Think inside out

Treat your outside space like any other room in your home. Think comfort first. Textiles, lights and accessories for entertaining will make your space inviting and can easily be carried between indoors and out. Also, plan for the shift from day to night, hang a canopy to protect guests from the sun, and have throws on hand to wrap up when the early evening chill rolls in.

Serve help-yourself platters

Tapas-style small plates, nibbles to pick at and quick bites in bowls – keep it easy with food! Take inspiration from the trend for serving food on chopping boards. It’s rustic and informal and with hardly any effort, your food becomes a feast for the eyes and the belly. Just have a stack of crockery, cutlery and glasses on hand. And try mixing up a refreshing fruit punch that you can serve in an oversized jar with a tap, so guests can pour for themselves.

"Having friends, colleagues and their kids come over to ours on a Friday night is a great way to start the weekend. We can sit out here till it gets dark, talking, eating and playing."

Ideas - Throw a spontaneous garden party

Stay in the company of friends.

When we hung out with Marion and Frédérick at their countryside home in northern France, we were inspired by the way they threw a party for friends. Try it; set the scene, put all the pieces in place, then relax, join in and enjoy. It’s your party too!

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