How To Host The Ultimate Garden Party
After spending the vast majority of the past year living in our pyjamas and watching far too much TV, hope is on the horizon! As you’re probably aware, the government has released the eagerly awaited roadmap for lifting lockdown restrictions, one of the biggest changes enforced right at the beginning of this week.
As of Monday, March 29th, people have been allowed to meet outside, either with one other household or within the “Rule of 6”, including in private gardens. If all goes to plan, from 21st June, we’ll also see all legal limits on social contact lifted altogether. With the government outlining this roadmap back to normality and celebrating finally back in our sights, it’s time to come out of our shells and start thinking about socialising once more.
While getting back to the hustle and bustle of pubs and bars may sound a little daunting, that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the missed company of your friends and family. Now is the ideal time to show off your hosting skills with garden parties galore. The truth is, however, we’re a tad out of practice!
Those of you previously known to be kings and queens of hosting have been out of the game for a long time and may benefit from a refresher. And, for those who are wanting to up their entertaining game, this is an ideal opportunity to get hosting skills under your belt. So, with hopeful optimism and a flutter of excitement in our bellies, it’s time to tidy up our gardens and prepare for a season of outdoor parties, celebrations and fun!
The proof is in the planning
Braving the backyard for a summer party shouldn’t be a risky situation for yourself or your guests. While it’s near impossible to predict the temperamental British weather, preparation is key. For peace of mind and protection against even the harshest weather (and preventing dreaded soggy food!), a heavy-duty, waterproof gazebo or garden party tent will keep your guests happy come rain or shine. The party must go on!
If you’re planning on partying away into the evening and night, citronella candles and bug spray are a must. Got furry friends that will be joining your get together? Bug spray for pets will keep them safe from pesky bites while enjoying all the love and attention that they’ve been patiently waiting for. It’s also important to stock up on essentials such as sun cream and after sun - after all, it’s been a while since our skin has seen the sunshine!
Spruce up your garden
Has your garden been a little neglected since lockdown began? You’re not alone. Without regular visitors coming and going from our homes, it’s been easy to overlook the upkeep of our outdoor space. Whether you have acres of greenery at your fingertips or a cosy patio, you can certainly blow your guests away with a bit of TLC. It’s time to get out the lawn mower and tidy up our gardens just in time for the sun to start shining again!
We could all do with a little preparation before launching ourselves back into everyday life, and our gardens are no different. Whether your shed needs a lick of paint, your borders lack fresh flowers, or you want to add style with a new garden furniture set, you don’t need a total makeover to make all the difference to your garden. If you haven’t already, check out our guide to sprucing up your garden for spring for all the DIY inspiration you need - there’s plenty to keep you occupied from now until June!
Set the mood
No matter if you’re after a tranquil, intimate do with your nearest and dearest or are planning on going all out to catch up on a year’s worth of partying, the music you choose will set the mood for your get together. Producing a thought-out personal playlist will create a vibe based on the tunes you’ve selected. For ultimate sing-along worthy quality, a waterproof portable speaker will bring the party wherever you decide to place it. How else are you meant to get your groove on?
As the natural light fades and you party on into the night, bring out the big guns with some stunning decorative lighting. Not only will it light up your space in a beautiful way, but it will also bring the ultimate wow-factor to your guests. Solar-powered stake lights will conveniently light up your garden while adding that perfect finishing touch to your outdoor space. Think outdoor festoon lights and solar-powered fairy lights for an elegant atmospheric gathering.
To quickly transform your space into a bohemian social area that’s sure to be the envy of all your friends, a fire pit is a must! Plenty of outdoor blankets and cushions will create a snug and intimate atmosphere and keep your guests cosy and warm. Just don’t forget your marshmallows to roast!
Finally, party planning isn’t complete without plenty of garden party decorations. No matter your celebration, whether it be new family arrivals, celebrating a lockdown birthday, or the end of restrictions, there are garden party decorations for any theme. With decorative bunting, tableware and even piñatas at your disposal, your celebrations are set to be one to remember!
Food, glorious food
Whether you plan to tackle the cooking yourself or get it all ready-made, no garden party is complete without its enticing al fresco feast. BBQ’s and outdoor pizza ovens are the ideal company for summer garden parties. After a stylish and sophisticated spread? Put together a charcuterie platter, complete with a variety of cheeses, meats, olives, crackers and anything else you fancy! As well as the main event, make sure there's finger food available, as this is the basis for a great party. Crowd pleasers such as crisps, nuts and, everyone’s favourite, cheese and pineapple, are great for nibbling on into the evening. But whatever you do, don’t forget the sweet treats!
Keep the drinks flowing
Keeping your guests hydrated is a must - and we’re not just talking about water! You can’t go wrong with a selection of cocktails, wine, prosecco, beers, and of course, the nation’s absolute favourite - gin! Drinks coolers and dispensers are essential, so your guests can help themselves. Not only does this take the pressure off of keeping their drinks topped up all evening long, but it also allows you to fully enjoy the merriment yourself.
You can even set up a drinks bar to take your party to the next level. Whether you’re setting up an improvised tabletop or turning your shed into a makeshift cocktail lounge, any surface will do! Stock up on bottle openers, paper straws, and a bartender cocktail set for the ultimate mixology experience. For cocktail inspiration galore, take a look at our blog on shaking up your cocktail game at home. Pimms, sangria, mojito, oh my!
Bring on the games
The perfect complement to your excellent hosting skills, outdoor activities and garden party games, such as Twister, are fantastic at keeping both kids and adults entertained. For kids, a swing ball, bubble blower, and a game of velcro catch will keep them busy. If the weather is on your side, a paddling pool or water pistol is a great way to keep your kids cool in the heat.
To get everyone involved, challenge your friends and family to a few rounds of Giant Jenga or put your flexibility to the test with limbo for a classic garden party game that’s sure to result in raucous laughter. If you have the outdoor space, a Zorb ball is a hilariously fun activity for all the family - just make sure you have a go before you eat!
The first of many celebrations
From honing in your hosting skills to reclaiming your crown as party royalty among your peers, a little bit of prep goes a long way - and, whatever your plans for the lifting of lockdown may be, you’re sure to be the host with the most with these tips and tricks hidden up your sleeve! With garden parties, BBQs, and finally spending time with our loved ones back on the cards, 2021 has the opportunity to undoubtedly be one to remember.
For more information regarding the government roadmap (and key dates to put in your party planner!), check out the official COVID-19 Spring 2021 Response here.
The information in this blog is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.