As it gets chillier, it’s harder to plan a garden party for your friends to attend. You and your friends may dread the cold on a winter evening, or you and your friends may revel in it. Either way, there are heaps of ways you can host the perfect garden party in rain or shine, even during winter.
Where To Sit?
Every dinner party should have a place for your guests to sit, even if it’s outside. You can drag your inside furniture out to the table for the garden party, but you don’t want to risk getting that furniture wet. Getting outdoor furniture for your garden party will last longer, and be suited to be left outside during the colder months. Make sure your guests are comfy and cosy, so they don’t want to go back inside and get the shivers. If it’s a really cold night, you can supply some warm, fluffy blankets for them to snuggle in while they’re eating or drinking their wine. These are a real crowd pleaser, as you can get really snuggly with your friends, without feeling the need to go back inside.
Set Dressing Is Important
Before your guests come over, you should make sure that your garden looks nice. If you plan on having a fire, consider a fire pit or a gas heater. They will keep your guests nice and warm, and create the perfect atmosphere for your party. Always start the fire prep early; you don’t want your guests showing up to you trying to start a fire, while they’re standing there shaking in their boots. Rice Kitchen has the perfect tips for setting the mood for your dinner party. "Make sure your home is warm when guests arrive. Light some candles, especially those scented with spice notes such as cinnamon or clove. If you have time and are up for it, make some mulled wine (or the non-alcoholic version). It will make your home smell wonderful and it is such a great winter beverage. For flower decoration, stick to a muted tone of green, silver and a touch of colours such as yellow. These winter colours compliment the vibrant colours of the food served." Find out more about Rice Kitchen by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
You should also make sure your garden is nice and clean. Mirva Crinnion, from Mr Fothergill's has some great advice if your garden is small, but you want to impress your guests. “Maximise your small garden space by planting in layers. For example you can plant flower bulbs such as Daffodils and Tulips at 10-15cm deep, then plant some annual flower seedlings on top that are already in flower (such as Pansies this time of the year), and around the seedling sow some seeds of a Spring flowering variety such as Poppy or Cornflower. This way you will have the Pansies providing immediate colour and the Daffodils, Tulips and Cornflowers and Poppies flowering in Spring in the same spot! Just don't plant too many so they don't suffocate one another.” You can find beautiful seeds and advice by following Mr Fothergill’s on Facebook and Instagram.
Listen To Others
If this is the first dinner party you’re hosting and you’re a bit lost, you should listen to other’s past stories. Elizabeth Kelly from ELK Prints, remembers her favourite dinner party that she’s hosted. “The best winter dinner party I hosted was a Moroccan Tagine party. We made several different tagines and guests took a bowl and helped themselves to the spiced saffron rice and their choice of tagine and were then invited to take a seat on the couch in front of the fire and snuggle up under some throw blankets. It was just nice to drink wine, eat a warm hearty meal and be cosy and casual with friends. We set the scene with lanterns, flowers and fragrant candles to evoke the scent of Morocco and conjure up a sense of warmth.” You can follow Elizabeth on Facebook and Instagram.
Plan For The Future
After your garden party, it’s pretty much a given that you’ll have leftovers. This is great, especially during winter, as you can enjoy hearty, yummy meals after you have had your dinner party. Angela Field, from Patisserie Makes Perfect has the perfect solution for those who are planning on having some leftovers. “Double up on recipes like chilli, bolognese and stews, make use of cheaper cuts and cook them in your slow cooker, so that you can get on with other things. Portion up the food and freeze in batches, for a home cooked meal on the nights when you've run out of time.” You can follow Angela and her patisserie journey on Facebook and Instagram.
Winter is the perfect season to gather your friends around and enjoy each other’s company. Plan ahead, and make sure you keep your guests warm, and you’ll be making your winter wonderland dinner party an annual event!