How to Throw an Enchanting Winter Garden Party

October 14, 2016Mandi Morrison

Winter is coming, and it’s usually the time of year when the last thing we want to do is go outside. Dark nights and low temperatures mean that we often just want to curl up in bed with a cup of cocoa and a hot water bottle. But what if, instead of trying to escape those long winter nights, we embraced them? What if we actually had a garden party on a chilly November evening? It might sound a little crazy, but it could be one of the most enchanting nights of the year.

Of course, there are many times when it wouldn’t be wise to spend a winter evening outdoors. Just as in summer, in winter you need dry, crisp weather to enjoy a garden party fully. And if you live in a part of the world where the temperatures regularly drop below freezing, try to pick a time of year before this happens. Otherwise, get your winter woollies out and prepare for a truly spectacular evening.

Wrap Up Warm

It goes without saying that you’ll need to layer up for your winter garden party, and you should encourage your guests to do the same. A thick winter coat is a must, as are hats, scarves and gloves, although it might be difficult to eat and drink if you opt for mittens! Keep some spare jumpers and scarves at hand for those inevitable guests who underestimate how cold it might be. It’s also a good idea to have a stack of blankets to snuggle up with as the night goes on.

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If you’re planning on having multiple outdoor winter events, it’s a good idea to invest in an outdoor heater. This will make a huge difference to your outdoor festivities, allowing you to relax and enjoy the evening without having to worry about the plummeting temperatures. Of course, coats are still compulsory, as heaters can’t turn a British winter into an Australian summer.

Take a Break

If things get really chilly, it’s wise to take breaks from your beautiful winter wonderland by popping inside and warming up a bit. You could even plan some indoor activities that will allow your guests to spend a bit of time inside without needing to ask. This could be a drinks making session or even a board game, which will provide entertainment as well as the chance to warm up. If your guests are going to be sometimes inside and sometimes outside, it’s very useful to have external bifold doors, which will allow communication between the inside and outside. This prevents the splitting up of your group and creates a social atmosphere.

Dress It Up

Decorating your garden is a simple yet effective way of turning a dark winter night into an exciting social event. Fairy lights are a no brainer, especially as many of the most unique and creative designs come with a battery pack instead of a plug. String your lights along fences, around tree trunks and over bushes to turn your garden into a glimmering winter wonderland. You can also place small candles in jam jars or glasses and dot them around the garden for added atmosphere.

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Another way of sprucing up your garden is to dust off your gardening sheers and give your shrubs and plants a makeover. Winter gardening is always a challenge, but if your guests are going to be arriving before dark it’s a good idea to put a bit of effort in and do some weeding. You’ll certainly thank yourself when spring rolls around.

Drink In the Heat

Warm food and drink is the key to any winter garden party, and a good cup of cocoa can be the difference between a night of shivering under a blanket and a night of really enjoying yourself. For those who aren’t particularly confident with cooking, a selection of hot soups will do the trick, providing they are accompanied by some warm, crusty bread.

When it comes to drinks, mulled wine and mulled cider are always going to be winter favourites. These classic treats are filled with feel good spices and that put everyone in a festive mood.

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For children, you can serve mulled apple juice or blackcurrant, and hot chocolate always goes down well. To avoid the annoyance of having to nip back and forth between the kitchen and garden, you could try making your hot drinks in batches and serving everyone at once, or instead encourage a self service set up by letting your guests know that they are welcome to help themselves.

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