Summer’s finally here and that means al fresco dining, BBQs, refreshing beverages and garden parties. With longer days, lighter nights and six weeks of summer holidays stretching ahead of us, it’s time to throw open the patio doors, take inspiration from abroad and get planning. Embrace the warmer weather and get everyone outside for a family celebration or long-overdue party with friends. Whatever the occasion, we’ve got some lovely ideas that are sure to make your party stand out from the crowd and guarantee that it goes ahead, whatever the weather. 

Chill out with Cocktails

Whether you create your own summer-themed cocktails or stick to the old favourites, wheel out your bar cart and get the party started with a drinks list that’s sure to delight your guests. Take inspiration from England with pitchers of Pimm’s and lemonade, packed with strawberries, orange, cucumber and mint, or take a summery twist on a classic and create a homemade rhubarb martini.  


Keep guests cool with frozen versions of traditional cocktails. Try frozen strawberry daiquiris, using freshly picked fruit from your garden or get on board with the new drink on the block - Frozerol. If you a fan of Italy’s favourite drink - Aperol Spritz - then you’re going love a Frozerol. An Aperol Spritz adult slushie, it’s the perfect summer party drink and so easy to make. All you need is Aperol, orange ice lollies, ice cubes and a bottle of Prosecco - the basic household essentials! And if you’re starting early but planning on partying until late, then try a frozen espresso martini with a kick of caffeine to see you through the evening. 


And for those not drinking, why not make some seasonal mocktails (we love blueberry ginger coolers and watermelon agua frescas) or lay out some stylish teapots of freshly blended frozen lemonade. We love the current trend for using china to serve up your cocktails. Just don’t forget the all-important finishing touches and make sure you’ve got cocktail stirrers, swizzle sticks and umbrellas at the ready. 

Summer Style

Elevate your afternoon tea by taking it outdoors and choosing pieces that will add a glorious touch of contemporary elegance to your garden table. Inspired by the luscious lemon groves and sweetly scented floral meadows of Sorrento and the Amalfi coast, our enchanting new Sara Miller London Portmeirion Orchard capsule collection features delicate butterflies and flourishing foliage and is perfect for bringing a sophisticated slice of Italian sunshine to your outdoor area. Sun-ripened lemons and wildflower blossoms in a gorgeously soft palette are set against deep mauve, duck egg, coral and navy backgrounds, combining Sara’s love of playful prints and vibrant patterns with an exquisite use of colour.  

 

There’s everything you need for a showstopping afternoon tea with a set of four cake plates, four contrasting yet complementary mugs, a stunning duck egg teapot and an exquisite centrepiece three-tier cake stand in navy-blue. The entire mix and match collection has been beautifully crafted from fine china and 22 carat gold and is sure to bring nature and a touch of luxury to your afternoon celebration.  

Don’t let Rain Ruin Your Rendezvous

We’re always at the mercy of the weather so avoid last-minute cancellations by planning ahead. While we know that most people can’t afford to invest in a roof structure, gazebos are a great idea for offering shelter from the rain. Or if it’s a really hot day, why not create some shade with a pretty Pinterest-worthy parasol.  


If you’re planning a big gathering, then do make sure you’ve got enough chairs for everyone or simply throw a few colourful blankets on the garden for a chilled-out picnic vibe. Not only will they provide extra seating and can be simply and easily stored afterwards, but they’re perfect for cosying up later when the temperature dips and you’re not quite ready for the party to end.  

Crowd-pleasing Party Food

At Portmeirion, we’re big fans of fire pits. They’re splendid for simple yet tasty catering, marvellous for toasting marshmallows and making American-style S’mores and wonderful for adding some much-needed warmth once the sun has gone down. And if you’re looking to extend your menu beyond typical fire pit fayre such as burgers and sausages, we’ve got some brilliant ideas to get the party started.  


Try grilling king prawn, halloumi and vegetable skewers or charring some spicy corn over the coals. Go Mexican with nachos, Italian with campfire pizza cones or take a twist on a classic British Sunday roast by closing the lid and cooking a whole chicken in your fire pit. Fancy something sweet for dessert? Warm up some gooey brownies in foil and serve straight from the pit with ice cream and a generous drizzle of butterscotch sauce.  

Entertainment to Get Everyone Talking

If you’re looking to throw a party that will get everyone talking, then make sure you organise some amazing entertainment. Everyone loves a hot tub, and they’re bang on-trend this summer so why not look into hiring one for the weekend. Not only will it keep the kids busy all afternoon, but it will be perfect for keeping warm after hours and you’ll be able to enjoy it all weekend. Just don’t forget to tell guests to bring a bathing suit and a towel. Or if hot tubs aren’t your thing, then how about creating an outdoor cinema in your back garden? All you need is a projector, some popcorn, lots of pillows and the perfect summer movie. We’re thinking Harry Potter! 


If you prefer to keep it casual and let your food do the talking then create a summer ambience with a selection of carefully chosen tunes. Put together an upbeat playlist that will appeal to all ages and take it outside with a Bluetooth speaker. Before long, everyone will be dancing, and no one will want to go home…always a sign of a great summer party. 


We’d love to see how you style our new Sara Miller London Orchard collection at your summer soirée, so don’t forget to share your photos and tag us on social media @ukportmeirion.