Make summer entertaining easy with these fuss-free party ideas for the perfect al fresco experience
The summer garden 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 for 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 freeze into ice cubes to prettify clear drinks. As night falls, light outdoor lanterns and candles – citrus scents will give your garden a fresh Mediterranean vibe.
The holiday-at-home dinner party
Evoke travel memories by theming your dinner party according to 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 some delicious antipasti: a selection of cured Italian meats alongside creamy burrata, San Marzano tomatoes and rosemary focaccia, and get little ones involved adding their favourite toppings to our ready-made pizza bases. For the perfect wine pairing, choose a prosecco or full-bodied Italian red wine. 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.
The (paddling) pool party
Give a kids’ party a fun holiday feel and keep everyone cool on a hot summer’s 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 it casual with picnic-style food on colourful picnicware or fire up the barbecue with our best-ever barbecue ideas. Check out Irish chef Mark Moriarty’s summer eating series here.
Words: Miranda Eason & Olivia Ferguson