Easy Outdoor Entertaining
You really can’t beat a warm British summer – days spent relaxing in the park and long evenings in the garden with a gentle breeze. Eating outside is such a pleasant experience that we organise barbecues and gatherings like they’re going out of fashion. If you’re holding a garden party then our top tips for outdoor entertaining will guarantee smiles all round:
Make your garden party garden themed. Fill a large wheelbarrow with ice and use it to store the drinks and place flowers in a metal watering can for a centrepiece. Place big platters on top of small upturned flower pots and use garden pegs to hold place names. You can even use flowerpots as food covers. Make ice cubes with petals in them and serve appetisers on skewers stuck into trays of wheatgrass.
Try casual outdoor dining. Create a low key dining area with colourful rugs and cushions with a low table for food. Choose colourful plates and cutlery and serve a buffet-style picnic supper. Hang colourful paper lanterns or fairy lights in the trees and place citronella candles in the ground to ward off bugs.
Remember the little ones. Set up a separate kids’ area marked out with balloons. Cover a small plastic table in big sheets of paper and scatter crayons over it so children can draw to their heart’s content. Serve mini jellies, raisins and sweets in coloured shot glasses and cut sandwiches into shapes using cookie or Play-Doh cutters.
Arrange some garden games. If your garden’s big enough, set up croquet or lawn bowls in one area. This is a good ice breaker and encourages talking. If your friends are quite competitive, you could even have a tournament with prizes. You could also buy or hire giant Jenga or chess.
Make the most of nature. Summer fruits and vegetables are delicious so make them a feature of your garden party, so crudités and salads, plus lots of fresh summer berries should be the focus of your food. Serve jugs of Pimm’s or sangria full of summery garnish and add summer fruits to frozen yoghurt or ice-cream for a simple summer dessert.