furniture, blankets and cushions and create a sense of occasion with bunting and other pretty decorations like this Boho Fiesta. Think palm leaves or blooms in a vase full of lemons or a hollow pineapple.
Solve the problem of accommodating extra guests and create a kids’ table at the same time by covering wooden pallets with cloth and surround with comfy floor cushions or set up a picnic area with blankets, rugs and cushions. For our girls’ Mermaid Party we had a row of pallets along the floor for eating and crafts.
Avoid breakages, save on the washing up and take the opportunity to add some fun by providing quirky paper cups and plates. Put disposable cutlery and serviettes in jars for easy access.
Great tunes add to the atmosphere and help to set the scene. Think ‘Gypsy Kings’ for an authentic sound if serving tapas or paella, Ibiza Chill Out for a cool daytime gathering, or upbeat summer tunes to get the energy levels up for an evening party.
Alongside a selection of drinks in ice buckets consider a ‘Pimp your Drink’ station including bottle openers, lime wedges, edible flowers, straws, flavoured syrups, fresh mint and ice cubes made with pieces of fresh fruit.
As the sun sets it’s always special to see candlelight. Consider safer options such as lanterns and use citronella infused candles to keep the bugs at bay.
Create a party vibe by using string lights around fencing, around tree trunks or above head height. Solar powered lights are a great option with the absence of electric points.
’Self serve’ options make things a lot easier for the host and create a more informal relaxed feel for guests. Position food and drink in a shady area or underneath umbrellas to preserve it from the elements.
Enhance the experience by setting up a garden games area, having festival glitter (which can be applied with Vaseline) or a fun photo prop zone.
Consider practical solutions like setting up a ‘Suncream Station’, putting bins outside for rubbish and recycling, and having wet wipes readily available.
Please tag @ohsokel on Instagram if you create something after seeing this post. I’d love to see the results.
Until next time,
There may be affiliate links in this post. Read more here