After a long, cold spring, it feels like summer is finally here to stay in beautiful Victoria, BC. The warm weather and longer days bring plenty of time spent entertaining outdoors. We like for backyard parties to feel effortless and casual, but this doesn’t mean they need to be your average barbeque. We have put together the ingredients for an elegant but relaxed backyard event inspired by classic details.
There is no need to serve your guests the standard hotdogs and steaks. Try stopping in at the Village
Butcher for a beautifully cut of meat or popping next door to the Whole Beast Salumeria for a charcuterie board. Keep in mind that food should be simple and mess-free. Prawn skewers or beef sliders made with quality cuts are a great option. Just one door over you can also find Oak Bay Seafood for local, sustainable products, including spot prawns and salmon ideal for summer hosting. To make sure that all of your guests are well fed, you can swing by the Very Good Butchers in the downtown Public Market. They create plant-based, vegan “meats” that will rival any hamburger.
Fresh ingredients from your herb garden are the perfect inspiration for a signature cocktail for your guests. We suggest taking a cue from the south by offering a classic Mint Julep. Click here: (http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes/Mint-Julep-1000088920) for a traditional recipe from the experts at Saveur or you can pull from your garden to make a Rosemary-Basil Gin Fizz that is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It is also important to offer a non-alcoholic option such as lavender lemonade which is both refreshing and beautiful.
One of the most stressful aspects of hosting any event is making sure that your guests enjoy themselves. We suggest setting up a few classic games to help break the ice and to keep the energy playful. A classic set of croquet, horseshoes or boules will certainly keep everyone entertained for hours.
Lastly, every great space should consider functionality and flow. A party space should not only look beautiful but provide a layout that encourages mingling among guests. We suggest placing round seating arrangements throughout the space to allow for easy movement and conversation. For a casual vibe, you can mix patio seating with full sized tables, this will allow your guests to come together in larger groups or have more intimate chats. We also love a few chairs or benches nestled in the outskirts of the garden for those who want to sneak away from the festivities. Remember that lighting the entire space is essential to making sure that the party easily transitions from day to night.
Regardless of how you choose to decorate your outdoor event, always remember that classic never needs to mean boring. By thoughtfully including simple, quality details you will be sure to create a nostalgic event that will be the source of happy summer memories for years to come.