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:
- Appetizer: 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.
- 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.