The garden is a great space for entertaining, but it is often neglected outside of spring and summer. Short winter days and cold weather keep us indoors, often until at least March. However, hosting an outdoor garden party in winter is possible – with the right planning. So, get ready and gather your friends and family for a memorable seasonal event.
Be prepared for all weather
We never know what the winter will bring in terms of weather. You can go from sunshine to rain to snow in a matter of days. So it is best to be prepared for all weather when planning your garden party.
Hiring a marquee is a great way to ensure that your guests stay dry throughout the experience. It will also help to provide shelter in the event of an unexpected chilly breeze!
Create a cosy atmosphere
Just because you are outdoors do not mean that you cannot create a cosy atmosphere.
Prioritize warmth to ensure guests enjoy extended outdoor stays. You could put up outdoor heaters which can be powered by portable petrol generators or via an extension lead if your decking area is close to the house.
You should also provide plenty of blankets and cushions to keep the environment comfortable. Don’t forget to encourage guests to wear coats, thick socks, scarves, and gloves as well, as your body gets cold quickly when sitting still!
Make it magical with lights
Lighting is all important for your outdoor garden party because even in the daytime it is fairly dark, especially in the festive season around the winter solstice.
Stringing fairy lights above your outdoor space is an easy way to make it magical. You could also twist these around the table legs, or create nests of lights that can sit on the tables. Candles – used with care – are a great way to enhance this enchanting atmosphere.
Especially if you are planning to play games, make sure that there is plenty of light to see once the sun has gone down. Invest in proper outdoor lights which range from battery-powered lanterns to rechargeable standing lamps.
Serve warming food and drinks
Cold snacks are easier to put together, but these will not be as inviting as warming food and drinks when you are dining outdoors in winter.
Batch cook an easy but hearty winter meal such as chilli con carne, a chicken and vegetable tray bake, or slow-cooked brisket, and make sure there is plenty to go around. Try to incorporate seasonal flavours such as root vegetables and rich spices for extra warmth.
Don’t forget the hot drinks as well. In addition to the usual post-dinner coffee, offer other steaming options like herbal tea, cocoa, and hot apple juice with cinnamon.