Thursday, 8 August 2013

My Top Tips for a Summer Garden Party!

Next weekend, I'm planning a little bit of a get together in my garden for the girls before we jet off to Zante for my hen week the following day.  Everyone is staying at mine so I thought it would be a good opportunity for everyone to get to know each other, have a few drinks and some nibbles and enjoy the last of the light summer nights.
 
When it comes to planning a summer garden party, I'm a seasoned professional.  I've been hosting get togethers at my house for years so I really know my stuff.  Today I'm going to share my top tips for being ready to host a summer garden party.
 
Garden party accessories (images taken from linked websites)
 
Get Some Cute Tableware- The key is making sure that you buy things that look great but that are going to last and that are quick and effective to put together.  What I mean by that is that it is great to have a set of serving dishes (the ones above marked #1 are all from Marks and Spencer), outdoor tableware and drinks jugs like the ones above (marked #2 from The Range) that you can just pull out at a moments notice and you're ready to serve your food, whether it is a quick set of snacks and nibbles or a full on BBQ, as whatever you serve will look better when it is presented well.  Cute glasses can really help you to make a statement with your summer drinks too.  I absolutely love these Southern Belle Mason Jar Glasses from Home Wet Bar (marked as #3) as they're quirky, a little bit of rustic charm and totally remind me of the theme of this years Big Brother.
 
Become a BBQ Expert- Knowing your way around your barbeque is super important so that you can just pull it out and start it up.  Barbequing need not be a faff on, spend your time learning how to use it and you'll be able to enjoy your evening rather than spend your time working out where to put the fire lighters!  Mr WLL and I are a bit of a double act in our house- he works the barbeque while I make the salads.  If you're interested, the BBQ we have is the Weber One Touch Premium BBQ from Next (marked as #4).  Its small and stylish and fits easily in our garage.  We've had this one for years and it's still going strong- buy good and you buy once in my opinion.
 
Food, Snacks and Nibbles- I'd recommend having some snacks and nibbles on hand to pop into serving dishes at the drop of a hat.  Store cupboard staples like tortilla chips, salsa and nuts are great to keep in your kitchen just in case one of your friends pops round for a glass of vino and a chat in the garden.  If you're planning more of an organised affair, then I'd recommend picking up celery, carrot and cucumber to cut into sticks then you can make your own fresh dips such as pico de gallo, fiery hot salsa, tzatziki and sour cream and chive, as well as olives and other deli nibbles like artichoke hearts, roasted peppers and sundried tomatoes.  Bowls of fresh salad, plates of crusty bread and meat always go down a treat at garden parties.  We buy all of our nibbles and BBQ food from Marks and Spencer as they do barbeque ready meat that is already seasoned so it takes a lot of the preparation out of garden party planning!  Honey drizzled fruit kebabs and bananas on the BBQ stuffed with chocolate make the perfect desserts.


Drinks- Having summery drinks ready to serve is also super important.  My favourite are the MyCocktail pouches.  Available in Woo Woo, Mojito and yummy Cosmopolitan flavours, they are easy to dispense with their little tap giving up to 14 of your guests a top quality, professional tasting drink in an instant without any mess.  These are available at Asda for a purse friendly £13.95 and for your guests who don't like to drink alcohol, MyCocktail make some alcohol free alternatives too!
 
Garden Furniture and Lighting- Designating an area of your garden can really help to create another room on your property that is ready to party.  Keep it clear from junk and keep it well maintained- pull the weeds and sweep any dirt away.  You could hang up some solar powered fairy lights (marked as #5) like I do to create a bit of atmosphere and light when the sun goes down.  I get my solar lights from B&M Home Bargains as they're really cheap but great quality and they give a lot of light pay off.  I have a wrought iron cream vintage floral table and chairs that I absolutely love and I always have some throws on hand in case my guests get a little chilly.  The Polarvide throws from Ikea (marked as #6) are great as they're super cheap, excellent quality and come in lots of pretty colours.
 
So they're all of my suggestions for keeping your home ready for a summer garden party.
 
What are your top tips for being garden party ready?
 
 
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8 comments

  1. I have #2 for home, really easy to clean plastic bowls like that and they can be thrown into cupboards and treated far more aggressively than a delicate ceramic bowl:)

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    1. Hi Kari, you're right they're so much easier to clean and can just throw them around worry free! Also better if you knock them off the table too! xxx

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  2. please tell the Simply Be people that I would buy more from them and would have taken the bloggers' dresses if they would cost as much as they do in Uk and US... thanks :)

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  3. Nice post! I need some cute tableware in my life! Xx

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    1. Thanks hun. I think everyone gets to the age of independence and they're wanting cute homeware! xxx

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  4. Love this post! Thanks for doing it Laura! Love Marks & Spencers for nibbles xxxx

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