How to host the perfect garden party – whatever the weather

Pimms, finger food and bunting. Rain or shine, our top tips will help you host the perfect garden party to celebrate summer.

It wouldn’t be a British summer if it didn’t rain when you’ve got all your friends coming over for a garden party. But don’t let the weather get you down. From waterproof speakers to indoor grills, check out our ideas for hosting the perfect garden party, whatever the weather:Garden Party

Food and drink

Whether you’re braving the barbecue or going for a classic finger food buffet, there’s plenty of food options for a garden party. 

If you’re barbecuing, start marinating meat and fish the night before to let the flavours infuse. Consider dividing your grill into two sides for meat-eaters and vegetarians, and having individual side tables heaving with accompaniments.Garden Party

For a more refined afternoon tea, set up the food table in the shade to minimise stale sandwiches and scones. Lay a patterned tablecloth down and present items on cake stands and fancy plates. 

No British garden party is complete without Pimms and lemonade. Mix up a big batch and keep cool with plenty of ice. Keep pre-cut cucumber, orange, strawberries and mint in the fridge, ready for refills. Get some jam jars and striped straws to nail the hipster trend.

Everyone can help themselves to drinks with this Kilner drinks dispenser.


Food prep

If you aren’t lucky enough to have a sous chef, preparing all the food for your garden party can be a long, arduous task. There’s always plenty of chopping, slicing and mixing to be done beforehand. And the last thing you want is to still be prepping when your guests arrive.

Save tonnes of time by getting a multipurpose food processor to do most of the hard work for you.

Food preparation

This Kenwood FPM260 Multipro has 22 functions to chop, slice, grate, whisk and liquidise your ingredients. Made from high quality stainless steel, the various accessories are all dishwasher safe. Plus, the Multipro has a space-saving design so you’ll have plenty of room to manoeuvre.

Get the Kenwood FPM260 Multipro Food Processor


Dress your garden

Be inspired by Pinterest and take on a DIY project or just buy decorations and get creative with hanging them. You want to get the garden party atmosphere just the right balance of chilled and epic.

  • Break out the classic British bunting to create a summer fete feel
  • Use strategically placed candles and lanterns to line walkways
  • Hang strings of fairy lights overhead to twinkle as dusk falls
  • Arrange cut flowers in little vases on side tables to show off the flora of your garden
  • Mix and match seating to make sure there’s enough to go around - picnic blankets, bean bags and deckchairs are all great options


Garden party soundtrack

Set the mood for your garden party with atmospheric music. Whether you’re blasting out the summer’s top pop hits or going for a relaxed grown-up vibe with some jazz, music is the heart and soul of the party.Summer garden party

Create your own party playlist with people-pleasing music to last well into the night without you having to worry about being DJ. Guests can also share their own music with a Bluetooth speaker. 

Find the best place to put your speakers so the music fills your garden without deafening everyone on your road. This JBL Xtreme portable wireless speaker can be placed anywhere, so you can find the best acoustics for your garden. And it won’t matter if you get caught in a sudden downpour as it has a splashproof casing.

Get the JBL Xtreme portable wireless speaker

JBL Speaker

Wet weather contingency plan

It’s inevitable. The week leading up your event will be nothing but clear blue skies – then comes the rain. Having a contingency plan for wet weather is essential for any British garden party. We’re all well-practised in the art of picking up the nearest objects and rushing inside as the first raindrops fall.

You don’t need much planning to ensure that the party can carry on inside. And if you’re prepared, a downpour won’t put a downer on your plans. 

  • Set up a gazebo to create more ‘inside’ space
  • Continue the lights and bunting decorations inside for a seamless transition
  • Set your smart lighting to create a cosy atmosphere
  • Dry off your wireless waterproof speaker and it won’t miss a beat of your playlist
  • Replace soggy bean bags with sofas and extra pillows
  • Swap the barbecue for an indoor grill

Try this Sage by Heston BlumenthalSage Heston Blumenthal Grill

More top tips

  • Save valuable fridge space by filling buckets or paddling pools with cold water and ice to hold bottles and cans of drinks
  • Paper plates and cups mean no washing up and no breakages, so you won’t have to spend hours cleaning up the next day

If you’re going to be rowdy, send a note round to your neighbours with a friendly warning and invite them round!

Find everything you need to host the perfect garden party this summer