Article from the 2018-07-26, by Isabelle Diekmann
There's nothing quite like a British garden party. Green grass, blue sky and pink lemonade: summers were made for laughing with friends and enjoying the sunshine. Alternatively, since this is Britain, green grass, heavy rain and lemon drizzle cake – even if we can't rely on the weather, you can bet your bonnet the British garden party will go ahead regardless! We've put together some tips for designing the perfect summer barbecue venue, so that come rain or shine, you and your favourites can lounge together in your beautiful British garden.
Before we dive into all the different possibilities open to us, there are a few things to consider:
How big is your garden? Smaller gardens will benefit from fold-away furniture that can be easily stored away after the party, whereas clever lighting in a larger garden ensures that the party continues through the warm summer nights.
How many will you be hosting? Whether you prefer a cosy summer soiree with your closest friends or a lively barbecue with over 50 guests, it is important to have enough seating for everybody to be comfortable. Alternative seating options such as outdoor poufs, hammocks and blankets can add a relaxed atmosphere to a party of any size.
What flooring are you working with? Does your little patch of earth consist solely of grass, or do you also have a patio? Flooring such as gravel or decking also need to be considered when planning the flow of your party. Perhaps you will serve food on the decking and have boules on the grass with some blankets for onlookers to spread out on. Elegant metal designs look great on decking and grass, whereas on a hot patio beautiful wooden pieces can be a more comfortable option.
The heart of any summer party: garden tables laden with sizzling sausages, warm buns and the world's best homemade coleslaw.
The Flip Garden Table by Weishäupl (pictured) makes a fabulous central area, and can be used either as a sit-down table or a buffet table for guests to help themselves. Simple but beautiful in design, this sturdy table can also be folded away for easy storage in winter.
Use a side table such as the Central Folding Table by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec for Magis to offer guests some Pimm's with fresh fruit in glistening glassware.
For smaller areas, Fermob have reworked classic cafe designs from 19th Century France in their colourful Bistro Collection.
Lounging in the sun with friends: is there a better way to spend long summer days? Designers from around the world have set their eyes on building the perfect outdoor seat, combining comfort and beauty with weatherproof durability.
Nestled amongst the nature of your garden, Forest by designers Robby and Francesca Cantarutti for Fast is a garden chair with an unmistakable tree design, creating dappled light and playful elegance. Weatherproof in powder-coated aluminium, Forest is available in a huge range of colours, which can also be contrasted to make even more of a feature piece.
Outdoor stools such as the Ottoman from Hay's Palissade Collection can double up as side tables for drinks and nibbles, and picnic blankets such as Fida by Vial make a relaxed alternative to conventional garden chairs.
The Cacoon Swing Chair (pictured) can be bought with a frame or hung from an overhanging tree and is a perfect hideaway for children with mouths full of stolen biscuits!
Whether you have a sprawling garden or a petite patio, colourful textiles can set the tone for a party before the grill is even on.
French design company Fermob understands the effect of pattern and colour. Their Cabanon Collection uses playful two-tone patterns to create a freshness and joie de vivre in the form of comfy cushions and blankets. Available in bright, summery colours for outdoor use, the Fouta Palmyre beach towel brings French design to your outdoor space and is ideal for bringing summer charm to plain spaces.
As well as outdoor cushions and blankets, consider outdoor rugs to add texture to outdoor spaces. The Ruckstuhl Waikiki Outdoor Carpet makes an idyllic lounging area for guests to relax on and adds an exotic touch to any garden with its woven coconut fibres.
To ensure a memorable party come rain or shine, a large parasol with a UV protective layer is key. The Classic Parasol by Weishäupl (pictured) is available in a range of stylish striped designs or the classic natural white, meaning that the harmful rays from the sun are blocked while keeping the bright summery atmosphere. Made from polyacrylic Dolan, this parasol will also hold up against light rain if the weather turns.
Alternatively, the Shadylace Parasol by Droog creates a beautiful dappled light with its floral pattern. For nature lovers, a little bird made of resin is perched atop the parasol and when spotted serves as a delightful conversation point for guests.
Perhaps one of the most important considerations when throwing a garden party in the Great British summer is the weather. If the rain threatens to spoil your plans, the Sky Umbrella from MoMA guarantees blue skies - by displaying them on the underside of the umbrella! With a fire pit, some blankets and a few umbrellas, not even rain can stop you. (Although it's probably best to have a few indoor games ready, too!)
Lanterns, fairy lights, candles - as twilight falls, starry lights twinking around the garden give your party a cosy feel and add atmosphere regardless of how many guests you have.
Tea lights are a romantic option for adding light to your table. Experiment with votives to add style: the Wine Light from side by side features a candle on a wooden platform inside a wine bottle, perfect for the middle of the table, whereas the Kivi votives by Iittala are a more classic and colourful tealight holder for spot lights around the party.
Fairy lights are another great option, and can even be placed in mason jars to create a firefly dance effect. Happy Lights are handmade in Thailand with fair trade, and their unique design feauturing colourful yarn balls is greatly popular.
The Fermob Balad lantern (pictured) is battery powered and can easily be hung from trees or placed around the garden. The optional stands are available in as many different colours as the hooks on the lanterns themselves, meaning you can mix and match as you please.
Below, we've attached a range of products to inspire you with more garden party ideas. Whether it's a portable music speaker (Woof It by Sack It), some unique barbecue flavours (Jack Daniel's Wood Smoking Chips) or something else entirely, we're sure you'll find what you're looking for below.
So, that's all from us for now. We'd love to hear about your British garden party, send us a photo on Facebook or Twitter and let us know how it goes!
Article from the 2018-07-26, by Isabelle Diekmann