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How to Throw the Ultimate Garden Party

Words by Emilie Dock

Hoping to turn your garden into the hottest ticket in town? You’ll need more than a neatly manicured lawn. From the very best outdoor kitchen equipment (pizza en plein air, anyone?) to quick and easy cocktails recipes, here’s everything you need for a fabulous season of alfresco entertaining.

The Food

Your menu can be simple or elaborate, but if it’s cooked outside, over an open flame, everyone is happy – including you. The last place you want to be when the sun is shining is inside manning the stove.

Option 1: Fire Up the Grill

With plenty of grill space to cook for a crowd, Weber’s Master-Touch GBS E-5750 charcoal barbecue with in-built thermometer will see you through many years of sun-dappled feasting. The porcelain-enamelled bowl and lid are deep, meaning you can cook larger cuts, and two charcoal baskets promises greater temperature control, whether you’re grilling directly or indirectly. Naturally, it caters to smoking too, but the model’s Gourmet BBQ System (GBS) also enables you to replace the middle grate with a range of accessories, including a wok and Dutch oven. Our favourite handy detail, though? The Tuck Away lid holder, which ensures you can keep a cocktail in hand while cooking up a storm.  

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Option 2: Make It a Pizza Party

Everyone loves pizza; make a batch of classic dough (see below) ahead of time, set out a smorgasbord of gourmet toppings and invite everyone to create their dream pie with Ooni’s Koda 16 pizza oven. Running on gas for ultimate convenience and temperature control, it reaches 500°C in 20 minutes and will stone bake a 16-inch crust to perfection in 60 seconds flat. Hot, perfectly crispy Neapolitan pizza with charred bubbles and melted, gooey cheese – coming right up!

Ooni’s Signature Pizza Dough Recipe

Pizza on a wooden table

Makes 3 large 16" pizzas

364ml cold water
18g salt
20g fresh yeast (or 9.2g active dried yeast, or 7g instant dried yeast) 
607g "00" flour, plus extra for dusting

The Drinks

You can’t go wrong with Champagne and ice-cold rosé, but to set your party apart, consider serving a signature cocktail. Remember to prep everything beforehand – garnishes, glasses and all – to make it as easy as possible on yourself. And always provide a selection of soft drinks alongside.

  • Peach and Basil Fizz cocktail

    Peach and Basil Fizz

    Herbal basil balances the sweetness of juicy peaches in this thirst-quenching vodka and Prosecco concoction.

  • Lavender Old Fashioned cocktail

    Lavender Old Fashioned

    A seasonal twist on a whisky classic with two ingredients that are synonymous with English summer: lavender and mint.

  • Juniper and Fig G&T cocktail

    Juniper and Fig G&T

    Ripe, juicy figs are a delicious counterpoint to the more citrussy/peppery notes of gin – and make beautiful garnishes.

The Garden Furniture

If you entertain regularly, and for your own enjoyment, it’s worth investing in a permanent outdoor living setup. If you’re serving food, ample seating and a dining table are a must. And when the mercury dips, a heater will keep the party going long into the night.

Home Entertaining Boutique

The Home Entertaining Boutique

You’ve mastered the art of outdoor entertaining, now turn your attention inside with tips and ideas on everything from dinner parties to interior trends.