Wintertime makes us whiny. Yes, we love the Christmas lights and everyone coming home, but once January hits? Roll on the summer sunshine. Tired of slogging to work in four outfits to cater for the shape-shifting forecast, we're ready to walk out the front door with just a jacket slung across our shoulders... Okay, and maybe a scarf and brolly stuck in your handbag for good measure – that's just good sense! But definitely no woolly hat. It's okay to retire the woolly hat now, isn't it?!
Even if you're still stuffing that hat into the depth of your bag, it's okay to start planning for warmer weather. Because if some fine weather does occur, you can rely on two things: We won't know until it's here and it won't hang around for long. Best to be prepared.
Take a Seat
First thing's first, drag the furniture out of storage. Dust off the cobwebs, spray some WD40 on squeaky folding chairs and see if they're still holding up okay.
The Pesaro collection of wicker outdoor seating keeps the garden comfortable, inviting guests to join in casual conversation or relax for a spell.
Pesaro Sofa Armchair, €800, Neptune
Perfect for small gardens, this table has space beneath to store the folding chairs and has two drop-leaves to increase or decrease space. Though, with all the food we want to make, we'll probably need more. Zeno Oak Garden Table and Four Chairs Set, €572.52, Habitat
At an outdoor party, the garden and the blooms can often be decoration enough, but we like to add a little something to mark the occasion. Points of colour, whether they be bright or a subdued pastel, and pattern draw the eye without overwhelming or crowding the space. Decorations also give an event character and can let guests know what we're celebrating.
Nothing says spring more than a floral arrangement of the season's brightest flowers. Tight bouquets add sophistication to an event while loose ones keep the party casual.
Adena Lantern, €55, Amara
Hanging decorations like balloons, bunting, and paper pompoms extend the party beyond the table and patio into the yard.
Neapolitan Bunting, €13.88 for 5 metres, The Cotton Bunting Company
Outdoor lighting will help move a garden party flawlessly into the evening. Subtle hanging lanterns or candles will enhance the season's enchantment.
Festoon String Lights (20 Bulbs), €87, Amara
Set the Table
A table setting is an easy way to turn a simple gathering into a great event. It's why we get out the fine china at Christmas, no? Choose a matching set of dinnerware, get out the cloth napkins, and fill the ornate serving dishes. Work with the colour palette of your decor (or the other way around) to set a mood and keep the elements of the event cohesive.
Stain resistant and long lasting, linen is an excellent choice for cleaning up those party messes.
Linen Napkin, €9, Irish Design Shop
The pastels in this dinnerware help keep your eyes on the spring flowers while still adding that touch of colour and character to your event.
Pastels Melamine Dinner Plate (Set of 4), €35, Amara
Dessert! Let's be honest, it's what we're looking forward to. Keep it tempting all afternoon with a patisserie-worthy display.
Irina Serving Stand, €175.53, Anthropologie
Keep the party casual. Don't rush the events, but keep your guests entertained. We're celebrating the sunshine so let's enjoy it as long as possible.
Keep drinks outside with this bar table designed to hold ice, keeping a cold one on hand.
St Mawes Bar Table with Drinks Cooler, €745, Amara
Could we really call it a garden party without a selection of lawn games for guests to use at their leisure?
Malibu Croquet Set, €65, Amara
As soon as the clouds clear, we're headed outside for an eventful afternoon. If the sun won't provide a rainbow, we'll make our own!
Featured image: Place Cards, from €0.29 and Menus, from €1.26, Papier