Even though we’ve had the summer solstice the evenings are still long and relatively balmy. There are many reasons why I adore living in this country and the lazy summer evenings with their prolonged sunsets are one of them. As much as I like to holiday near the Equator, I don’t like sunsets where the sun drops from the sky in a matter of minutes.
With this is mind I think July should be the month that we all throw a summer soirée in honour of the Great British Summertime. Get the girls round, put the bubbles on ice and have a good old natter in the garden.
I’ve gone for a laid back Moroccan vibe for my party and am sharing a few ideas if you’d like to recreate something similar.
Low Level Seating
To get the conversation flowing it’s essential that your guests are relaxed and comfortable, so pile up cushions and pouffes for some low-level comfy seating. I dragged my coffee table out from the lounge for this set up but piling a few palettes on top of each other would work just as well. My garden is predominately paved so I was delighted when I found an indoor/outdoor rug from Joss & Main. It’s made of polypropylene and can be hosed down if it gets dirty or if someone accidentally drops their wine or nibbles all over it.
When the sun goes down and the temperature starts to drop, bundle up a few blankets so your guests can wrap up and keep warm. These grey ones were just a few quid from B&Q and save your friends from raiding your wardrobe when it gets a bit chilly.
Summer evenings lend themselves to the ambient glow of candlelight. Line up lanterns and pop tea lights or citronella lights into pretty votive holders to create a relaxed, simple, yet sophisticated atmosphere.
Lay The Table
I understand the whole plastic glass thing but I don’t see my garden as any more dangerous than my dining room. For that reason I prefer to bring the indoors outside and give my guests real crockery and glasses. I love the whole trend for using tablecloths outside too (although not if it’s windy as then all my best china is likely to be ruined by a hurtling champagne flute). Adding a trinket such an individual flower, herb sprig, place-name to each place setting is a sure-fire way to show your guests you care.
Being in the garden I’d expect flora and fauna as a backdrop but adding in a few of your own plants or flowers can add an extra element of pizazz. Succulents are very popular right now and these faux versions from John Lewis are just the right height to keep the conversation flowing over the table.
Eats & Treats
To match the eastern boho decor, how about trying a Moroccan style menu? Serve hummus and other dips with flatbreads and olives while you sip drinks, and then move on to a tagine with rice and tabbouleh salad for a main. Yum.
Finally pop on a summer playlist (you’re in for a treat when we reveal ours very soon), shake a few cocktails and enjoy your al fresco dining experience.
Who else fancies throwing an informal party? Any other ideas you’d like to throw in for laid back entertaining?