With the clock firmly set to British Summer Time (even if the weather might suggest something different!) we’ve been turning our minds to planning for the warmer months. While the sun can sometimes be unpredictable in the UK, there’s one British tradition we love to embrace in the summer months, and that’s the garden party. On those occasions when the weather is on your side, there’s nothing nicer than heading outdoors on a balmy afternoon and enjoying a genteel spread of tea, cake, sandwiches and a glass or two of Pimms. So while summer might still seem a while off, this week we’re celebrating the great British Garden Party and sharing some of the ranges we think are made for this occasion.
If you’re drawn to all things kitsch, you’ll love our Fancy That! collection, a range of tableware and accessories that brings some real zing to summer celebrations. With its breezy, ‘50s-style design and bold colour palette, the pieces in this range complement an outdoor space filled with bright and beautiful blooms and freshly cut grass. Why not embrace the nostalgic theme even further, with retro-style food and old-fashioned games? Serve homemade lemonade, accessorised with a funky candy-stripe paper straw, traditional sandwiches and crowd-pleasing retro cakes and desserts such as a classic Eton Mess, pineapple upside down cake or trifle. A traditional cream tea always goes down a treat though do opt for homemade scones over shop-bought varieties – they’re so much nicer! Have a go at making your own jam and serve your creations from jars personalised with a Fancy That label to add some real charm to your spread.
Decorating your outdoor space offers a real chance to get creative and show off your outdoor space in a beautiful new light. For parties taking place later in the day we love adding some festoon lights to trees or around umbrellas, fences or walls – they make a bit more of a statement than fairy lights and cast a lovely glow across your outdoor space as dusk falls. A hanging tea-light chandelier is another thing on our summer wish list – they’re a lovely way to light your setting on a summer’s evening. Take a look at online retailers such as Cox and Cox for beautiful lighting ideas for your outdoor space.
No summer gathering is complete without some bunting and we have some pretty options to choose from in our Fancy That, Vintage Rose and Frills & Spills ranges. The latter features some exquisite cotton bunting you can use again and again, and features a delicate design of pink and white roses against a pastel green background.
If your outdoor space is filled with roses and you want to echo this in your décor, the Vintage Rose range is perfect. As the name suggests, a pretty rose motif characterises this collection, which is perfect for adding a touch of romance to your occasion. Alongside tableware essentials such as paper plates, cups, bowls and napkins, you’ll find everything you need to give your cakes and desserts a special touch. A rose and polka-dot cake stand makes an eye-catching display of dainty cupcakes or delicate sandwiches – top them with a cake pick for an extra flourish.
If your gathering is in honour of a certain special occasion – a birthday or christening, perhaps – be sure to include some party poppers; the Vintage Rose poppers combine fun with elegance and will be enjoyed by all ages. If you’re including little ones in your celebration, make sure they have some traditional outdoor games to keep them occupied; quoits, perhaps, or a pack of giant Jenga are good options. Failing that, if space allows keep an area of your garden free for ball games or set up a net for badminton.
If you’re outdoor space is looking a little lacklustre after the winter months, you don’t need lots of time on your hands to spruce it up in time for the summer. Fill some terracotta pots with easy-to-care for geraniums, pansies or sweet peas for an easy way to add some beautiful colour to your surroundings.