Sunshine. In Summer. In the UK. If someone had told us, back in January, that this is where we'd find ourselves come July - having an actual Summer that is - we're not sure we'd have believed them.
However, Summer it is and we fully plan on making the most of it. Being fairly new to this treat, some of us may be unprepared for what comes next. But fear not, we have some simple steps we've called the 5 S's of Summer to help you get everything ready to welcome friends and family and enjoy it to its fullest.
Normally, using your garden comes with a spot of rain-dodging. So you could be forgiven for things lying where they may as you quickly run inside to avoid the inevitable downpour. However, with our new found friend - sunshine - we'll be spending more time outside this year and the last thing we want is someone tripping over the garden rake whilst swiftly making their way to that last sausage on the BBQ. Tidy away tools, garden games and bits and pieces and you'll be surprised at the space you gain.
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Because we are so lucky to have summer start so early for us, we still have the whole season stretching in front of us. With most of July and August still to enjoy why not invest in seating now to enjoy for the next couple of months to come. Make room for everybody and idle away the days in good company and good comfort. Then, when it's time to pack away, store under a protective furniture cover and it'll be fresh and ready for next year's heatwave (and the next and the next).
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The setting is what makes the difference between simply having people round for a drink and making a summer party to remember. Festoon lighting lends a magical air when wound around tree branches and pergolas. And candles and lanterns dotted around the patio adds a simple romantic touch. Choosing lighting that casts a warm glow will create an inviting atmosphere to welcome your guests with and set the tone for the evening ahead.
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Whilst we enjoy the remainder of the heatwave, chances are the evening are going to stay nice and warm. But as the summer goes on, temperatures will likely dip at night but that doesn't mean the fun has to end. A fire pit is the perfect way to keep you and your guests warm and, most importantly, comfortable so that the conversation and good times can continue long after the sun goes down.
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Whatever time of day you are hosting, whether it's afternoon tea, pre-dinner drinks or an evening BBQ add a special touch to your table top with serving ware suitable for every occasion. From the London-deli inspired Brompton collection, to contemporary enamelware and rustic accessories, there's something to suit every taste.
Dig into stylish serving essentials here
A little preparation is all it takes to make the most of your garden in the warmer weather. The real magic comes from the sun shining late into the evening and the friends and family we gather together. Then we have everything we truly need for a summer of fun.