Ten top tips for summer party vibes
Checklist: prepare for battle with the British summer
1 - Fruity drinks. Cocktails. Mocktails. You can't go wrong with homemade lemonade. Make tonnes of it. It's deliciously refreshing on its own and does brilliantly as a mixer too.
2 - BBQer. Yes, everyone loves a BBQ. But be sure to have someone (preferably professional) on hand to master it for you. That way, you'll avoid get the timings right, avoid poisoning everyone and get yourself out mingling rather than stuck behind the hot coals.
3 - Cold drinks. It's a must. So check that your venue has a very large freezer, ice making facilities or both. If in doubt, call in the experts, our friends at Majestic Wine. They have a free party service.
4 - Umbrellas / parasols / gazebos / teepees / marquees. You're risking friendships, family bonds and client relationships without them. Be ready for scorching sun or a minim monsoon. Either way, you need some cover. Ask us for help exploring the plethora of fantastic tent / marquee options out there.
5 - Ice cream. Plenty of it. This is the perfect opportunity to hire a gelato or ice cream van to pop down to your event. It will be the focal point of the party.
6 - Chairs. This is something all too often forgotten. Summer parties tend to be looooong affairs. So be sure there are some comfy places for your guests to take a pew.
6 - Music. So many fantastic options for live music. Be sure to explore the options with our friends at Encore.
7 - Wifi. Just because your event is outdoors, it doesn't mean you can forget the wifi. It's more important than ever (booking taxis, playing music through your smartphone, posting snaps to Facebook) especially in rural locations where 3G is unreliable.
8 - Sun lotion. Nobody wants to become the red lobster of the party. So, be thoughtful and place some sun lotion in the bathrooms so that your guests can avoid the burn.
9 - Water. For the way home. Be sure every guest gets some bottled water to take with them. They will tank you for it in the morning.
10 - Blankets. For some reason, London venues, bars and restaurants haven't yet really cottoned on to the idea of providing blankets for outdoor drinking and dining. Such a simple solution and avoids everyone huddling under the outdoor heaters.