Feel the garden party tingle this winter
During wintertime, the temptation is to batten down the hatches, turn the heating up to the max and enjoy cosy nights snuggled up on the sofa. But with the right preparation, and the right frame of mind, there is no reason not to make the most of the snowy season. We take a look at what it takes to provide entertainment with a tingle-factor – a winter garden party!
Let there be light
First, light up your garden. Dotting lanterns around, and festoons of carnival bulbs, will make your garden much more inviting than a dim winter space. Lights can be hung from trees, strung along your house walls and along the edges of outdoor buildings.
It’s time to remove the covers from your patio furniture. You can make it much more inviting by draping autumnal rugs and throws over the back of chairs. Don’t forget to add some spares in case your guests want to cover their knees or wrap cold shoulders.
If you don’t have patio furniture, hay bales make a great alternative. Again, cover them in rugs to keep your guests as comfy as possible. You could even make a table from a small stack of hay bales, covering it with a table cloth before adding candles, branches and pinecones as decorations. A table also provides a good place for paper lanterns and tealights, which create a beautiful, twinkling effect.
Of course, you must keep your guests reasonably warm. There are some great fire pits available on the market to showcase your flames. And chimineas are perennially popular.
You could of course build your own fire, which will be one of your winter garden party’s best-loved features.
No party is complete without great music. If you’re hosting one around Christmas, you’ll be spoilt for choice for festive tunes. Of course, you may have other ideas. Carols provide a completely different atmosphere, whether they’re sung live or piped through speakers. And, if you choose not to focus on Christmas, you could create your own themed party. Thanks to best-selling books on hygge and lagom, Scandinavian culture is on-trend in the UK. You could even suggest people wear their ski suits, which would add a little Alpine chic.
As well as adding to the atmosphere, music can also encourage people to sing and dance, which will keep them warm as well as keeping other guests entertained!
Food glorious food
One thing is for sure: people will want to eat some piping hot treats while attending a winter garden party. Your choice of food may very well depend on your theme. Rich fondues, raclette and tartiflette are perfect for a ski theme, for example.
Alternatively, you could offer a hearty soup, roast vegetables or kebabs seared over a sizzling hot barbecue grill. If you’re still looking for some al fresco inspiration, read Cornelius Veakins’ new recipe. A smorgasbord of cheese provides a popular treat. As does a chocolate fondue, especially if there’s a selection of marshmallows to toast and dip in.
With the lights twinkling, the fire roaring, food sizzling and good tunes wafting through the wintery airwaves, there’s only one thing you need to put some icing on your uber cool garden party: a dusting of snow. We can only cross our collective fingers and wish for this to happen.
Enjoy a winter garden party the Redrow way. With food, warmth and plenty of good company.