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Outdoor entertaining

Create an elegant look for outdoor entertaining that your guests will love

The best garden party ideas celebrate the summer, make the best of your outdoor space and create a truly memorable event for family and friends. After all, where better to create a special atmosphere for an extra special event than out in the open on a pretty patio or lawn in amongst the flowers?

Start your planning by deciding on a colour scheme. We've chosen white for our event -  it looks smart and is easy to theme. Crisp white linen and toile cloths get your table setting off to a perfect start. Add elegant white china and bundles of white-handled cutlery to echo the theme and, of course, white flowers are so elegant, transforming your alfresco entertaining space into something truly special.

A drinks table with a good supply of cocktail glasses, shakers and coolers is a must, so you don't run out of anything and can keep your guests' needs catered for. When it comes to party seating, transform garden benches in an instant by adding elegant cushions.

Hand-made invitations will add a personal touch and why not continue the theme with homemade place cards on the day? Think about lighting - as the light starts to fade, you may want to illuminate certain spaces, such as pathways, while creating atmosphere around seating areas. Outdoor fairy lights look pretty as dusk falls and will add some magical sparkle.

Create an outdoor serving table (pictured)
Create a focal point for pre- or after-dinner drinks with a dedicated serving table for glasses and nibbles. Keep the area cool and covered with a simple voile panel canopy.

Similar glasses and cocktail shakers
Canopy fabric
Bassano Apple at Designers Guild

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Country Homes & Interiors