Summer’s almost over, but don’t despair. There’s still time for one final summer bash. Make it one to remember with these summer sendoff tips.
1. Fireside Soirée
Put your outdoor fireplace or fire pit to good use on your patio and gather your friends and family for an outdoor fireside celebration. Reminisce about the summer past while roasting marshmallows over your fire pit, or crack open a bottle of fine red with your loved ones and relax in the intimate ambience of your outdoor fireplace.
Be sure to light up the evening with the soft glow of paper lanterns and professionally installed outdoor lighting and complement the crackle of the fire with some soothing music played over outdoor speakers. You can even break from the age old marshmallow tradition and offer your guests a selection of raw veggies, meats, sausages, and bread for a healthier roasting alternative.
2. Champagne Breakfast
An early champagne breakfast or brunch leaves plenty of time for food and merriment as well as an afternoon nap to sleep it all off. A champagne breakfast is an excellent way to finish off summer and the perfect way to send off guests from out of town after a summer vacation catch-up.
Cold meats, cheeses, smoked salmon, and croissants make an excellent accompaniment to an early glass of bubbly, but if you’re itching to use your outdoor kitchen, how about cooking up a bacon, veg, and goat cheese frittata or breakfast quiche. Or you could go the traditional route with a classic brunch-time fry up. Don’t forget orange juice for the kids and non-drinkers.
3. Backyard Picnic
You can pack a special basket for each group of guests, or lay out the food in the style of a garden table buffet. Don’t forget to include plenty of refreshments, fresh fruit, and home-baked bread. You’ll need at least one reasonably sized blanket for every four people. You can offer extra comfort for your guests by dressing up the picnic area with decorative pillows or scatter cushions. If you’re planning an afternoon picnic, make sure there is enough shade for all of your guests. You might want to invests in some shade if the trees in your garden don’t provide adequate coverage.
4. Smoking Summer Brunch
If you’re waiting for the perfect excuse to put your new outdoor smoker to good use, why not set it on an overnight slow-cook for a smoky summer breakfast or brunch on your patio. Fresh, pan-cooked bread, sautéed mushrooms, and fried tomatoes make excellent accompaniments to smoked meat. Of course, cold-slaw topped pulled-pork burgers are a meal on their own for any time of the day.
5. Ice Cream and Lemonade Party
No summer is complete without lemonade or ice cream, and if you’ve whiled away the lazy hazy days without either, it isn’t too late! Throw your loved ones an ice cream and lemonade party to see summer through to the perfect end and say bye (for now) to your swimming pool.
Set up a table in the vein of the traditional lemonade stand. Save time by preparing decorative flat-bottomed ice-cream cones for the kids beforehand and keep them on a tray in the freezer until the right moment. As a dairy free option, try a tasty fruit-flavored sorbet. For lemonade with a difference, what about a refreshing strawberry and mint lemonade or a watermelonade served out of a hollowed out half watermelon ala Martha Stewart.