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How to host a great summer party

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By Alex Gladwin

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The sun is finally starting to shine and we’re all able to enjoy our gardens and the fresh air once again (hurrah!). Get-togethers and garden parties with family and friends are a highlight of the summer for many – it’s all about summery drinks, fantastic food and chilled out afternoons that roll into the evenings.

Below are some top tips on how you can host a great summer garden party with those you love this year!

Prepare for all weathers

It may be summertime but sadly the sunshine is never guaranteed in the UK. Plan ahead and have a gazebo ready (you can decorate it to make it look less plain (see below for DIY bunting and cheap fairy light decorating ideas). You’ll also want to ensure that you have a large parasol on hand, to create shade if there’s too much sun.

Fantastic Food

When it comes to food, nothing really beats a garden BBQ. If you do have one, don’t forget about the non-meat eaters. You can use a disposable BBQ on the main BBQ to cook meat-free sausages and burgers whilst keeping the meat separate.

summer party foodBanana, strawberry and pineapple fruit kebabs cooked on the BBQ make for a very tasty and colourful dessert. If you’d rather not serve hot food, then sandwiches with easy filling (egg mayonnaise, cheese and tomato etc.) always go down well, as does a tasty pasta salad. Don’t forget to get lots of snacks in such as olives, breadsticks, hummus, carrot sticks and crisps.

Refreshing drinks

refreshing drinksFor the adults, you can’t go wrong with Pimms – it’s the perfect summer drink isn’t it?! If you want something a bit fancier, then you could make your own cocktails or mocktails at home. Just purchase a cocktail shaker and stock up on the alcohol and fruit juice you’ll need. You can find tons of cocktail and mocktail recipes online for free!

Fun for the kids

If the weather is nice – get the pool out! If you don’t already have a paddling pool, you can pick up cheap ones in some shops for under £7! Bubbles are always a fun garden activity for children – bubble machines blow out hundreds and will keep your children entertained for ages as they try and catch/pop them all.

kids paddling poolYou could also set up a specially decorated table area just for the kids. They can make their own summer drinks using water or juice with their choice of chopped up fruit in.

Create an atmosphere by decorating

When it comes to decorations for your garden party, you could make your own bunting. It’s easy using sheets of fabric, bias tape and a triangle template which you can cut out yourself.

For just a few pounds, pick up a couple of packs of fairy lights online or in town to create a cosy atmosphere in the evening.

You could also use empty glass jars with single flowers inside to decorate tables to add to the summery-vibe. Or if you’re looking to jazz up your glassware for summer, use stick on multi-coloured dots which can be easily removed afterwards.

Use music to get in the summery mood

No garden party is complete without some music to get you and your guests in the mood for summer. An outside bluetooth speaker works best and if you have Spotify then just search ‘Garden party’ to find lots of summery playlists. You can find similar on YouTube if you don’t use Spotify.

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If you're planning a summer garden party soon then I hope these tips will come in handy.

Written by family and lifestyle blogger, Alex Gladwin, of www.bump-to-baby.com.

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