Features in this issue
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Summer Garden Party & Backyard BBQ

Reminder: Keeping your gathering group small: informal in nature and may occur with family and friends you regularly socialize with. 

Summer Outdoors

Summer entertaining is literally a breeze. Everyone loves a laid-back, casual gathering when the long, warm evenings stretch out over hours. Keep everything simple and easy, with just a few touches to honour the summer season.

Here are some easy tips for the perfect garden party or BBQ evening:

The Menu:

  • Summer Patio and FriendsAppetizer: Pick an assortment of salty chips and definitely fresh veggies with Tzatziki dip.
  • Main: Pick something easy such as grilled chicken or sausage on a bun, hamburgers (veggie or meat), steamed mussels with French bread, or a big plate of assorted sandwiches.
  • Keep condiments easy: ketchup, mustard, dill pickles, olives and BBQ sauce.
  • Add 1-2 salads: a tossed, Greek or Caesar salad, and something with vegetables such as a pasta salad or bean salad.
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit kebabs, or ice cream bars for everyone!
  • Beverage: always include a non-alcoholic choice, pink lemonade is a favourite. White wine and soda for spritzers, sangria in a glass jug and assorted artisan beer.


  • The surroundings: Lighten up the party with paper lanterns, clear sparkly lights and votive candles inside mason jars. Fun garden accessories like several pink flamingos or garden gnomes are always a hit! Group your potted plants around the party area. Tie bright ribbons around the pots.
  • Make the table look special: Use fresh flowers and nature-inspired touches, like oversized leaves or mini pots of herbs. Cover the table with a tablecloth or pretty piece of colourful fabric, add large napkins and paper plates if you need them.

Nice To Do:

  • Put out a basket with 2-3 pashminas for guests to borrow in case the weather gets a bit cool. If you want add a couple of hats and a pair of sunglasses, sunscreen if your event is during the day.

sangriaThe Environment:

  • Rain plans: Clarify in your invitation “Rain or shine.” Make sure you have room for everyone inside if rain is a possibility.
  • Neighbours: Always let your neighbours know ahead of time that you’re planning a party. Invite them if you feel they’d enjoy themselves.
  • Mosquitoes: Get rid of standing water because this is where mosquitoes breed. Plug in some fans and consider a few citronella candles. Put out a basket of bug wipes for guests if they want.