Outdoor Summer Entertaining

Outdoor Summer Entertaining

Whether you have roaming lawns or a small city patio, it’s the perfect time of year for a spot of outdoor dining and entertaining. Clean up the BBQ for a family feast, a gathering for friends, or a romantic dinner for two.


To create a cosy and inspiring outdoor dinner party, replace the traditional vase of flowers with dried bunches of herbs and lavender to entice your guest’s senses. Upgrade your paper lanterns for delicate fairy lights strung around plant pots and garden walls, and if you have an unused tea trolley then scrub it up to make a handy barbeque companion. These are just a few thoughts on how to give your get-together that special something, keep reading for more fresh summer ideas.



Get Comfy

1 Get ComfyIn summer we tend to drift towards light, bright, pastel colours and tones for textiles. Be bold this year with a striking tablecloth for your outdoor table, such as this navy striped tablecloth from renowned American brand, Lexington. This tablecloth perfectly reflects the balance of light and shadow found in the afternoon heat, and is reminiscent of beach deckchairs and fond summer memories. It is made of lightweight but resilient cotton, which is perfect for whatever mishaps may occur.


Accompany your tablecloth with some padded cushions to make those garden chairs a little more comfortable. These Hallingdal cushions [ http://hayshop.dk/products/35-cushions/322-dot-cushion-hallingdal/ ] from HAY come in a range of fun and contemporary shades. Mix colours and sizes to suit the occasion, or keep cool with a sophisticated set of grey bench cushions. Once your guests are comfy, then it’s easy to keep them happy!



Set the Scene

2 Set the SceneAdd a touch of luxury to your outdoor dinner with some little extras which will make all the difference. For example, instead of traditional flowers use practical yet beautiful oriental fans as table displays or wall displays. Fans are a good way to inject some complementing colours into your décor. These paper fans from HAY are available in an array of eye-catching patterns and shades to suit summer colour schemes.


Of course, candles are a classic outdoor decoration, injecting magical flutters of light against a starry background. Rather than ordinary tea lights, this summer treat your table to something truly special; an original silver plated large apple candle from Parks Candles of London. The silver plated container extenuates the flawless contours of a summer apple, and when lit exudes sophisticated notes of citrus, lavender, vanilla and musky undertones. Place it right in the middle of the table for everyone to enjoy the smell and gleam of the candle at dusk.



Drinks at the Ready

3 Drinks at the ReadyWhat would a summer dinner party be without a good selection of drinks at hand? Be prepared for lemonade coolers, exotic cocktails, fruity wines, and after dinner spirits with our handpicked selection of summer-ready glassware.


If you’re looking to really update your glassware then look for touches of colour and dynamic shapes. The Scholten & Baijings set from HAY features both of these elements in summery blue, green, and pink tones for casual drinks glasses, and in metallic tones for wine glasses and tumblers. The blocks and lines of colour add a 3D element of decoration, and make them intriguing dinner party pieces. With such an unusual set of glassware keep the serving glass simple, like the Rachael large crystal glass jug by Dartington Glass. It is perfectly weighted for easy pouring, whether its water, juice or cocktails! Its simple design pits function and form equally; like a good butler this jug will be your necessary yet subtle waiter.


After the dinner table is cleared and the cheese board is eagerly placed upon the table, set off those rich and creamy flavours with a decanter of aged whisky. This Lotta decanter set from Vinegar Hill is mounted upon a deliciously smooth light Ash base. Wooden materials and tones are a classic feature of summer décor, and you could match the decanter base with your cheeseboard for the ultimate after dinner set.



Eat Up

4 Eat UpWhat will it be tonight? Italian, Moroccan, or a great British barbeque? Whatever you chose to dine on, do it in style. This season we are seeing lot of bright colours and bold motifs on dinnerware that perfectly frame summer salads and meals.


Anthropologie has a range of dinner sets which will get your guests excited for the meal to come. The Botanical Burst Dinnerware set is perfect for al fresco dining parties, with its floral and amusing insect paintings. These plates are pretty for casual occasions of can be dressed up with folded napkins for more formal affairs. Compliment them with a simple serving bowl to show off the plates patterns.


Etsy hosts a whole array of individual and unique artisan dinnerware to suit your tastes, like this pottery serving bowl which is handmade to order. The bowl’s exposed earthy texture make it especially relevant for outdoor dining.



With our tips you should be able to create a cosy and inspiring outdoor dinner party this summer without resorting to traditional cliché or last year’s idea.


With the year moving so quickly, make summer a slower experience and reconnect with family and friends over some interesting food, styled in a fresh way!



Image © HAY, John Lewis, Parks Candles , Dartington Glass, Vinegar Hill, Anthropologie, Etsy