The long, warm days of British summertime lend themselves to al fresco shindigs of all types. Whether you have a life milestone to celebrate or just fancy throwing a party for fun’s sake, these tips will make it a bash for the history books (well, among your social circle at least).
Easy fuss-free canapés
Pre-make a selection of beautifully-presented, super simple canapés that can be served cold. That way you’ll be able to enjoy the vibe alongside your guests instead of having to nip off to the kitchen every half an hour. Serve them up on wooden boards or slate platters and your guests will think you’ve had the caterers in. Lacking inspiration in the kitchen? Check out our Pinterest board of canapé roundups.
Stylish street food
If you’re wanting to fill stomachs with something a little more substantial than delicate finger food, serve up some fuss-free and on-trend street food. Think mini build-you-own fish tacos or (posh) hot dog with a luxe relish. Team your street food of choice with something a little more spoiling to drink – champagne cocktail with your hot dog?
Don’t bother with fancy desserts — simple brownies dusted with a little icing sugar and decorated with raspberries served up on a slate will go down just as well. Or, if you really must serve pudding Eton Mess takes all of two minutes – we won’t tell anyone the meringues are shop-bought.
Hire a bartender
Bring in a professional bartender with a full kit of cocktail making paraphernalia, ready to mix up fresh summery concoctions that are guaranteed to impress. If you’ve been to any of SL’s reader events you might have sipped on mojito or martini made by our favourite mixologists Coxtails. Hire them for your next event and you’ll guests will undoubtedly be impressed – and possibly a little tipsy.
Magnums of Rosé
A summer party wouldn’t be a party with chilled glasses of crisp rosé. Impress your guests by buying a few magnum bottles. It will probably work out cheaper and it definitely looks cooler. Our favourite is Aix.
No one turns down a cocktail – makes yours memorable with a summery twist. Try Prosecco mixed with elderflower, mint, lime and lots of ice.
Create photo ops
Ensure your party is Instagram-ready with some carefully-curated decor. Giant paper corsages and spherical lanterns make perfect backdrop props. And don’t forget a bucket of strategically-placed sparklers for post-sundown snaps.
You don’t have to blow the budget but a centrepiece on a table will go down a treat. Lemons look lovely (and come in handy for when the G&Ts come out) as does foliage spread across the centre of the table. Or keep it chic with some blossoming hydrangeas.
Add atmosphere to your summer soiree by clustering lanterns together or lining your outdoor space with pretty tea lights, which really come into their own when the sun goes down. Hang lanterns from trees in the garden or scatter them throughout — IKEA does some pretty star-shaped ones that won’t break the bank.
Order in Champagne Pops
These boozy Calipo-style popsicles are made from 37% real Champagne and contain only 52 calories. Trust us; they’ll go down a treat.
Like all good parties, music is a must. Get someone to spin some desks or set up a SONOS system and play some chilled House for a Ibiza-esque vibe. Or if in doubt, make a Spotify playlist that you can play in the background and not have to worry about changing the track.
Make the most of the weekend and the (fingers-crossed) sunshine by starting your party at 5pm rather than the usual 8pm. There is nothing better than drinking rosé outside as the sun goes down.
Fill them up!
Number one party tip: keep the bubbles on ice and those flutes topped up, because full glasses equal happy guests.
Make the clean-up easier
The best parties often come with the worst clean-ups. Make your life easier at the end of the night by serving drinks up in luxe plastic glasses and clearing them as you go into nice clear or printed rubbish bags. These gold fish designs are a kitsch way to clean up.