All the best parties take a little bit of planning to make the day perfect, but it doesn’t have to be a major stress – we've got everything you need to make it the party of the summer.
We've covered the essentials below, plus some ideas to inspire you!
The first thing you need to do is get your outdoor space looking just right to wow your guests as they arrive, so set the mood with chic and fun decor.
Marks and Spencer is the place to go for uber-stylish garden furniture, with everything from benches and chairs, to relaxing loungers and blankets for when it gets chilly. Check out its range of bright, bold picnicware to enhance the party vibes! And for cover from the sun, bask in style under a parasol.
Don't forget the decoration – Zara's new Outdoor collection has some beautiful pieces to bring a bit of rustic glamour to your balcony, patio or garden. From bunting and fairy lights, to cushions and vintage lamps, your guests will be as cosy as can be!
Below, clockwise from top left: Molton Brown, Zara, M&S
Let’s face it – gatherings are nothing unless there’s a lavish spread on offer.
Head to M&S Simply Food to make your own perfect picnic, from superstar sarnies to deli delights. Lay out some healthy options, and cater to any guests with diet restrictions, with chips and dips from Holland & Barrett.
Or, if you'd rather spend your time catching up than doing the prep, oder a picnic package from Iberica and collect it, or have it delivered. Either way, you’ll be serving your friends and family delicious spanish wines and beers, delicatessen produce and hot tapas. Or how about treating your guests to some of London’s best burgers from Shake Shack – its full menu is still available on Deliveroo!
And to finish it off, everybody will be delight to tuck into something sweet. With all the delights at Crosstown Doughnuts and Hotel Chocolat to choose from, you'll be spoilt for choice when it comes to dessert time!
Below, clockwise from left: Iberica, Shake Shack, Crosstown Doughnuts
Looking for some special wine to get the party underway? Look no further than Vagabond, the expert wine seller that delivers boutique bottles handpicked by in-house wine experts. Or, if you head to M Restaurant, you can visit its widely stocked wine shop, offering a unique selection of bottles, from accessible to aspirational, and for every budget.
For those who are more partial to a tea party, make sure you head to T2. Splash out on a gorgeous tea set plus some Earl Grey for an afternoon tea party like no other. You could even experiment with iced tea (Long Island or not!) to really impress!
Below, clockwise from top left: Nespresso, M Restaurant, T2
Gatherings are always more fun when there’s a bit of entertainment involved.
Whether your friends love card games, or drinking games, there’s a huge selection available at Scribbler. There’s even soft toys and accessories to help your pets be a part of the fun!
Or, if you’re a board game fanatic, there’s no reason you can’t host an outdoor gaming party. Settle down on some cosy cushions and pick up a new game to get stuck into. There’s a huge selection available at Waterstones, from classic games to newer adventures, that even your friend who 'hates boardgames' will love!
How about a movie night? If you’re the proud owner of a projector, set up a cosy outdoor cinema, with cushions, fairy lights and popcorn! Curzon members can also stream some of the best and latest arthouse movies via the online player.
Below top left to right: Waterstones, Scribbler
And finally, if you’re playing the perfect host or hostess, you’ll want to look the part.
It goes without saying that our fashion shops at Victoria and Cardinal Place are the ideal destination if you need to look your absolute best. We’re packed with high street favourites – in one shopping trip you can browse the summer ranges at Mango, Zara and Hobbs and pick up some on trend chunky sandals or trainers from Clarks.
It’s always good to take precautions too – Boots is a great place to stock up on safety supplies such as hand sanitiser, bug spray and the all important suncream. Meanwhile, Space NK is home to beautiful suncare products, as well as foundations with added SPF, to keep you safe while looking your absolute best.
Below clockwise from top: Space NK, Clarks, Mango
You can never quite predict the British weather, even in summer. But there's no need to cancel your plans if the heavens open.
If you need to take the party somewhere else, we have plenty of amazing spots for brunch, drinks or a slap up meal. Enjoy a luxury dining experience at The Ivy Victoria or M Restaurant, meet for a pizza party at Franco Manca or Zizzi, or pick up some tasty takeaway at Leon and pastries from Ole & Steen!
Discover all our amazing restaurants and cafes here.