With the UK set to bask in glorious sunshine as another heat wave hits the UK this weekend1 and the Olympics kicking off in Rio this Friday, now seems like the ideal time for a celebration. How about inviting your friends and family over and holding your very own Rio inspired garden party?
Take a look at our top tips for food, drink, decoration and entertainment to ensure your party is a success.
Decoration is key – think carnivals and bright colours, take a look at our ideas below to help set the scene for your garden party.
With Rio 2016 as your theme you can use the Olympic rings as your colours – or just use green, orange and blue which feature in the Rio 2016 logo. Buy paper plates and paper table cloths in those colours. Sacrifice five of the paper plates, cut out the middles and then staple the resulting rings together and hang it near your garden gate to welcome guests.
Traditionally a summer garden party may be held in the afternoon, but hopefully it’ll be such a good party that no-one will want to leave in the evening and you could bring out the party lights. Get out the outdoor Christmas lights and string those up, you could also put some battery operated strings of lights in jam jars. Bring out your stash of tea lights and holders and spread those around your tables. Those glass yogurt/mousse pots make good holders and it’s never a hardship to each the yogurt/mousse first.
You can really go to town with flowers – orange and blue with lots of green foliage… Flowers in vases for the table, flowers in the wine buckets, and flowers in jam jars hung from the trees.
You may think that pom poms are what you made to adorn a knitted hat, but now what wedding or party would be without some colour co-ordinated, large tissue pom poms hanging around? Here’s how – take 8 sheets of tissue paper (obviously in your theme colours) and lay them on top of each other, then fold them all together concertina style with 5 cm folds, tie securely round the middle without squashing the paper, cut the ends into a curve, fan out and separate all the layers. Now hang them on trees, from the gazebo, from the washing line – anywhere!
Absolutely essential! Make your own – felt in your theme colours is the easiest fabric to use as it doesn’t fray and you could use glue if you don’t want to get a sewing machine out. Or you could use paper with flags or the Olympic rings printed on and a stapler to string them together. Hang it along the fence, drape it up and down the garden, just go mad – you can’t have enough in our opinion…
In the unlikely (?!) event of it raining during your garden party, then don’t forget to grab some of your decorations before moving inside, to brighten up the kitchen/conservatory/living room. Rope in a few helpers to rehang the bunting and then just carry on partying. It might sunshine all day for you – in which case you could consider hanging some sheets from the trees over tables and chairs to provide some shade – decorated of course with some bunting or flowers.
Create your own photo booth for the party. Simply set up an empty picture frame – maybe hang it from a tree, so that your guests can have their photos taken with a ready-made frame. How about getting a Union Jack to drape round guests shoulders for their photo opportunity/moment of Olympic glory?
If hosting a garden party in celebration of the Rio Olympics it should no doubt reflect the party atmosphere that’s often associated with Brazil and so too should the food that is served at it. Small appetizers that are full of flavour and bright in colour would be best and can be easily prepared following a simple search for traditional Brazilian recipes on the internet.
- Cuscuz Paulista -a traditional dish of couscous, seafood, green olives, eggs and sometimes South American vegetables like hearts of palm which make it a unique and healthy dish.
- Pão de queijo – a combination of cheese and bread that is combined to create a delicious snack - crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. The snacks can also be adapted to include cream cheese or even meat fillings.
- Coxinha – a Brazilian Chicken Croquette that is one of the popular appetizers in Brazil and, because of its shape, takes its name from the Brazilian description for ‘little chicken leg’. The croquettes contain chicken and, unusually, mascarpone cheese and are served with hot sauce such as Tabasco.
- Brigadeiros – similar to chocolate truffle and made with condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter surrounded by chocolate sprinkles.
A couple of cocktails or mocktails always go down well with family and friends, this one is always a popular choice in bars and is just perfect to make ahead of the Rio 2016 Olympic games this weekend.
What you will need to make the just over 1.5litres of cocktail or 1.5litres of mocktail (Roughly six small glasses). For the mocktail version simply leave the alcohol out.
- Vodka 50ml
- Peach schnapps 50ml
- Cointreau or orange liqueur 50ml
- Blue Caracao (If you want to turn your cocktail green!) 50ml
- Orange juice 500ml
- Pineapple juice 500ml
- Apple juice 500ml
- Maraschino cherry to decorate
- Paper umbrella and straw
- Add chopped up fruit if you like (orange, pineapple, apple, grapes)
- Ice cubes
Put the ice into a cocktail shaker and shake until crushed, alternatively place ice cubes in a tea towel, wrap them up and hit with a rolling pin to make ice crush, place into a glass jug. Add ALL the ingredients above to make a jug of cocktail mix, or just the non-alcoholic ingredients for a mocktail and mix. Then poke a straw through two of the maraschino cherries, pull to the top, place in a glass and add an umbrella to decorate. Pour and enjoy!
Continuing with the Olympic theme, these sport inspired games would be ideal for your garden party and can be enjoyed by guests of all ages.
Space hopper races
These can be picked up for fairly cheap from supermarkets and toy stores, simply set a finish mark and watch your guests compete to finish first.
All you need for this one is to spray the twister board on to your lawn, you will need green, yellow, blue and red spray paint or if you don’t want to deface your lawn simply use the real thing!
A great one for when it starts to get dark – break up some glow sticks and place these into bottles of water to create glow in the dark bowling pins.
Bean bag toss
Set up some cans with numbers, whatever can you and your guests get your bean bags in is how many points you score.
Simply see who can keep their Hula Hoop up for the longest, if you’re feeling brave you could even try more than one!
You could even create a leader board for all the activities, with prizes for the winners – it wouldn’t be an Olympic themed party without a few medals!
For more ideas on how to make your Rio inspired garden party a success, take a look at our Pinterest board here.
Image - http://www.freeimages.com/photo/baloons-1175673 taken by Ali Fari