Looking out of the window this morning its hard to imagine the glorious sunshine we have had for the past week but I just know better days are on their way. I am eager to have everything ready to enjoy every single moment of warmth the Great British Summertime throws at me, spending as much time as possible outdoors with friends and family!
Here are my simple 5 easy steps to be summer ready both inside and outside of the home for a summer party:
Step 1: Prep as much as possible beforehand.
If you are having a BBQ bag up and marinade meats overnight so that they are full of flavour and ready for the grill at a moments notice. Salads can be prepared ahead of schedule and sprinkled with lemon juice to keep them fresh, save the dressing for just before serving to keep the lettuce crisp! Mixed kebabs can be made and stored in the fridge ready to go – make sure you soak the skewers before making to prevent them burning on the BBQ. The likes of re-fried beans and coleslaws can be made the day before and kept in the fridge until needed.
Step 2: Use disposable where possible.
Unless you are having a formal dinner party outdoors then i’m talking disposable napkins, plates, cutlery, glasses – basically everything you need for a garden party can be thrown away when finished – no one wants to finish a party at the kitchen sink! Place 2 large bins in the garden, one for food scraps and another for the disposable items, people can then clean up after themselves and leave you free to mingle with the guests! Set out a table with drinks and plastic cups/glasses and let people help themselves. There is no enjoyment in a party if you are constantly on the go making sure drinks are topped up etc – plus it saves any awkward silences of people standing with empty glasses waiting for you to fill it back up!
Step 3: Decide on a theme.
Let people know beforehand that you are having a theme to the party, even if its just the colour of clothing. Of course you can go completely overboard and throw caution to the wind with a full on Hawaiian theme with hula skirts and palm trees, fruit cocktails, lays and a fake beach using the kids paddling pool and sand pit – can you tell we have a plan! lol As long as you let people know the theme no one will feel out of place rocking up in a pink palm leaf print shirt and Bermuda shorts!
Step 4: Designate a smokers section.
Unless every single person at the party smokes you can guarantee there will be someone uncomfortable with the billows of cigarette smoke. These days people tend to use e cigs or vapes so the smell of fruit isn’t quite as offensive but it is nice to know that they have been catered for too with a designated area.
Step 5: CHILL OUT!
Seriously it is meant to be a party – there is no need for any stress! Delegate as much as possible if need be, let people bring a dish of food to the party and have a total pot luck table of foods. Make it a bring your own bottle – alcohol is expensive and running out is never good. If people know to bring their own they know how much they are likely to drink and bring accordingly. THINGS WILL GO WRONG! Someone will spill a drink, someone may end up in the corner crying over an ex – these are all expected at parties and as long as you don’t expect everything to go perfectly then you won’t be disappointed! I’m not saying plan for the worst but heck you are surrounded by your friends and family so someone always has your back, relax!
Most of all just have fun – it’s a party after all!
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