How to throw the ultimate summer garden party

With sunny weather on the horizon, we’re excited about a summer of socialising. With garden party’s now a permanent fixture in our diaries, we’re pondering how to ensure we’re the hostess with the mostest. Of course, let’s be honest, everyone is just happy to be out again, but if you really want to impress guest (whether it’s a gathering of 6 or more when rules allow), it’s definitely all in the detail and decor.

We’ve rounded up nine things to consider so you can throw the ultimate summer garden bash.

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THE BAR

With travel plans looking dubious for summer 2021, recreate that resort feeling in the garden with your very own bar set up. The tiki garden bar has been growing in popularity over the past few summers and you can now get versions from around £35. This Habitat at Argos piece is pretty much the mid level of price points for outdoor bars but it does come with two stalls and there is some nifty storage behind the bar for glasses, spirits and mixers during your party. A bar adds both a focal point to your party but also gives you a dedicated drinks area. It will also help you create a relaxed and fun atmosphere straight away. Plus, who doesn’t want their own tropical paradise in the back garden, Pina Colada anyone?

Habitat Beach Bar Gazebo with Stools – Natural, £350, Argos

DINING

We’re all trying to do our bit for the planet, so if you’re planning on hosting outdoors on the regular, it might be a good idea to invest in some picnic crockery. From melamine plates to high spec fake wine glasses, outdoor dining sets offer the opportunity to pick some fun and frivolous, prints, colours and styles that might look out of place at a dinner party but only add to the atmosphere for summer barbecues and garden cocktails.

Perfect Picnic Set Of 4 Melamine Dinner Plates, £25, Joe Browns

Rainbow bright glasses make drinking ice cold gin and tonics in the height of summer that bit more special. Opt for high spec plastic styles to ensure no breakages.

Set of 4 Rainbow Picnic Gin Glasses, £17.50, Marks and Spencer

Make life easier

No one wants to be constantly heading back to the kitchen to refill, so if you’re expecting a gathering (when it’s legal) then invest in some of these Kilner dispensers and keep topped up with your favourite tipples. Great for flavoured waters too, make sure to add plenty of ice so it stays nice and cool.

Kilner 5 Litre Drinks Dispenser, £5, Dunelm

FOOD

Let’s be honest, what’s a party without food. Always make sure you have plenty of supplies. Opt for things that are easy to prep in advance and dispense as and when is needed. Try to go for food that’s not too messy, as serviettes are likely to fly off in the slightest breeze, so minimise mess where possible. Of course barbecues are traditional summer fare, but mezze, canapés and salad are great options too for keeping guests hunger at bay and do offer less faff.

Carbon grey round BBQ bucket, £45, Graham and Green

SEATING

Making sure guests are comfortable is key to making them relax and stay. Of course if you’re having a considerably large group (when permitted) then picnic rugs, cushions and blankets will be your best bet for a big crowd, but do make sure there are some chairs and accent seating dotted around for those

Salsa Garden Rocking Chair, Ombre Sunshine, £100.00, John Lewis & Partners 

GAMES

Right now our garden gatherings are pretty intimate when it comes to numbers and having been apart for so long, we’re just happy to sit with our mates. But when numbers increase, introducing some garden games is a great way of adding some easy entertainment to a party and particularly good if you’ve got multi generations in attendance.

Professor Puzzle Queen of Hearts Flamingo Croquet, £45, Amara

There are lots of sweet, traditional lawn games reemerging for the summer and your guests will love the novelty factor!

Traditional Garden Games Wooden Skittles Game, £25

LIGHTING

Setting the scene is a huge part of throwing a great gathering and if you’re having friends over in the late afternoon into evening, or even a night time bash, then make sure you have sufficient lighting. There is nothing worse than sitting in the dark! We’re BIG fans of festoon lighting. Not only can you get specific outdoor festoon lighting (please read instructions on how to care for your lights and what can or can’t be left outside) but we think festoons really add atmosphere to your outside space.

Festoon lights from £45, Graham and Green

All imagery: courtesy of brands

Feature image: Graham and Green

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