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Alfresco entertaining | Seven tips for hosting outside this summer

Never before have we looked forward to the warmer months with such fervour. The chance to welcome friends over for relaxed days lounging in the sun and evenings under the stars is enticing to all of us. Get ready for a summer of easy entertaining with these seven tips for making your alfresco celebrations the best they can be.

1. Create a garden bar

Your home garden bar is the perfect place to enjoy your favourite cocktails or a cold glass of rosé in the late afternoon sunshine. Making your guests feel relaxed is all about striking that perfect balance between a sense of care and effortlessness. Creating a feeling of occasion is not so much about creating an actual bar itself – although the sky’s the limit here and you could go for it if you wanted to. Instead, it’s all to do with using beautiful glassware and thoughtful touches to make your alfresco beverages feel special.

2. Hanging chairs and hammocks

These must-have bohemian garden accessories offer a comfy place to unwind, give full-body support and allows your guests to take the weight off their feet. It’s impossible to spend the afternoon swinging back and forth in one of these and to not feel young and carefree again.

3. Ample seating

You never know how many guests you’re going to end up inviting round at the last minute, so benches and sofas are great options for comfortably maximising seating. Blend your interior and exterior spaces by setting up an outdoor living room with seating sets that would look just as good inside as they would out and which your guests will be happy to sit on until the sun goes down.

4. Make it cosy

Have warm throws on hand for chillier evenings, as well as cushions and seat pads you can bring out to soften benches and make your guests feel cosy. These will also add colour and pattern to your garden seating. Outdoor rugs are also a great luxe addition too.

5. Light up the night

Whether inside or outside your home, lighting is an essential way of creating a warm glow and a magical atmosphere that your guests will love. With gardens and outside areas you can enjoy going a little wilder with your lighting and embrace an element of fun and whimsy. After all, these lights will be the backdrop to your summer parties and mini-festivals so they have to set the mood for slipping off shoes and dancing beneath the stars.

6. Warm it up

Oh, the British summertime! We all know that it’s notoriously unpredictable. During the day it can be scorching hot but by sunset temperatures can plummet. That’s why it’s great to have a fire pit, bowl or chiminea at the ready. Not only are these functional (they provide warmth and light), but they’re also fantastic for creating that cosy, gathered-around-the-campfire feeling, as well as for toasting marshmallows on. Yum.

7. Let nature flourish

It’s wonderful to bring all your creature comforts out into the garden and we’re big believers in making your experience as comfortable and stylish as possible. However, it’s also important to remember that the best and most beautiful thing about being outside is being closer to and more connected with nature. So, make sure you allow nature to flourish in your outside space. Hang a bird-feeder and enjoy watching your new visitors while you host an alfresco brunch. Plant bee-friendly flowers and enjoy their beauty whilst knowing you’re doing something good for the planet. And, just as with your summer plans, always, always allow room for a bit of wildness.

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