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Throwing the perfect garden party

What better way to enjoy the great British summer than to organise a garden party? Whether it is a family barbeque, or a more sophisticated soiree, this guide will provide some handy tips to help make your event one to remember.

Firstly, decorate your garden using brightly coloured bunting, lanterns, solar powered lights and balloons. The family can help by making paper chains, a cheaper alternative to bought bunting. Themed parties are great fun - why not try 'classic British' or 'Hawaiian'? All decorations, food and entertainment can revolve around an idea of your choice.

Old fashioned entertainment such as apple bobbing and limbo are both cheap and easy ways to amuse your guests. Prizes, like homemade sauces, jams, chutneys or goody bags, can be given to those who win. Remember a good summer playlist is vital to play throughout.

Now your garden is party-ready, next consider your food and drink - both fundamental to your event's success. You can create your own cocktails or mocktails and have fun naming them. Arrange to stack and cool drinks in a bucket of ice and ask guests to help themselves.

The greatest thing about alfresco eating is using the barbeque; the food is both fun and easy! Here is some food for thought - every barbeque starts with the basics, burgers, hot dogs and kebabs, however, those who are feeling more adventurous could attempt fish or marinated ribs. You can also prepare a side salad with coleslaw and potato salad, all of which can be made from scratch. For desert, make your own flavoured ice lollies or prepare strawberries and cream. Ask your guests to make or bring their favourite cake for everyone to enjoy. In the evening, wrap up warm, you could light a chimnea and treat yourself to some toasted marshmallows in front of the barbeque or fire.

Out-door eating

When preparing and cooking food it is important to remember safety and hygiene; more information can be found on the NHS summer health web page

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