Wednesday, 1 July 2015

A guide to throwing the perfect outdoor dinner party | Lifestyle

If you have a small home but have always wanted to host your own dinner party, summer is the perfect time to do it. Instead of having to cram everyone into your house, you can take full advantage of the warm weather by hosting an outdoor party.

That being said, it’s also important to have a contingency plan in place should the heavens open. Having a gazebo hidden in your shed is ideal, as if the worst should happen, you can pop it up and continue serving up the food.

To help you throw the perfect outdoor dinner party, we have put together a few tips that you might find useful.


Make things as easy as possible:
This goes for all dinner parties - indoor or outdoor, always make things as easy for yourself as possible. Cooking food for a lot of people can be stressful, so it’s important to do everything you can to take the stress out of it.

One of the best ways to make things a little less pressured is to prepare as much of your food beforehand as possible. Desserts, side dishes, canapes, and even parts of the main dish, can be prepared the day before.

Allow guests to serve their own drinks

When you are busy trying to ensure that nothing burns, having guests asking for drinks top ups every five minutes is a nightmare. That’s why having a drinks table with various drinks and glasses on for guests to help themselves to is ideal.

As well as having a variety of soft drinks on offer, having jugs of ready made up Pimms and Sangria is perfect. This way your guests can help themselves to drinks as and when they want them, and you can focus on what’s going on in the kitchen.

Don’t leave the dinner wine on the drinks table, save your bottle of Australian shiraz or chardonnay for pouring at the table. You can either pour this yourself or give a guest the task of dealing with it.

Ask your children to serve the canapes

If you have little ones at home and they want to be involved, why not ask them to serve the canapes for you? You can either buy these ready made or make them yourself - it’s up to you.

As long as your kids are old enough to carry a tray around, they should be fine serving canapes. Plus, by getting the kids to lend a hand, this should take some of the pressure off of you.

Don’t sweat the small stuff

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If something goes wrong, don’t get stressed out about it. You might feel upset or embarrassed, but it’ll be something to laugh about later.

So what if you burnt the bread or served the dessert without the ice cream, no one will care. If you get stressed out about the small stuff, more and more will go wrong. If something bad happens, take a deep breath and deal with the situation calmly.

Organising a dinner party can be a lot of fun, just make sure you prepare some of the food in advance, and everything should be just fine.


  1. Thanks for the tips - we've got a couple of dinner parties coming up and with this heat we'll be sitting outside!

    Helen x

  2. Oh if only I had outside space to spill over into!

    Lisa | Not Quite Enough