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How to Throw the Ultimate Summer Soiree

5th August 2020

What better way to welcome the summer season than by opening your garden to family and friends for a barbecue, dinner party or a laid back get-together? From the latest outdoor accessories and decorating ideas to mouth-watering recipes to please all tastes, here’s everything you need to know to throw the ultimate soiree for family, friends and loved ones this summer…

Create a Social Seating Area

Whether it is nibbles and drinks or a full blown four course alfresco menu, creating a stylish seating area outdoors will provide you with the perfect setting to hold your summer soiree. Our outdoor upholstery fabrics are ideal for creating comfortable sofas that can cope with inevitable spills and stains. Also never underestimate the power of a beautiful tablecloth to completely transform a dinner table.

From left to right: Festival Indoor/Outdoor Collection | Underwater Love Sheer Fabric | Big Stripe Indoor/Outdoor Fabric

Fire-up the BBQ

Nothing signals the start of summer quite like the tantalising smells of a barbecue in action. Utilising your barbecue can also take the hassle out of cooking for a crowd – simply combine a few good cuts of meat with a simple homemade marinade and add a trusty friend willing to oversee the action (your guests will fight over the job, trust us.) You can’t go wrong!

Right: John Lewis 4 Burner Deluxe Gas BBQ with Side Burner

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Barbecue Recipes

Butterflied Leg of Lamb

Jamie Oliver

Halloumi & Sweet Potato Burgers

Delicious Magazine

Grilled Whole Trout

The Healthy Foodie

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Lay Your Table

Even if you only plan on sitting down for one course, a beautifully laid table adds such a sense of occasion to any summer party. Make your guests comfortable with cushions or seat pads, and don’t be afraid to go over the top with table décor; bunches of freshly picked flowers, homemade centrepieces or candlesticks in wine bottles dotted along the table take mere minutes to prepare but will add a real sparkle to the proceedings.

Products from left to right: Springs Cushions | Garden Party Table Cloth | RHS Chelsea Flower Show

Summer Salads to Impress

Balsamic Asparagus & Cherry Tomatoes

 BBC Good Food

Warming Pesto Butter Beans

Deliciously Ella

Chicory, Carrot and Dill Coleslaw

Delicious Magazine

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Provide Drinks on Tap

Ever reached the end of a party only to realise you missed most of the action dashing around refreshing drinks or mixing cocktails? Encourage guests to help themselves by filling a drinks dispenser with a batch of homemade cocktail or set out a drinks trolley with spirits, mixers and garnishes so guests can make their own. This will mean you’re not constantly on top-up watch and will leave you free to mingle and enjoy the party.

From left to right: Garden Trading Drinks Trolley, Houseology | Garden Party Drinks Dispenser, Rex London | Outdoor Bar, John Lewis

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Mouth-watering Beverages

Orange & Basil Sparkler

 Good Housekeeping

Mock Sangria

Wall Flower Kitchen

Mint & Passion Fruit Rum Punch

Katie Cakes

Create a Designated Chill Zone

Set aside at least one area where people can sit and rest. Consider an outdoor rug, floor cushions or more relaxed seating such as deckchairs or bean bags. This is particularly beneficial for larger parties, where you want to make sure a certain area doesn’t get too crowded, but it will also allow guests to refuel, catch up with one another, and generally soak up the atmosphere of your event. 


Right: Indoor/Outdoor Rugs and Cushions by Weaver Green

Plan Ahead for Little Ones

If you’ve got children in attendance, plan some fun things ahead of time so you’re not subjected to a chorus of “I’m bored” just as your guests are arriving. A pop-up theatre playhouse will provide hours of entertainment and encourage children to take turns in putting on their own productions, while a simple set of lawn games will appeal to older kids as well – you may even find the adults can’t resist an opportunity to show off their skills!

From left to right: Theatre Playhouse with Matching Quilt, Cuckooland | Outdoor Garden Games by John Lewis.

Crowd Pleasers

Elderflower & Lemon Lollies

 Olive Magazine

Mini Raspberry & Chocolate Pavlovas

 Waitrose 

Watermelon Popsicles

Nutrition Stripped

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Keep Your Guests Toasty

If the sun’s setting and your party is still in full swing, keep your guests toasty with a fire pit or selection of warm throws.  There’s nothing quite like a crackling fire on a summer’s evening, and, when coupled with a generous helping of marshmallows, it will provide a memorable and intimate end to your evening for all your guests will enjoy.


From left to right:
Zamora Throw and Soria CushionGarden Trading Idbury Fire Pit Houseology.

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Add the Finishing Touches...

How to Plan a Summer Party
How to Plan a Summer Party

It’s often the little details that make a summer party run smoothly, from pretty decorations and evening lighting to choosing the right music. These little extras take hardly any time at all to plan, yet will make for the kind of event your guests will be begging you to recreate time and time again.


Left to right: aGLOW Bluetooth Outdoor Speaker & LED Light, Cuckooland | Homemade Fabric Bunting | DIY Mason Jar Candles

You May Also Be Interested In...

New Outdoor Fabrics Ready for Summer

Our range of indoor-outdoor upholstery fabrics are durable, stylish and above all adaptable. As the name suggests, they are ideal for both home interiors and adding colour and style to your outdoor space.

These outdoor furniture materials have come a long way. Their appearance and feel defy expectations as they are surprisingly soft whilst also being able to withstand all manner of weathering. Read more to discover our most popular collections and tips on how to style them inside or outside at home!

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