A garden party is great fun for both young and old. No rigid dining table seating obligations, just instead, a relaxed combination of eating, drinking, chatting, playing and even more enjoyment. Not least to mention, it is also fun for the guests and the host and/or hostess. No messy spills on your furniture, no scratches on your floor and in the morning, you get to wake up in a tidy house. Great, right? But before you get to that point, you’ve first got to get everything ready.
To begin with, the weather. Hosting a garden party during the summer is pretty easy really, but the autumn also has its charms. It may need a slightly different approach, but it will definitely be just as fun!
Create extra comfort
“You can always dress for the cold” my grandmother always says, as I walk, shivering, towards the thermostat. Of course, she’s absolutely right, but even with so many layers on, I still want to be able to move around easily enough. Therefore, make sure that you and your guests don’t get wet. Set up a (large) gazebo or party tent in your garden, or hang up a sturdy shade sail. A terrace heater will also provide some extra comfort. No heater on hand? Don’t worry. Just pull on your thermals, only don’t forget to share your dress code with your guests! You could also put a few soft, fluffy blankets around the place, as they are wonderful to snuggle up in, should the cold begin to penetrate through your multiple layers.
Beaming rays of light
To add to the atmosphere even more, why not hang up some coloured lights or put some torches in your garden? Candles also always make a great addition, real or battery operated, they add to the cosiness. With a tablecloth and some cheerful serviettes, you’ll be able to keep most of the stains under control and make everything look even more inviting at the same time. Have you got enough chairs? The Allibert Outdoor garden chairs will provide all your guests with a comfortable seat, and afterwards, you can neatly store them away in one stack.
Do you need a bigger table? A few sturdy planks of wood and two trestles can take you far, however, there are also some super handy, cool bars available. From a side table, to a bar table in one easy move by sliding the table top upwards. Fill the bottom half of the table with ice, and it will keep your drinks cool for the entire evening. Then, just add some atmospheric lighting to your cool bar, to make your party zone complete.
Crazy Autumn Menu
Find a suitable place at a safe distance for an outdoor fireplace. Not just for the atmosphere, but you’ll also be cooking your food on it later. A delicious party spread of marshmallows, meat & veg kebabs and some crispy baps. The bread dough will need some time to rise, so be sure to start on that early if you’re planning to make your own. Just be sure to keep the fire away from your garden furniture, the tent or any other flammable materials. If you still have any coals lying around, then you could also light your barbecue.
Now, grab the treasures you have rescued from your garden, long branches around which you can wrap the bread dough, and some sweet chestnuts. Watch out though! Don’t confuse sweet chestnuts with horse chestnuts, as the latter don’t taste very nice. You can recognise sweet chestnuts by their fine, green, prickly coat. There are often three chestnuts in one fruit and they have a flat edge. The chestnuts are best roasted in the oven. Stand the chestnuts on their flat side and, using a sharp knife, make a cross in the top. Place them in a roasting tray in the middle of the oven at 200 degrees. After approximately 20 minutes or so, you can tell they are done when the shell is open at the cross. Leave them to cool for a while, remove their brown coats and then they are ready to serve and enjoy. Just the scent alone is delightful.
The branches can be used to bake your bread, as well as for toasting your marshmallows. Hold them just above the flames and turn them slowly to toast all sides, just be careful not to burn your food. Your home-made bread will taste even more scrumptious with some garlic butter, jam or other delicious spreads. You can easily make up some kebabs, using some metal or pre-soaked, long, wooden skewers, onto which you can put some cubes of meat, vegetables or even some small hotdogs. Add a few sauces on the side and enjoy! You can expand upon this menu as your heart desires, with perhaps some salads, or apples and banana wrapped in tinfoil, there are more than enough recipes to choose from.
Warm or perhaps, cold
Hot chocolate and mulled wine, home-made punch or perhaps, just a cold drink? Whatever you decide! Make it easy on yourself by allowing for self-service or hire a professional for the evening, it is your party, after all.
Finally, a perfect occasion to let everyone enjoy your, carefully compiled, play list. From soothing classics in the background, to hard rock to keep your guests awake, whatever you enjoy. Alas, to everything comes an end, but the best parties are always worth repeating.
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