As the warmer months approach, many of us are eager to make the most from our beautiful outside spaces.
Entertaining outside is a wonderful option for the warmer evenings that spring and summer welcome. It allows you to enjoy the company of your family and friends, whilst keeping your home immaculate.
We love entertaining outdoors, so we thought we would share our best outdoor entertaining tips with you!
1. Arrange A Relaxed Seating Area
Garden furniture does not need to be arranged in the same formality as you would inside.
Outdoor entertaining should be relaxed and informal, so spread your seating around to reflect this. Add plenty of cushions to your seats to soften the area and encourage your guests to relax.
Benches work really well, especially if you are entertaining for a large number. It encourages people to mingle and can work especially well when laying out food for your guests to enjoy.
2. Create A Mobile Drinks Station
Creating a mobile drinks station outside reduces the risk of muddy shoes being dragged through your home and allows guests to help themselves throughout the evening.
A small table on wheels works perfectly as a mobile drinks station.
Include glasses, cups, and straws, as well as drinks stirrers and napkins. Then simply add a selection of wine, spirits and mixers, and your guests can help themselves. You can also easily create a cool box using a plastic bucket filled with ice, which is excellent for storing beers and keeping them cold all afternoon.
As a great way to make children feel involved, add a smaller drinks cart for them to use. Fill the trolley with soft drinks and fun straws to keep the children entertained.
Just be sure to keep the trolley in the shade and keep the bottle opener nearby!
3. Let the Weather Guide You
Unfortunately, even in the height of our UK summer, perfect weather cannot be guaranteed. So, it is always recommended to hope for the best, but plan for the worst!
Large parasols can work well as sun blockers and help protect from the rain should an afternoon shower occur. Additionally, keep some blankets handy as the sun begins to set and the cold evening chill encroaches on your guests. Providing everyone is comfortable, there is no reason that a change in the weather should spoil your gathering.
4. Consider a Fire Pit
Fire pits are an excellent investment for your garden. As the sun sets and a chill appears in the air, a fire pit is a lovely way to keep your guests warm and entertained.
There are a vast array of options when considering a fire pit. Some homeowners opt for a permanent fixture in the ground, whereas others favour a temporary solution. If you don’t have a huge outside space, the portable version can be great for pulling out when visitors arrive.
Not only is a fire pit amazing for warming up your garden as the weather turns, but it provides the perfect place to toast marshmallows!
5. Consider a Picnic Area
If you have more guests than outdoor seats, consider setting up a picnic area.
Use a range of blankets and pillows to create a stunning picnic space for your guests to enjoy. This style helps embody the laid back, relaxed atmosphere most families want to emulate when entertaining outside.
6. Pre-Prepare Food
When hosting a dinner party inside, your guests will generally gather around the kitchen as you add the finishing touches to the meal. This can be a terrific time to spend with your guests whilst enjoying a drink.
However, when cooking for a garden party, you can become segregated from your guests and will struggle to be the best host that you can be.
Choosing light bites that can be pre-prepared beforehand allows you to spend the most amount of time entertaining your guests outdoors.
Pizzas, salads, and quiches are terrific options – all foods that can be enjoyed warm or cold and can be nibbled throughout the afternoon.
7. Create Soft Lighting
Building the perfect ambience when entertaining in the evening can be particularly tricky.
Bigger, brighter bulbs can make the lighting harsh and uneven, especially if you have a large outdoor space. Whereas opting for a range of softer outdoor lights with smaller bulbs will illuminate the garden. A mixture of small bulbs and fairy lights will be sure to set the right tone for your evening.
However, where alcohol, children or even pets are involved, it is always best to steer clear of candles. Whilst they give an incredible glow, they often offer more danger than reward.