Most of us are spending more time at home than ever before. We’re now months into lockdown, and for many, the garden has become an oasis of calm and serenity amidst the uncertainty. As we start to see green shoots, and measures are eased, nothing is more exciting than the prospect of seeing friends and family. If you’re keen to make the most of your garden, and you love to entertain, here are some incredible ideas for outdoor events for small groups.
Afternoon tea is a British tradition, and a tea party is a wonderful opportunity to invite a few friends over for a socially-distanced catch-up. You can stick to a classic menu of sandwiches, scones and cakes or put your own spin on old favourites and embrace a different theme. With a garden party, you can be creative with decorations and place settings and you can really make the most of your outdoor space. Use ornate cake stands, mismatched China cups and saucers and patterned tablecloths for a whimsical Alice in Wonderland vibe, or go for something more rustic with floral cups and teapots and gingham cushions and tablecloths. If you’re not a baking maestro, but you’re keen to learn all about afternoon tea and create some homemade delicacies, there are some fantastic resources and step-by-step recipe guides available online. Popular cake choices include Victoria sponge, fruit cake, macarons and miniature muffins. Don’t forget to stock up on tea before your guests arrive. You might want to try a couple of different blends, for example, English breakfast tea, Earl Grey and Assam. Some people prefer herbal and fruit teas, so it’s a good idea to offer a variety.
The races are still running, but for the moment, no spectators are allowed. If you enjoy going to the races with friends and family, you don’t have to miss out on the thrill of getting dressed up and watching the action unfold. You can set up an outdoor screen or relocate your TV to your patio and invite a few friends to come racing with you. Embrace the opportunity to dust off hats and glad rags and if you fancy a flutter, use an online account to place a small wager. If you’re keen to go the whole hog, you can set up your own bar or Pimm’s tent and buy or make themed decorations, such as a winning post.
Barbeques are a summer staple, and you only have to stick your nose out of the window to smell the distinctive odour of grilling wafting across garden fences when the mercury rises. The beauty of hosting a summer barbeque is versatility. You can cater for all tastes, preferences and dietary requirements, putting on a delicious spread that your friends and family will enjoy. If you’re hosting, take full advantage of your entertaining area. If you’re pushed for space, for example, you only have a 2-seater bench, you can provide additional seating for a few friends using oversized floor cushions or a picnic blanket. Gazebos are a fabulous addition to any British garden, as you never really know what the weather has in store. With a gazebo, you can shelter from the rain or take cover from the midday sun.
Up and down the country, children and parents are missing out on one of the highlights of the summer term calendar, sports day. If you have kids, and they’re upset about the change of plans, why not host your own mini event at home? You can turn your lawn into a temporary running track, grab some eggs and spoons from the kitchen and turn pillowcases into makeshift sacks. You can also provide drinks and snacks to keep your athletes fuelled and you can give out medals, certificates and badges for the winners. If you’re missing friends and family, you can also broadcast the event online or even challenge members in other households to try and beat your times. For older children and teens who love sport, you could host a mini badminton, short tennis or basketball tournament or try and recreate your own version of Euro 2020.
With social distancing measures in place and many of us spending more time at home than usual, our gardens have become havens of peace and tranquillity. If you’re keen to make the most of your outdoor space this summer, and you want to reconnect with friends and family, hopefully, these fabulous al fresco events for small parties have given you inspiration.
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