Three ideas for great summer get-togethers

Three ideas for great summer get-togethers

From a Royal-themed garden party to a community street shindig, here’s how to host friends and neighbours for a gathering to remember.

From a Royal-themed garden party to a community street shindig, here’s how to host friends and neighbours for a gathering to remember.

Summer is the perfect time to host a party – with the sun out in force, everyone’s in the mood to socialise – plus you can hold it outside so your house doesn’t get ruined!

Whether you or a loved one are celebrating a big birthday, you want to build a sense of community spirit with your neighbours, or you need to reconnect with friends you may have lost touch with over the years, a summer party gives you the perfect opportunity to gather everyone together for a good time.

Regardless of the reason for your soiree, if you’re stuck for inspiration, we’ve got three ideas for you…

1. Eurovision party

The theme: It’s the cheesiest night of the year, but we can’t stop watching, so why not invite some friends round for an evening of international food and terrible music?

The food: Most European food is pretty straightforward to make, particularly Mediterranean, so why not provide a spread of antipasto? You could bulk it up with a big Spanish tortilla, which people can help themselves to – and, of course, a cheese platter, to fit in with the genre of music! Alternatively, you could assign each guest to a country taking part and ask them to bring a national dish.

The décor: It’s all about the flags for Eurovision. Got grandkids? Why not get them to research and draw as many of the countries’ flags as possible, and then hang them around the house.

The dress code: Kitsch glamour of course – think pop star style gone slightly wrong.

2. Royal garden party

The theme: Summer’s when the Royals are out in force, at the races, at the Queen’s Garden Party and, of course, at the Royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Take a leaf out of their book to create a Best of British traditional garden party.

The food: What could be more traditional than afternoon tea? It’s also pretty cheap to make. Whip up some sandwiches on white bread, cut the crusts off and cut into tiny triangles – cucumber with butter and a sprinkle of pepper is a classic. Then pile up some little cakes – eclairs, brownies, fairy cakes, custard slices and so on. Serve with pots of tea in chintzy china.

The décor: Bunting is your friend. Hang fairy lights and bunting around the garden, and if you have traditional tea cups or cake stands hiding at the back of a cupboard, now is the time to use them.

The dress code: Fascinators, floral frocks and pretty sandals. Think wedding guest (but a bit more comfortable, as you do want to enjoy yourself!). And of course, all those fine manners are improved by a posh, whiter-than-white smile. Try Oral-B 3D White Luxe Pearl Shine for quick-acting stain removal and whitening.

3. Community street party

The theme: Bringing your community together for a day of dancing, music, food and gossip feels like a wonderful achievement, and it’s a great way to get to know your neighbours. You’ll need to plan a month or two ahead to make sure you have road permissions in place and so on – but, once it’s arranged, it makes for a memorable day that will really help bring your community together, and could even turn into an annual event.

The food: Ask your neighbours to bring their signature dish and some drinks – everyone likes to show off a favourite, so just put a big trestle table out with some paper plates and a buffet of everything. Also fill a couple of big tubs with ice, and put bottles and drinks in there to keep cool.

The décor: It’s probably a good idea to get some help on this, but once you have your street barriers up, put the crucial elements in place first: a big food and drink table, a spot for a band or DJ, and a safe space for the kids to play, with some games on offer. Once the structure is there, you can put up bunting and balloons for a classic British street party vibe.

The dress code: Comfy and casual is the best approach – this is about relaxing with your neighbours, so while it’s nice to make an effort, there’s no need to stand on ceremony.

Will you be throwing any parties this summer? We’d love to hear your tips for fun and fabulous entertainment…

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