Summer nights in Australia are parallel to none. The cooling reprieve of early evenings after a sweltering hot day and pink sunset skies that stretch into clear, starry nights are best enjoyed in the presence of family and treasured friends.
The perfect summer party is inherently laid back, but still requires some preparation. The following 8 tips will ensure an enjoyable and fuss-free event for both you and your guests.
Summer nights in Australia are parallel to none
Keep it simple and seasonal
Summer produce screams simple salads, fruit platters and herb rubbed meat grilled on the barbeque. Focus on using fresh, seasonal foods for sides that can be prepared ahead and kept in the fridge before serving with barbequed components. To make things even easier, IGA provides ready made entertaining and fruit platters. Be sure to ask one of our friendly staff members in-store if you would like to have one arranged for your next dinner party.
Host a Potluck
If you want to reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen, there’s no shame in asking guests to pitch in by bringing a simple dish of their own. This not only benefits the host, but also solves the problem of different dietary requirements, and allows guests to try a range of different dishes they may have never tried before.
Whip up a simple, crowd pleasing dessert
If you’re playing host to a large crowd, the less finicky the dessert, the better. Pavlova is one of our nation’s most loved desserts and happens to be highly versatile. You can make your own meringue or buy one pre-made. From there, it’s simply a matter of toppings – and there are so many delicious combinations you can try.
Keep guests cool
Alongside wine and beer, consider setting up a simple cocktail cart so that guests can mix up their own drink. Aperol spritz and gin and tonic are effortlessly easy to make. It also goes without saying that you need to keep guests hydrated throughout the evening. Set up pitchers of icy cold water and get creative with infused combinations.
Keep the bugs at bay
When it’s summer, you’re guaranteed that mosquitos and bugs will be abound. Ward them off with citronella candles and coils as well as insect repellent.
Plan for the cold
Despite reaching sweltering temperatures during the day, summer evenings can get surprisingly cool, especially if you live near the coast. Always have throw blankets on hand for guests to use in the late evening.
Set the mood with music
For a laid back atmosphere, curate a playlist that’s appropriate for easy background listening. Alternatively, browse Spotify, Apple music or iTunes Essentials for pre-made playlists based on genre, mood and occasion.
Freshen up with flowers
You don’t need to go overboard to create eye-catching centrepieces. If you have a garden of your own, curate simple yet beautiful bouquets to place in glass jars or vases. Alternatively, make a bouquet from your local IGA go further by dispersing individual flowers in vases along the dining table.
Shop all your dinner party essentials in-store or online at the IGA marketplace.