Planning the Perfect Summer Garden Party

Jun 28, 2023

The internet is swimming with garden party ideas – some great, some not so much. To avoid the latter, we’ve created a simple guide that’ll ensure your party is perfection.

Listen up. The internet is swimming with garden party ideas – some great, some not so much. To avoid the latter, we’ve created a simple guide that’ll ensure your party is perfection.

From plush decorations and rich red wines to clever food and theme ideas, the aim is to steer away from ‘ok’. Wave goodbye to drab decorations and boring punch bowls and get ready to pull off something remarkable, mischievous... We want to raise eyebrows.

Step 1: Decide on a garden party theme

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. It sounds harsh, but careful planning is the most valuable tool in a host’s armoury. Planning the aesthetic of your summer garden party should be the first step of any successful event. Forget the tacky ‘day at the beach’ with hula skirts and leis draped over wobbly plastic chairs, or the dreaded ‘throwback’ party where guests are encouraged to come as the younger versions of themselves that they’d rather forget.

For the perfect garden party theme, you want curation, visually pleasing palettes, and simplicity at its finest. Vintage is having a revival of late – and while we’re all about embracing the latest trends, going down a bold route can bring a layer of difference and rougeness to your gathering. Set the scene with bold crimson red and black décor, velvety wildflowers and candle lanterns and turn your garden into a gothic hideaway. Who says you can’t go dark even in summer? Invite guests to frolic the evening away adorned in their best stylings, before gathering around a crackling log fire as the night draws in.

From muted pastels and florals to vibrant colours and patterns – the boho theme is another creative way to show off your hosting skills and transform your home into an artistic haven. The bohemian style originated in post-revolution France, where many artists were left poor and used mis-matched materials to create beautiful outfits, tapestries, and furnishings. Layer some time-stamped rugs about the garden and top them with floor cushions and crates. Hang tapestries and lights from trees and ask your guests to arrive in their best bohemian fare.

Plan the perfect garden party

Step 2: Finding the best decorations for a garden party

Once you’ve decided on a theme, whatever it is, you’ll need to get your decorations lined up. Firstly, whether it’s the floor or slightly above it (aka on a chair), you need to decide where your guests are going to sit. If you want to host a picnic-style garden party like the boho garden party idea we mentioned above, then gather a collection of rugs and comfy cushions, or even vintage picnic blankets. Don’t forget to consider your guests with creaky knees, though – in this case, mismatched chairs and patterned table runners will make a good substitute and carry the theme well.

Next on the garden party decoration ideas checklist – spare a thought for lighting. It doesn’t matter whether you plan on hosting your party in the middle of a bright summer’s day, artistic lighting goes a long way in bringing an event together. Also, chances are, the escapades are likely to carry on way after nightfall. Make sure whatever lighting you opt for – fairy lights, lanterns, table lamps – is warm and welcoming. Nobody wants harsh white or blue-toned lighting – it’s not flattering on the face and is much less inviting.

Finally, add the finishing touches – think tapestries, candles, flowers, and thoughtful decorative layers that work with your theme. You can also take the opportunity to use on-theme crockery and glassware to tie all the elements of your theme together. Speaking of glasses, you’re going to need something to fill those with…


Step 3: Creating your summer garden party menu

Now, finding food for a garden party is important, we know that, but what’s equally important are the drinks that pair with the dishes you’re serving. What better way to celebrate summer than sharing a bottle of whatever makes your taste buds dance? We’d recommend bottles of expertly crafted red blends or Cabernet – they offer tasting notes that suit a variety of different dishes, and there’s no need to chill these wines, so they make the perfect accompaniment to any summer garden party.

Bottles of red can famously be found nestled in picnic baskets alongside light finger foods such as bread and fruity vinegars, olives, and fruit, not to mention rich cheeses. And if your theme is a little less twee and a little more mischief, a good bottle of red is highly recommended. Our Apothic Red blossoms with notes of blackberries and blueberries – perfect for a party inspired by the forest and outdoors.

If you’re looking to present more of a meal to your guests, why not pair courses of herby meats or garlicky summer vegetables with the slightly richer Apothic Cab. This silky-smooth Cabernet Sauvignon is well suited to those late evening al fresco summer dinners when the sun is not beating down so heavily, and there’s a warm chiminea crackling away in the background. Picture you and your friends chatting under the summer stars, pairing this jammy Apothic Cab with tender lamb shanks and, to finish, a decadent dark berry gâteau.


Bringing it all together

Once you’ve made your way through the above steps, perused place settings and Googled garden party food ideas and recipes, it’s time to put your plan into action. Then, all that’s left to do is stock up on your favourite Apothic wines, pull together your guest list, and hope it doesn’t rain – we’re sure two out of three of those things will go off without a hitch! Prepare to wow…


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