Embrace the outdoors and head al fresco for a true summer dining experience. If you don't have an outside space bring the outside in with a variety of houseplants in pots, planters and hanging baskets and create the big outdoors in your own home.
Always remember to stay well hydrated, especially if you're drinking alcohol. Serve refreshing spritzers in drinks dispenser or water flavoured with slices of fruit and herbs in large jugs and encourage your guests to help themselves.
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Try to make your guests smile with some quirky tablescape ideas such as serving cutlery and napkins in flower pots and keeping condiments in window planters. Perhaps give packets of seeds to your guests as a favour or keep pots of fresh herbs on the table instead of flowers and enjoy their scent or even add them to your meal.
Enjoy the sunshine but remember not everyone likes eating in direct sunlight. Provide shady spots with garden umbrellas, parasols or even piles of straw hats for guests to use. If you have a little more time to prepare you could always rig up a fabric 'sail' across your eating area using an old sheet, it's surprisingly effective.
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Whatever you do don't forget textiles; just because you're outdoors doesn't mean you can enjoy luxuries like table linen, napkins, cushions and rugs. There are lots of weather resistant fabrics available and outdoor rugs that can really add a pop of colour and texture underfoot.
Don't worry about trying to match all your tableware, pile together your newest melamine with your old favourites and mix and match for a fun, eclectic look that will inspire your guests.