When you see as little sun as we do here in the UK, we all jump at the chance to get our friends and family round for a BBQ, an alfresco dinner party or just to enjoy some drinks in the garden. With this in mind, we've gathered a few ideas to wow your guests and help make outdoor entertaining a little easier this Summer.
You don't want to be stuck behind a BBQ while all your guests are having fun - provide the ingredients and let your guests get stuck in! These BBQ bananas with chocolate and marshmallows are just the thing - white chocolate, dark chocolate, marshmallows, peanut butter... not only will it be easier for you, but your guests will have fun creating their own concoctions.
If you're the person who lives in the sticks, far away from all your friends, most people will have to drive to attend your get-together. This means that someone will have to be the designated driver and can't enjoy any of the alcoholic beverages that everyone loves on a hot Summer's day. Give them something a bit more exciting than the usual Diet Coke and make your own mocktails! This Strawberry Lemonade is a perfect alternative to Pimms and tastes delicious.
Save your best glasses from getting broken and give people their own individual napkins, cutlery and glass for the night, all in one. Not only does it look adorable, but it's really practical too! Use a variety of different shapes, sizes and colours of jar for that mismatched shabby chic look. It'll also help you recycle your old jam jars, sauce jars, coffee jars ... and maybe even your candle jars!
Keep those drinks cool
It can be a nightmare trying to fit everybody's drinks in the fridge, so give your guests a beer barrow filled with ice to keep their drinks cool. Not only is it practical, but it looks pretty cool too. When the ice starts to melt, simply tip the water out. If you need to move it, no problem, it's what it was made for!
Games... for kids of all ages
There's something about Summer which makes us all turn into big kids - who wouldn't be excited at a giant Kerplunk?! Let the kids have a go first and once the cocktails are flowing, the adults can show them how it's done (or not, as the case may be!). There are tons of other easy outdoor game ideas, such as coloured circles spray painted on the grass for Twister, or your own crazy golf course with wood and plant pots... be as imaginative as you like, there are no boundaries!
Don't go running round the corner to your Mum's for those emergency chairs or even worse, ask people to bring their own - get some bales of hay or straw, cover them with a blanket and you have your very own rustic seating! If you know a farmer or have friends with horses, see if they have any bales you can lend for a night.
If you're going to be sat in your garden until the early hours, lighting some candles at dusk will create a lovely, cosy atmosphere and bring some delightful scents into your garden. Our new range of Citronella scented candles are just the trick; with their bright wax and retro 60s design, they're sure to be a hit with your guests. Choose from scented candle jars, candle tins and fragranced tealights to keep the party going until the sun comes up.
You can browse our retro range of Citronella scented candles here, with quirky little names to make you smile, such as You Are My Sunshine, Summer Breeze, Here comes the Sun and It's a Lovely Day. Please note: we cannot be held responsible for any songs that may get stuck in your head due to the names of these candles.