As Brits settle into summer, what better way to host a dinner party than taking it outdoors?
Whether you want to bask in the summer sun, or gaze under the stars, hosting a dinner party in your own outdoor space is a great way to spend time with your loved ones.
Whether it’s getting the décor just right or sorting out the best entertainment, putting on the perfect event can take a lot of planning. To help take away the stress, Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice, has shared her top tips for hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party.
Hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party – Take the inside, out
While there is beautiful outdoor furniture available online, often in can be costly or sold out in the summer months.
Instead, we suggest bringing your indoor dining furniture into the garden. It’s comfy and affordable, while creating a luxurious atmosphere in the open air. Alternatively, try laying down throws with cushions, using crates for the table, and take inspiration from Moroccan dining.
Hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party – Party in a pod
Since the pandemic started, we have seen a rising trend in ‘party pods’1. Often seen in restaurant outdoor areas, you can rent these igloo-inspired structures, to help in hosting a backyard evening event sheltered from the unpredictable British weather.
The transparent material on these pods allows you to experience a spectacular evening under the stars, with their interiors often decorated with a bohemian style. Think neutral colour, fairy lights and plants. Similarly, you could also use a tipi or gazebo for the same effect.
Hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party – Dress to perfection
Once you’ve got your furniture or party pod ready, the next step is to dress it. Elegant candle holders, fresh flowers and well-placed table settings are key to making any dining table look glamorous. Pick a light and airy colour scheme such as sky blue or lavender, along with rustic accents to effortlessly combine the inside and out.
Hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party – Don’t forget the nibbles
While your guests are arriving and waiting for the main event, don’t forget to keep them happy (and keep away the hanger) with canapes and nibbles. Olives, bread, pates and dip are all perfect to put out on the table while people mingle and catch up, while guest wait for the main meal to be served.
Hosting the perfect outdoor dinner party – Cook up a storm
It’s not a dinner party without a delicious menu plan. Choosing food that can be prepared in advance will help the party run smoothly and give you time to relax when your guests arrive.
For the main courses, consider something that can be cooked at length during the day such as leg of lamb or beef ragu, or for a vegetarian dinner, a mushroom wellington. Similarly, a dessert such as cheesecake, tiramisu and even homemade ice cream can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge until needed.
Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture And Choice, says: “As we welcome more people into our homes, dinner parties are a relaxed way to enjoy the company of our closest friends and family. Meticulous planning makes for the most spectacular of events, so we want to make sure you have everything you need to get it just right.
“While the food is the key, you don’t want to spend your evening stressing over this, so making sure it’s as pre-prepared as possible will be helpful. Alongside the food, you want a beautiful setting for your party and what’s better than the outdoors? Surrounded by foliage and hopefully beautiful weather, you will be able to host the perfect dinner party.”