Tips and Tricks for a Stress-free Summer Garden Party

April 5, 2017

As temperatures start to rise this spring, it’s time to roll out the picnic tables and clip the roses in preparation of garden party season. If you’ve ever thrown a backyard soiree, you’ll know that juggling the menu and decor are stressful enough without having to worry about potential rain. But with these garden party tips and tricks, you can stay cooler than ever.

Eat buffet-style

The worry of serving up meals isn’t fun for anyone. It’s not fun for you as you stress over everyone having the perfect plate, and it’s not fun for your guests as you stand and sit constantly. Just relax! Buffet set-ups might be more informal, but they keep the tone light and allow for your guests to help themselves at their own leisure. Plus, you can still create a beautiful table with individual place settings to up the ambiance.

Go frozen

You don’t need to spend hours in the kitchen preparing for your garden party – cooking a few finger food dishes from frozen will allow you to spend time on other things. These Lightly Spiced Wedges from McCain are seasoned with herbs that will complement other seasonal dishes, while frozen mini quiches offer a garden party favourite with none of the hassle. Potato wedges and other light bites will still taste fresh and delicious, and nobody will know you didn’t spend hours individually prepping each.

Use household items for decoration

The more mismatched, the better. Garden parties are a notoriously high-brow affair, but they don’t need to be. In fact, recent party trends show us that rustic chic is the way to go. Even basic household items make for creative decor, keeping the atmosphere laid-back while still having that wow factor. Mismatched china and drinks served in jam jars are informal but quirky, and will give your garden party that stylish, rustic edge.

For dessert, opt for store-bought

Your garden party’s grand finale shouldn’t give you sleepless nights. After all, by dessert time the party is starting to wind down – and so should you. That’s why we suggest a store-bought dessert, preferably something with fruit and heaps of whipped cream. If your store of choice has skimped on the toppings, this is your opportunity to make the premade dessert your own. You can even go as basic as fluffing it up with a creamy topping, fresh fruit or a sprinkling of powdered sugar.

Don’t be afraid to delegate

We know that shouldering the entire menu of your garden party can seem like a point of pride, but you shouldn’t be afraid to let others help you out where food prep is concerned. Any good guest will offer to bring something, so you shouldn’t worry about accepting. Just make sure that if you do allocate dishes to other guests, you’re explicit about what they should bring. It would be a shame to end up with twelve bags of spicy wedges and no sausage rolls, after all.

Have a wet weather plan

There’s nothing quite as stressful trying to predict the weather, especially in the UK. What will be will be, and so the only thing you can do is plan ahead in case there’s an unexpected summer shower. Setting up tables in a gazebo or having a tent on hand is optimal, but if your garden is too small for either, no bother. You can always have just-in-case tables set up indoors where you can flee until the rain passes and it’s safe to return outside.

Garden parties are the perfect time to kick back and luxuriate in warmer weather, so don’t spend all day stressing about the rise on your cake. If you’re a seasoned host or hostess, how do you settle your party-throwing jitters?

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