Fresh flowers add colours to the banquet... via Style Me Pretty.
With the balmy summer nights upon us, there’s no better way to welcome the warmer months than hosting a Gatsby-style soiree.
But for those who like the idea of an extravagant party without all the stress (or the crippling cost), there is an easy solution – go alfresco. Staging a moveable feast is a great way to keep things simple while retaining the sense of occasion that usually comes from matching silverware or a replica of your great aunt’s famous Bombe Alaska.
No matter how picky your friends are, fresh air is generally a crowd-pleaser. And if luck is on your side, there may well be stars or the gentle hum of cicadas to spice up the ambience, too. What makes outdoor dinners so much fun is the element of spontaneity that comes with building a pop-up party space in your home.
The best outdoor parties aren’t necessarily fancy. There’s something inherently festive about supping in the open that you’ll need little more than a handful of tea light candles or a strategic scattering of fairy lights to create an intoxicating atmosphere.
In terms of decor, invest in some fresh flowers (see Style Me Pretty) or a few Mason jar lanterns for an easy centrepiece. If you don’t have a long table handy (who does, right?), why not pull together a few card tables and throw on a bold, kitschy table cloth (from local fabric stores or IKEA) for a whimsical, makeshift banquet? The more DIY-inclined can also try their hand on styling inspirations from Pinterest – including repurposing old doors into rustic table tops or transforming garden benches into temporary drinks stations.
No matter what your budget is, hosting an alfresco dinner (or a long summer lunch) in your backyard is a great way to exercise your creative muscles. There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing the marvel on your friends’ faces as they walk through the house and into the elements – making a beeline for the jam jar cocktails and colourful platters that will soon be Instagrammed with the hashtag #bestnightever.