Isn’t it amazing how well we adapt when we have to? Up until now, birthdays, anniversarys and special occasions were the perfect excuse to book a table at our favourite restaurant. Well, not at the moment. Summer celebrations lockdown style are more of a do-it-yourself affair with just our nearest and dearest. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make it special. And it doesn’t necessarily mean multiple deliveries from Amazon either. Keeping costs down is yet another fact of life this summer after all. So, let’s just use what we have, sprinkled with a little imagination.
Move the Furniture Outside
If you don’t already own a garden table, just move the kitchen table to a secluded, shady spot outside. Add a bench if you don’t have enough chairs for everyone, and add a few cushions to protect bottoms. A parasol, if you have one will provide shade from the sun and maybe a little bit of protection from summer showers. I did just this, while on holiday in France a couple of years ago, and yes, it rained there too.
Lay The Table Set for a Feast
Life’s too short not to use the best china, the saying goes. So put as much care into the table layout as you would inside. Use a tablecloth and napkins. Get out the best china. Polish the silverware. Arrange the flowers, and get creative with accessories. There’s something quite charming about mixing lace and white linen, with milkbottle vases and simple foraged flowers.
With a bit of luck, and weather permitting, the party might just go on into the night. So keep some blankets to hand, and make sure you have enough lanterns and candles to keep things cosy.
- Fill a bucket with ice to keep drinks cool and minimise trips to the fridge.
- Hang jam jars from branches for a cheap and cheerful way to use tealights overhead.
- Keep the menu simple so that the cook can also relax and enjoy the party.
- Use baskets and trays to transport food and utensils from the kitchen.
- Burn some citronella candles to keep the insects at bay.
- Put a rug (indoor or outdoor) under the table to provide a flat surface and keep toes away from any rising damp.
All images are courtesy of Sadolin.
Sadolin’s range of natural wood stains can be used to bring worn or old furniture back to life and is perfect for outdoor use.
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