Use this guide to help get you started with the need-to-know of planning a truly memorable garden party:
The Perfect Menu
At a garden party, the general rule is that fresh tasting foods and thirst-quenching drinks are the biggest hits. For this reason, veggie and fruit platters with chilled dips always go down well with guests, as do cucumber sandwiches, egg mayonnaise sarnies, salads and chilled pea or watermelon soups. Fresh seafood dishes will also hit the spot with guests, so consider adding grilled shrimp scampi, crab cakes, seared sea scallops or poached salmon with cucumber, cress, and caper sauce to the menu.
When it comes to drinks, the colder the better. Home-made lemonades and punches are ideal for beating the heat, while sangria, beer and chilled champagne are the best alcoholic choices for your garden party.
Don’t forget about dessert either: lemon curd tarts, fairy cakes and Victoria sponge cakes are tasty garden party treats.
Making Sure Serving Goes Smoothly
A little decorating and table preparation can go a long way in making guests feel at home in your garden. After all, you don’t want them to sit awkwardly at the table whilst you run inside to retrieve an extra fork or a cold beer from the refrigerator. Use seasonally-themed trays, platters and jars to help you carry the food from your kitchen to the garden area. This Portmeirion ‘Spring Days’ platter is a perfect example.
|Portmeirion Spring Days Rim Platter|
|Kath Kidston Cutlery|
While it may be tempting to buy disposable plates, cups and utensils for the occasion, stick with your regular kitchen dishes and silverware instead: they’re sturdier than the plastic variety, and more economically friendly. An energy efficient dishwasher is a must-have for facilitating easy clean-ups, as industry standard holds up to 12 place settings in one load and uses less energy than washing up by hand. Use machine-washable linens as tablecloths, and in the inevitable event that a spill occurs, make sure to react quickly so that it doesn’t set. Consider moving your compost and recycling bins temporarily outdoors for the event so that guests can toss their trash easily while still being eco friendly.
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