As today is the 4th of July and therefore Independence Day, we know that from now until the very end of the weekend, our American friends will be celebrating in style with family gatherings, garden parties, BBQs and fireworks. Thinking about all that fun to be had stateside has inspired us to share the CENA team’s top 5 ways to make your outdoor party go off with a bang!


A floral masterpiece

If you love a floral table then why not use the in-season blooms from around the garden to brighten up your place settings? Use leaves, stems and branches too to give your table decorations structure and shape. You could even dry your own rose or delphinium petals to make a pretty and fragrant confetti to scatter on the table. In the Autumn including shed leaves will add beautiful vivid red, burnt orange and gold shades to the design. Plus, a carved pumpkin always makes an eye-catching addition as dusk falls.


Taking the indoors… outside

This is a really fun way to give your outdoor dinner party the ‘wow factor’ – take the indoors out into the garden! That might mean laying a section of carpet or matting in the garden and carrying your indoor table and chairs out. Use a candelabra, cushions, real plates, tablecloths and metal cutlery to add to the atmosphere! Your outdoor kitchen will allow you to cook up a dinner party-worthy meal and it’s even worth dragging a sofa outside ready for post-supper lounging in true comfort. Just keep an eye on the weather forecast if you decide to leave it all out overnight…


An ice cream bar

An ice cream bar isn’t just for the kids! Even adults love the idea of being able to concoct and snaffle their very own bespoke ice cream sundae. Plan to have a good selection of delicious ice cream flavours, making sure you include both chocolate/caramel flavour as well as fruit or sorbet options. Then gather some scrummy fillers to add – think homemade brownies, chocolate chunks, crisp meringue, strawberries and fresh mango. Finally supply a range of toppings – from salted caramel sauce to raspberry coulis, your imagination really is the only limit!


A festival in your garden…

With memories of last weekend’s Glastonbury Festival still fresh in our minds, try arranging a mini festival themed party. If you are a talented bunch then invite friends and family to perform. Or, if you are all sufficiently musically-challenged, just make sure you’ve got good music playing all day long! Have an outdoor bar set up and keep those fingers firmly crossed for good weather.


Play lawn games

Organised fun might give some guests the nervous jitters, but once you get started it’s guaranteed to liven things up a bit. Croquet is the THE classic English summer lawn game, but there is also badminton (you don’t need a proper net, just some string hung between two trees will do the trick!), bowls and rounders. It’s thirsty work playing competitive sport in the summer heat so make sure there’s plenty of Pimms for afters.


outdoor cooking party