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Make summer entertaining easy with these fuss-free party ideas, from a drinks party to kick off the season to a holiday-themed feast and a kid-friendly (paddling) pool party

The summer drinks party

Celebrate the start of summer with a fuss-free outdoor drinks party. After all, who wants to spend time in the kitchen when you could be catching up with friends and family you haven’t seen in months? Transform a table into an outside bar – add a colourful table runner, line up cocktail-making ingredients and plastic drinkware, fill jugs with fruit-infused iced water, string up paper party decorations and have plenty of ice on hand to keep drinks cold. Decorate summer cocktails with edible flowers, berries, herbs or our Pink Up Your Drink infusion (available in store), or you could make things super easy with our hamper of ready-mixed cocktails. As night falls, light outdoor lanterns and candles – choose citrus scents to give your garden a fresh Mediterranean vibe.

Shop outdoor glasswareShop garden accessories


Four textured picnic wine glasses
Add a little sparkle to your picnicware
£17.50 for 4
Colour-change candle in a glass jar
Light the night with a colour-change candle
Rainbow drinks dispenser
Fill with fruity summer cocktails
A selection of wines from the M&S Found range
Try our Found range of hidden wine gems
£47.50 for 6 bottles

The holiday-at-home dinner party

Evoke travel memories by theming your dinner party on your favourite holiday destination: think tapas with fruity sangria or a Greek-style sharing platter with grilled meats, dips, flatbreads and salads. We love the idea of treating your nearest and dearest to an Italian feast. Keep it simple with a board of Italian cured meats alongside creamy burrata, San Marzano tomatoes and rosemary focaccia and get little ones involved with adding their favourite toppings to our ready-made pizza bases. For the perfect wine pairing, choose a full-bodied Italian red wine or prosecco. For pud, pick up our authentic tiramisu or whip up a homemade sundae by layering ice-cream with fresh fruit and sweet treats. Finally, make the dinner extra special with a colourful tablecloth, candles, crockery and handmade place settings and menus.

Italian inspirationShop wine online


Bottle of limited-edition Conte Priuli prosecco
With green apple and citrus flavours
£60 for 6
Rectangular large slate table platter
Perfect for charcuterie and cheese
Small lemon-shaped serving platter
Made from a bamboo and melamine blend
Crosshatch glass dessert bowls
Serve desserts in style
£19.50 for 4

The (paddling) pool party

Give a kid’s party a fun holiday feel and keep everyone cool on a hot summer afternoon with a paddling pool party. Fill up the pool, bring out the garden games and set up a seating area in a shady spot with brightly coloured outdoor cushions, novelty pool floats repurposed as chairs and a pile of beach towels on hand for drying off and lounging on. The dress code? Beachwear, of course. From swimwear and sunglasses with UPF50+ protection to colourful shorts and jelly shoes, our holiday shop has it all. Keep dining casual with picnic-style food on colourful picnicware or fire up the barbecue and try our best-ever barbecue recipes. Check out our ideas with ice-cream for your sweet treats and, if you’re celebrating a birthday, don’t forget to order a cake!

Shop beach towelsVisit the holiday shop


Pink and turquoise flamingo-design beach towel
With responsibly sourced cotton
Bottle of Sun Smart SPF30 sun lotion
Don’t forget the sun cream
Wooden sun lounger with cushioned seat
Take poolside lounging to the next level
Four coloured plastic highball glasses
Add colour with vibrant plastic glasses
£10 for 4

Words: Miranda Eason and Olivia Ferguson

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