Saturday, July 20, 2013

How to Master the Art of Outdoors Entertaining

With the right planning and accessories, it is possible to entertain outdoors all year round. The weather can be difficult to manage, but you should never let a bit of rain or snow prevent you from holding a party on your patio. Instead of organizing a party in your front room, move the party outdoors and stop worrying about the ruined carpets.


Shelter from the Elements

In an ideal world, on the day of your garden party the weather would dawn bright and sunny with not a cloud on the horizon. Sadly life is not always that accommodating and more often than not, rain can end up ruining a lovely barbecue. But with a bit of careful planning, there is no reason why the party can’t continue even if it’s raining. A retractable patio awning or cover is the perfect solution for homes in variable weather zones. If the weather turns nasty or it starts to rain, you can open up the cover. The same applies if it is very hot—a patio awning will protect your guests from sunburn.


Patio Heaters

Patio heaters are perfect for cool summer evenings and chilly winter nights. Patio heaters won't turn your terrace into a Caribbean beach, but they will take the edge of things and help to prevent guests from developing hypothermia.


Food and Drink

Unless you are teetotal, it is always a good idea to provide a good assortment of food and drink. A party won't be much of a party without lots of delicious food and alcohol. You could provide some snacks, or even a BBQ if there is plenty of room. Even if it's freezing, as long as you have a good supply of alcohol, your guests won't even notice the sub-zero temperatures after a while.


Musical Entertainment

Conversation should not be overrated, but some background music is a nice touch. Pop, rock, classical or jazz, are all appropriate choices, although it may depend on the age of your guests. For larger outdoor extravaganzas, you could even hire a band or a string quartet. Or if you are musically inclined, get your guitar out and play some tunes. Karaoke is another fun idea for a party outdoors. Just remember to invite your closest neighbors so they can't complain at being kept awake all night thanks to some out of tune renditions of “It's Raining Men”.


Lighting Effects

Since most parties tend to carry on into the small hours, lighting is very important. Without some kind of lighting, guests could fall into the pond or end up in all kinds of bother in the dark corners of your garden—possibly with the wrong person. To avoid such calamities, think about the lighting before daylight fades. Solar powered fairy lights are a nice touch, as are post lights at various points around the garden. Alternatively, light some citronella candles and place them on tables and the floor to keep the biting insects at bay.
Impromptu summer parties can be enormous fun, but for maximum enjoyment, plan your party in advance. You don't have to spend a fortune. With the right selection of food, drinks and guests, your party will be the talk of the street.

About the author
Nancy Baker loves entertaining, particularly during the long hot summers. Her parties are always legendary, but since she discovered the joys of retractable patio enclosures, her parties have reached a whole new level of fun!

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