For many people, entertaining in their garden stops as soon as the nights draw in and the weather cools down. This is completely understandable, but it does do a disservice to the outdoor space you own, which could be used for entertaining all the way through the year with these simple tips:
This may sound ridiculous, but it can be so easy for people to slip or trip in the garden without proper action being taken to make the area safe. Try to remember that your visitors do not know your garden like you do, so they may not know to avoid certain slabs because they move, or that it is impossible to see the path when the security lights switches off.
Any loose slabs or stones, try to replace them or fix them to make them safe, and any water features or ponds should be cordoned off and brightly lit. Lighting is the most important thing, and you can never light a garden too much when it comes to entertaining.
Invest in solar lights, candles, fairy lights and pay particular attention to areas with steps, drops or anything that could cause an accident if not seen by guests. Its also worth keeping pets inside where you know they are safe. With fire pits, barbecues and dark corners where you can’t see what they are up to, accidents can happen so they are better off inside.
Your guests will need to be comfortable to have a good time. The first thing you should do is make it clear to your guests that the entertaining will be taking place outside, so warm clothing is a must.
You could also make the theme ‘bring a blanket and a bevvy’ to save you the stress of trying to have enough blankets for everyone. Make sure the seating is comfortable and isn’t damp or wet, and have a basket of gloves and hats available which will not only be practical, but a very cute element to your party, especially if some of the hats are novelty! Entertaining in your garden in winter has never been so much fun.
Food & Drink
Don’t feel barbecues are limited to Spring and Summer. A barbecue can be great at any time of the year. In fact, barbecues go hand in hand with hot pre-made dishes like curries, mushy peas and chillis.
The only thing you need to make sure you do is equip yourself with accessories like heated pans and thermal pans that can keep food hot inside them, as the food will cool down quickly when it hits the cool outdoor Autumnal air.
One of the great pleasures of eating outside in the cold is the fact the food is hot and comforting so keeping hot food hot should be a priority. With your drinks, opt for spiced Winter cocktails using cinnamon and warming ginger.
With desert, make the most of your fire pit or chiminea! Have marshmallows available to toast, and create foil fire baked treats like banana, chocolate and rum or take a leaf out of America’s book and make s’mores.
Unfortunately, one of the casualties of great Winter parties is the interior of the house, which can often be on the receiving end of muddy feet as guests travel inside and out to go to the loo.
If you know your guests well, provide a mat at the door to the garden where they can leave their shoes and leave a sign asking them to remove the shoes before they enter the house. Alternatively you could place rugs, mats or even plastic (well secured) if you really want to ensure your carpets stay mud free.