Sparkles & Stretchmarks: A UK Parenting & Pregnancy Blog: The best way to enjoy summer al-fresco!

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The best way to enjoy summer al-fresco!

There are few things more enjoyable than gathering family and friends on a warm sunny day and settling in for an afternoon and evening of good food, drink, and conversation. But whether you’re heading down for a picnic in the park or hosting a barbecue in your own backyard there are a whole variety of wonderful options to make this summer’s gatherings the best yet. 

1. Planning in advance 
Sure you can always throw a blanket, chilled bottle of champagne, and a few deli-foods from a supermarket like Tesco, then head to the park and make a few phone calls to see who shows-up, but if you want to make it into a summer party, then it’s best to send out paper or e-vites. Be sure to write down the date, time, address, and suggestions for what guests can bring. 

2. Seating and organization 
Have a variety of seating options and stations for people to seat, so guests can wander around and mingle in different crowds. It is usually better to have a variety of tables and chairs scattered around the yard than just one big table to seat everyone. If you don’t have enough garden furniture, folding plastic chairs and tables are always available for hire at relatively cheap rates. 

3. Themes are good, but options are better 
Having a themed cookout—let’s say Mexican for example—can be a lot of fun. You have your Mexican beers, your tequila, your tacos,nachos and so on. But what is even better is having a large variety of platters and drink options that will satisfy the needs of all your guests. If you do decide to have an event with specific food and drink, be sure to include it on the invites so guests with any special requirements can let you know in advance or bring their own goods. 

4. Get the lighting right 
Nothing ruins a party atmosphere like not being able to see the person you’re trying to talk with, or feeling like you’re lit-up for stage in a West End show. Ambient lighting is the key to making the mood right, especially if you’re outdoors. Hanging strings of lights from the trees, deck, and rails, is a perfect solution to creating that party vibe. 

5. Hand held fans and plenty of ice 
If it’s going to be a hot one, then you’re going to need to be ready to beat the heat. Whether you’re hosting or headed to a friend's place, having hand held paper fans and ice to hand is never a bad idea. After all, nobody wants to be toasting friends with warm champagne! 
Remember, it doesn’t matter if you’re planning a party for hundreds or just having a get together, the most important thing is getting out and enjoying your time with friends over the summer season. 

Image by Mack Male used under the Creative Commons license. 

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