Entertaining

6 easy entertaining ideas for summer    

Make the most of the warmer months with alfresco dining in the sunshine.
Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Corina Koch

Summer entertaining is all about embracing the outdoors. Think laidback garden picnics, long lunches, and balmy afternoon drinks with family and friends.

The secret to a successful alfresco event is creating a relaxed and welcoming environment. From weather-proof tableware to delicious refreshments, there are a variety of ways to transform your outdoor spaces into an entertainer’s delight.

Below, we’ve stacked our best expert tips and creative ideas to help you host a fuss-free summer gathering.   

1. Comfortable seating

For garden picnics, lay out a couple of durable rugs in gorgeous designs. (Image: Miss Amara)

First up, ensure there is an array of comfortable seating for your guests, whether it’s in the form of a picnic rug, cosy cushions, or lounge chairs. Choose a location with plenty of natural coverage (like the base of a large tree) or bring your own outdoor umbrellas to provide ample shade.

2. Outdoor games

Break up the drinking and feasting with some lively activities. Aside from the classic lawn game bocce (which always guarantees a good time), stock up on a couple of leisurely games everyone will enjoy. The wood-chucking game Finska can be played on any surface — from grass to sand — and comes in a range of sweet colours to brighten your summer.

3. Refreshments station

Tip: create a drinks station using a large wicker basket or chic cooler bag. (Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Corina Koch)

Alfresco dining calls for seasonal snacks and refreshing drinks. Our non-negotiable refreshment? Orange juice. Serve it straight for the kids or mix with prosecco for a sparkling mimosa.

To beat the ‘sugar rush’, the Grove Juice range is crafted from 100% natural juice, with no added sugar or artificial flavourings. From orange with pulp to cloudy apple, mandarin, and the delicious apple, mandarin and passionfruit blend, each juice is the perfect drop for a garden brunch.

4. Summer hits

Create a playlist of music that suits the mood of your alfresco affair. Whether it’s a laidback lunch or an afternoon barbecue, a summer soundtrack can elevate the ambience in an instant. Use a water-proof speaker, and make sure the volume is set at a comfortable background level for easy conversation.

5. Stylish tableware

Take inspiration from this bright and cheerful tablescape for your summer event. (Photography: Brigid Arnott / Styling: Corina Koch)

When it comes to outdoor dining, leave the silverware at home. Instead, opt for easy-to-clean and reusable tableware, such as machine-washable linen napkins and tablecloths, bamboo cutlery, and weather-resistant containers for food storage. Bonus points if it all matches a specific style to create an aesthetic scene fit for the ‘gram.

6. Handwritten décor  

If your event is less ‘picnic in the grass’ and more ‘three-course luncheon’, you might want to consider handwritten menus and name cards. Creating personalised décor is a simple hosting idea that adds a thoughtful and unique touch to your event. Plus, they can be offered as special keepsakes for your guests to take home and cherish.

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