Outdoor party essentials: 3 tips for the perfect summer party

The outdoor party season is about to start. Are you ready to host a chic summer gathering with friends?

Follow these three tips and show us the outcome. Tag @DishesOnly in your outdoor party pictures posted on your Instagram/FB profile.

1. Set the mood

Either you have a tiny pool, or a patio in a garden, or a backyard, or just a small balcony, don’t panic! Pull different chairs together for a casual atmosphere. Use rugs and pillows to add warmth to the setting. If you have enough space, set up a long table and define a food area separated from a beverage station. Use buckets with ice and add in flowers for a French style touch.

outdoor party

Credits: Pinterest

outdoor party drinks

Credits: Pinterest


If you don’t have much space, create unconventional coffee tables to place platters, serving boards and trays. You can use a pile of books and magazines, or wooden crates. Hang string lights or group lanterns and votive candles around the area. Plants, flowers and planters in general can help you define different corners, and are always a great décor. Don’t forget some good music in the background.


outdoor party lights

Credits: Pinterest

2. Set the table

First of all pick up a theme for your menu. It will make much easier to decide which dishes to serve. The menu could be arranged around a specific ingredient, or country, or color. A typical Italian summer party menu is the Bruschetta Party (or crostini party). You can choose different kinds of bread and top with garlic, EVO and salt, or with chopped tomatoes, basil and onions, or with a base like pesto and grilled vegetables, or cheese and cold cuts (prosciutto, mortadella, etc.). We found an interesting avocado bruschetta recipe here by Yummy Mummy Kitchen.

outdoor party cheese board

Aquario and Mezzo Mezzo cheese board @DishesOnly


Once you have decided the menu, it is time to think about how to set-up your table and other spots where to serve food, as the kitchen counter, if needed. Either it is a sit-down dinner or a buffet, play with heights using flat trays and cake stands.

Outdoor party cake stands

Resin Cake Stand and Platter + Cover @Dishesonly . Pic on the left via Pinterest


“Socialware” is a must for a summer party: wooden cheese board, slates, serving bowls of different shapes and sizes, and platters are perfect to display food and, most of all, to share food with your friends.

outdoor party bowls

Credits: Diadonna and on the right 100% Bio Bowl and Fantasie @Dishesonly


We suggest colorful glass plates, or transparent ones for a more sophisticated touch. Also bamboo plates and resin are an excellent choice to replace plastic and disposable tabletops.

outdoor party glass plates

Left Top via Martha Stewart and Glass plate collections @Dishesonly

3. Invite friends

This is the most important step.  For a successful outdoor party you need the right people. Get ready to anticipate two inevitable questions. The first question is about the dress code. The answer to this question should not be “wear what you like” because it generates stress! It is better to decide a theme, such as a “flip flop party” or a “panama hat party”. Alternatively, tell your friends how you will be dressed so that they can feel comfortable.  The second question is: “What shall I bring you?”.  The easiest thing to say, both for you and for your friends, is: “A bottle of white wine would be perfect. Thank you!”.

outdoor party friends

Credits: Pinterest


Now that everything is settled for your outdoor party…. Have fun!

outdoor party serving bowl

Credits Casa JMG and Osteria serving bowl and Pesce trays @Dishesonly

For more outdoor party essentials click here.

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