Rain or shine, most of us will be entertaining in our gardens at some point over the next month. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party, inviting your friends over for al fresco cocktails or gathering a group of kids in the garden, here are our top tips for hosting outdoors this summer.
Be prepared for all weathers
British weather is obviously unpredictable – a heatwave can turn into a downpour at very short notice. If possible, create a covered area in your garden where you can shelter from the rain but still enjoy socialising outside. This could be a permanent feature such as a covered terrace or a pergola, or a temporary solution like a gazebo or a bell tent. A firepit tucked beneath a pergola is perfect for keeping you warm on chilly evenings.
Have plenty of seating options
Depending on who you are entertaining and what the vibe is, you’ll want different options for seating. A large dining table is great for dinner parties, whereas you may want comfier seating if you’re planning a more laid-back gathering. A relaxing hammock is great for all-day entertaining when your guests may get tired and seek some alone time.
Create a cosy corner for evenings
It may be warm and sunny during the day, but you’ll want to keep cosy once the sun sets. Create a snug area with seating arranged around a firepit, where your guests can huddle together to keep warm while enjoying the warm glow of the fire. Our curved fireside bench is perfect for snuggling around the fire – pile it with cushions, throws and sheepskins for a welcoming ambiance.
Consider the lighting
When the sun sets, you want your guests to be able to see what they’re doing while also creating a cosy aesthetic. Turn off outdoor light sensors, as bright light doesn’t have that romantic, soft ambiance. We love using our bamboo candle sticks for a warm glow, as well as stringing twinkling lights along fences or beneath a pergola. Alternatively, our Meridian portable lamps can be carried around to illuminate dark corners.
Keep food and drink simple
Don’t overcomplicate things when it comes to food and drink. Stick to one easy cocktail recipe that you can elevate by serving in your favourite cocktail glasses. Make large salads and platters of nibbles in advance, that you can bring out onto the table when your guests arrive. Make a barbecue the main event by inviting your guests to bring their own food to stick on the grill.
Share your top tips for outdoor entertaining in the comments below, and browse our Outdoor collection for everything you need for your garden this summer.