Sloanies are flawless hosts and hostesses throughout the seasons, but summer time provides all manner of opportunities for really pushing the boat out on the party front. In England, Sloanie entertaining in the summer months is all about divine picnics at Royal Ascot and Henley Regatta, lazy croquet afternoons and lavish BBQs in your country garden. Good food, great company and simple entertainment, without ever compromising on comfort or style. Here are our top tips for summer entertaining for Sloanies.
Dinky sprays of gypsophila or lavender in tiny mason jars, bold hydranega in big terracotta pots, rampant trails of ivy in hanging baskets… you get the picture. A Sloanie summer party needs florals. And if you’re entertaining away from home that’s no excuse for bringing some blooms along with you to stick on the table in an old teapot or hang from the corners of your gazebo in galvanized steel buckets. If you’re having a big party in a country garden, greet guests with handmade head garlands made of whatever’s growing in abundance. Here’s a tutorial on how to make them yourself.
It’s both trendy and ethical to eat local and seasonal, so choose your menu based on what’s growing in your part of the world right now. In the UK, a seasonal summer menu might include treats like sweet summer asparagus and plump courgettes, green salads full of peas, broad beans and vine tomatoes, rack of British lamb, haddock risottos, and tasty Cornish crab. We’re drooling over this asparagus salad with soft-boiled quails eggs, watercress and a touch of wasabi, and these courgette fritters with a fresh yoghurt dip. For pudding, summer Sloanie favorites are simple and natural: rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.
A great icebreaker for introducing new friends or even setting up potential love-matches, lawn games like boules or croquet are simple and fun. Old-fashioned games like this are also ideal for whiling away a lazy summer’s afternoon – they’re quintessentially English and have been played on country lawns up and down the country for over 150 years. Search flea markets or eBay for a vintage croquet set you can upcycle with a lick of fresh paint, or buy yours new from places like Amazon. Need a copy of the rules? Voila!
Draw up a simple seating plan or create place settings so everyone knows where to sit, and feel free to indulge in a little social engineering while you’re at it. Whether you’re encouraging like-minded souls to chat and network over starters or if playing cupid with two single friends, the seating plan is an often overlooked, undervalued element to a good party. Move guests about between courses if you’re hosting a larger group, by placing a second place setting underneath the first.
So there you have it: four simple tricks to become the ‘hostess with the mostess’ this summer! Happy entertaining, Sloanies!