Cocktails with berry decoration.

Hosting the perfect garden party

Garden party planning

Organising a sophisticated garden party takes careful planning and some creative thinking. There’s a lot to consider like what food and drink to delight your guests with, setting the tone with music, and how to style your garden to impress your guests.

Arriving in style

First impressions count. Let your guests know they’re in for a special night the second they arrive. Set out a path of flickering lanterns and greet party goers with flutes of bubbly, charming cocktails and mouthwatering nibbles

Create an enchanting atmosphere

Draw inspiration from your surroundings and the seasons to set the scene; in summer, make the most of the colourful flowers, warmer nights and go for a bohemian feel. Enjoy a garden party all year round and on a crisp winter evening, wrap up warm for Bonfire Night and stoke up the fire pit.

Garden party table with tapas, breadsticks, red wine and yellow flowers

Music is important for setting the mood, so why not get your guests involved? Send a party invite or email, asking for everyone’s favourite tunes and set up playlists for the event. This will keep everyone happy and throw up some interesting song choices. Dancing in the garden is a necessity at all garden parties.

Once the sun sets, use fairy lights to add ambience and place candles on stairs and outdoor furniture to add dimension to your garden. Lights are a great way to combine functionality with style, creating a cool and intimate atmosphere.

Summer garden party decorations and lighting

Food and drink

Summer cocktails with herb garnish on a rustic wooden trayWho said fine dining’s for indoors only? True, finger food is easier to snack on while mingling, but there’s more to party nibbles than sausage rolls and quiche.

How about delicate and healthy caprese skewers with mozzarella, tomato, avocado and fresh basil eliminating the need for cutlery? Or tempt kids and adults alike with home-made sweet potato and parsnip chips, accompanied by spiced mayonnaise.

When it comes to drinks, let your imagination run wild. Give classic cocktails a fresh twist by flavouring and garnishing with home-grown herbs, straight from your garden; or create a signature cocktail for the party. Ask the mixologist at your local bar for tips on flavours that work well together, or check out TheBar.com for inspiration.

Ready for anything

Garden dining area under a white canopy

As long as you’re well prepared, it’ll take more than a bit of wet weather to get between you and a good time. Put a canopy up in the garden and deck it out with chairs, throws and lights for a comfortable, sheltered party space outside.

Think of it as an opportunity to take your interior design outside, and create an outdoor area that really reflects your style and taste.

For an effortlessly cool look, mix upcycled furniture with rattan, bean bags, quirky lamps and comfy blankets.

If you don’t have space outdoors for a canopy, why not extend your party decorations to an indoor area, dressing it with plants, wildflowers, leafy branches and bunting, to evoke a garden atmosphere?

After all; the best parties are often found in the kitchen so if the weather does turn on you, crank up the music and move the fairy lights and the party indoor.