Garden party ideas: entertaining in the garden
Planning a get together this summer? We've got all the ideas you need for the ultimate 2023 garden party.
Ahead of the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, with the UK weather still gracing us with sporadic sunshine, nothing feels more exciting and well-deserved than an alfresco party with friends and family. Garden parties are one of the most important social scenes of the summer, so make sure you have all the supplies you need to make the most out of the sunshine. From comfortable seating to amazing food and unique entertainment, here’s how to throw a garden party to remember.
Garden party ideas
Make your garden party cozy
Whether you have a small garden or a large space to fill, there is a huge range of outdoor seating options on offer. Foldable chairs and cushions are great for balcony gardens, whilst a statement, corner sofa would look great in a bigger garden. Outdoor sofas for a garden party should be comfortable, but you should also think about fitting chairs in hidden away nooks and crannies where people can enjoy a new garden view or your planting.
And don't forget the accessories. Cushions and blankets are a great way to keep your guests warm and comfortable for an evening party, but if they aren’t wet/weather resistant make sure to store them away in an outdoor storage box before the end of the night. For afternoon gatherings, make sure to set out a parasol for those who want to keep cool.
Here are a few seating ideas and outdoor accessories that will fit perfectly in your garden party situation.
Faro Seating Set
You want your visitors to be comfortable and a versatile seating set up can be helpful for you and a nice surprise for them. Whether you're having just a couple of guests or a whole host, this garden seat lounger will be the perfect accompaniment to the garden party season. There are six adjustable back rest options, and the lightweight aluminium frame means you can move it to wherever you wish in the garden. The cushions are water repellent and have removable covers, and there are plastic floor protectors on the feet to protect it from wear and tear. The total dimensions of the soda are 192.5cm x 65cm x 62cm.
We've rounded up a series of other brilliant garden seating options too, if this one doesn't quite fit for you.
Globo Royal Hammock Set in Natura
- Buy now from Amazon (£1,529)
A heavy, but very robust and eye-catchingly designed hammock seat set, which is perfect for proper lounging at your garden party. Built to last, it's made from solid wood which is good for leaving out throughout the year, the maximum weight it takes is 200 kilograms. It's the sort of chair that adds to your garden, making a little snug corner beautifully attractive as a reclining spot. You'll be the talk of the garden party season with this hammock-cum-chair.
Don't miss our round up of the best hammocks for the garden.
- Buy now from Amazon (£1,529)
Weaver Green Provence Recycled Plastic Indoor & Outdoor Rug
We love Weaver Green, because they are stylish, durable rugs with a very eco-focused ethos. Made from recycled plastic bottles, the blankets feel like wool and are hand loomed. They are machine washable and perfect inside or outside. They come in an array of fetching colours and sizes, including dove grey and navy and are affordable too.
Here are a few more suggestions of the best outdoor garden rugs.
Habitat Metal Hammock
Everyone loves lounging in a hammock in the sun at a party. The trick is to pick the most sturdy, and nicely designed, so that people gravitate towards its luxury. This one from Argos looks great and is not too hard on the wallet. The frame is easily dismantled, and has a one year guarantee on the fabric and a two year guarantee on the stand.
More like this
Here's our list of top hammocks for the garden.
The Tartan Co. Rainbow Stripe Recycled Wool Picnic Blanket
This beautiful wool blend blanket is finished with a waterproof backing and has a leather picnic carrier for easy travelling. Make your guests happy to find a spot on the floor and with this lovely blanket that's easy to wash.
Here's our favourite garden blankets.
Gardenesque colourful garden parasol
- Buy now from Gardenesque (£299)
- Buy now from Gardenesque (£299)
Make sure your garden party guests are sheltered from the sun with a beautiful parasol. We love the colours on this parasol, which can be tilted and is controlled by an adjustable pole hinge. It's protected from winds by strong fibreglass ribs and comes in a fetching matching bag to make it easy to transport. You can put this straight into the ground, or use the metal parasol base on decking or patio areas.
Don't miss our parasols suggestions.
Choose a garden party theme
While not completely essential, themes are a great way to spice up your garden party. Whether it be a birthday party, a fancy high tea or a regular weekend, themes are a great way to get your guests involved. Dress your garden up in vibrant teal and magenta bunting, bring your succulents out from indoors, and serve up some salsa made from fresh tomatoes from your garden for a fiesta themed party, or set up some string lights and play some disco music for a 70s party. The possibilities are endless.
