With the long cold dark days of winter well and truly behind us and sunny weather here at last, people with a garden or roof terrace will no doubt be planning their next outdoor party.
By following these top five simple tips, not only will you wow your friends with your hosting skills, you’ll also be able to relax and enjoy yourself at your event.
The first steps
If you plan your party meticulously it’ll ensure that you can relax on the night. Alternatively, you could hire a party planner to remove the stress completely! If you want to invite more than 10 people, or you have a specific theme in mind, it’s a good idea to send invitations to your guests. At this early stage, it’s wise to request that your guests inform you of any allergies, food preferences or intolerances, as this will make things much easier when you come to planning your menu.
The next step is to think about the format of your party. If you are planning a sit down meal, ensure there’s enough seating and a large enough table for everyone. If you’re simply hosting drinks, it’s worth still considering outdoor seating options. Always have a backup plan, as if the heavens open you need to be certain that you have enough space to move the party inside. Many of Quartermile’s open plan apartments feature balconies or large terraces with sweeping views over Edinburgh – the perfect outdoor entertaining venue.
Table setting and decorating
If you’re inviting guests who don’t know each other, be brave and mix up the seating. You can transform your outdoor space by hanging string lanterns from trees to create a glow around your party. Candles also add a touch of elegance to any outdoor event held on a roof terrace but don’t hold back – invest in several candles of different sizes and place them in strategic parts of your terrace. Be wary of using them in a garden that has a lot of foliage as they are a fire hazard.
Impress your friends by sourcing fresh seasonal produce for your dinner party menu. If you’re not sure what’s in season, The British Larder recipe diary contains a useful list of produce month by month. During spring, vegetables such as leeks, asparagus, broad beans and spring onions should make an appearance on your menu, as well as ubiquitous spring lamb if you’re a fan of meat. If you’d prefer to serve fish as the centrepiece, you’ll certainly wow your friends by presenting them with a delicious seafood platter of fresh crab, langoustines, mussels, scallops and oysters.
And last but not least, the drinks. Your guests will be expecting a drink upon arrival and here’s where you can really impress. This Huffington Post article has some fantastic suggestions for ‘seasonal sips’ which are both unusual and delicious. If any wine connoisseurs are present, they’ll notice your wine of choice so make sure you take a look at food and wine expert Fiona Beckett’s website so you don’t get caught out.
Above all else, have fun, relax and enjoy this time in the great outdoors with your friends!