Throwing the perfect summer dinner party can be one of the best and equally, more stressful times of the social calendar. For many, the summer holidays don’t really begin until the kids have left school and by our reckoning (and recent 4am wake up calls) that’s now! 

Summer is rarely ever perfect on these shores, but with our tips, you can really get into that hosting a dinner party spirit, especially one that is simple, fun and importantly being present at! We looked at what you need to throw a great summer dinner party, putting on a stress-free evening that you’ll love.

Table decorations

One of the keys of a summer dinner party is that you get to (hopefully) enjoy the outdoors. Well, with that said you can really up your entertaining game with some fantastic table decorations, all of which add loads of character and colour to your table! What’s the simple and best way to do it? Flowers! Stick blooms in simple vases or in vintage bottles, mason jars or anything you have lying around the house and place around the table, garden, seating areas to really bring out some colour and fun!

Summer Dinner Party

Menu Game Plan! 

It’s obvious that we are going to talk about a menu for your summer dinner party – after all, we are a caterer! But having a game plan is essential to a stress free evening. Think mezze boards for simple entrés, think of them even for a dessert! Also, start thinking about the mains. People are looking to relax, that should include yourself, however there is fun to be had with a BBQ for example. Simple cuts of meats served with grilled vegetables prepared a few hours earlier and a good salad bar selection really make everything stand out. 

Remember, you can always bring in the experts to help with entrés and desserts taking the stress out for the evening as well!

Refill, please! 

Keep your guests happy with refills but with one major caveat; keep it light and clean! Your summer dinner party doesn’t need drinking drama, but it does need a good drink. Avoid sugary cocktails which take lots of time and instead think about pairing drinks for the meal. Start with something light, like a light, low-alcohol starter wine, such as a naturally fizzy Pét-Nat (a natural wine that is naturally sparkling – it’s all the rage), a fruity white or provence style rosé (so perfect with vegetables, seafood, and warm weather”), and a red that you can chill (like beaujolais, valpolicella or even a dolcetto).

Like we said, keep your summer dinner party simple to avoid stress!

Table decorations – part 2!

You have your flowers – in mason jars and old vases but there are some other things that you need as well! Glasses, water jugs, place mats, napkins? Well, yes to all the above, make sure you have enough of each item for your guests and if you don’t, you can pick up some great bargains at IKEA and other online retailers that really don’t cost a lot and can make your table just pop with decorations that will please all of your guests.

Extra seating

This can be really simple and not cost a lot of money either – plus you can use it beyond your summer party anyway! Blankets, pillows, anything that you can find that can add as additional seating on the outside lawn, bench, stonework at your home will make all the difference to you and your guests. “The best parties we’ve catered have been those where people take ownership of the environment – sitting on a lawn with their food, a glass of wine and some cheese pleases nearly everyone!” Alex Lawlor.