Truly Posh Garden Party Decorations Pack
Under Water LED Disco Light
Lay out a great garden party spread
Serve up a storm with the help of some stylish outdoor tableware - beautiful glasses, plates and mats can really help lift an afternoon's entertaining. Having a colour scheme is a great way of making a garden party feel even more special and guests will likely love any detail you put in for them. Botanical and floral-themed tableware can be a really nice way of reflecting what's going in the garden around you.
You could try serving up some seasonal, fresh food from your garden or pull out all the stops with personalised pizzas made with your outdoor pizza oven, a form of entertainment in and of itself.
Pols Potten Peony Glass Tumblers
Paxton and Whitfield Serving Board
Serve some delicious drinks with ingredients from your garden
We all know that a key to a great party is great drinks. Show off your gartending skills with some of our past cocktail recipes, or try out these unique drinks, perfect for keeping your guests refreshed and partying all night long.
Lavender French 75
- Make the lavender simple syrup by simmering 1/2 cup of water, 5-7 fresh lavender flowers, and 1/2 cups of sugar. Let steep for 1 hour and then strain out the lavender
- Combine 2-4 tsp lavender syrup (to taste), 4 Tbsp gin, 4 Tbsp champagne and a squeeze of lemon.
- Serve with bud of lavender
Cucumber Mint Lemonade
- Combine 1 cucumber, 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, and 1/4 cup honey in a blender
- Add 1/2 litre of cold water and a handful of fresh mint leaves
- Strain mixture into serving pitcher and add another 1/2 litre of cold water
- Serve and garnish with slices of cucumber and fresh mint leaves
Italian Greyhound Cocktail with Rosemary Sugar
- Combine 1 fresh rosemary sprig and 1/4 cup of sugar and spread onto a plate. Rub the edge of the glass with fresh citrus and garnish glass rim
- Fill the glass with crushed ice and add 2 ounces of gin, 4 ounces of grapefruit juice, and 1 ounce of Aperol or Campari liqueur
- Stir gently and serve with a fresh sprig of rosemary
Keep it lit
Keep the party going and stay warm as the sun sets with a cosy fire pit, some twinkling festoon lights, candles for the table and portable lights which means you don't have to faff with wires.
Candlelight is the perfect way of moving from afternoon to evening and of making your garden a little more magical for your guests. Lighting up trees and backlighting plants can also be a great way of increasing the atmosphere in your garden, don't miss our feature on garden night lights and lights for front gardens too.
Black Festoon Classic Lights
Cast Iron Fire Bowl
Carrie LED Outdoor Table Lamp
Entertain your guests
Make it a party to remember with these additional garden party accessories and activities. Spend the day playing garden games and spend the night in your very own garden cinema (and you could even show some garden-related films). Speakers are also a great way to keep the party going; there are a host of portable speakers and outdoor entertainment systems available these days for all your needs, but when looking for a speaker, go for robust, ideally weather proof and something that has great connectivity. The better your speaker connects with WiFi the further afield you can take it.
Anker Nebula Mars 2 Pro Portable Projector
Outdoor Projector Screen
Here's our round up of the best garden projectors.
Wooden Croquet Garden Game
Don't miss our piece on more garden games.
JBL Link Portable Smart Speaker
And if you're guests are having too much fun to go home...
Sometimes you just don't want the party to stop. If your outdoor movie runs too long or you had too many garden-inspired cocktails, set up a tent for a camping experience like never before. Set up some warm sleeping bags and maybe even bring some extra pillows and blankets for added warmth, but just be prepared that your guests may never want to leave!
3m Bell Tent - Canvas Lite 200
The Coulee II Twin Sleeping Bag
Katie is a Staff Writer for HomeStyle magazine and YourHomeStyle.uk. She previously worked on Gardens Illustrated magazine and has written for various other lifestyle magazines and brands. She particularly enjoys writing about indie and eco homeware brands, interior styles through the ages, urban gardening, and decor hacks for small spaces. She is also responsible for HomeStyle's buyer's guides, so you'll often find her testing out the latest homeware gadgets and kitchen appliances.
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