WITH forecasters predicting an Indian summer, and so much gorgeous greenery and brilliant blooms to lure us outdoors, it’s hardly surprising we’re lavishing attention on our gardens and embracing al fresco entertaining right now.

In true Mediterranean style, the hot summer has given us countless opportunities to dine, sip and gather under the sun (or balmy evening skies) - and with plenty more to come, where better to turn to for inspiration on creating the garden feel-good factor than Liz Earle?

The wellbeing guru and entrepreneur adores a summer social and has plenty of ideas for making it special. “I love garden parties and have had more than usual this year, to make the most of all the balmy summer evenings we’ve had over the last few months.”

As for her approach to styling the event: “This year I’ve been bringing the sun-soaked colours of the tropics to my summer party table,” says Earle, who is also founder and editor-in-chief of Liz Earle Wellbeing (lizearlewellbeing.com).

“Simple ideas can really transform a plain table top, such as creating beach lanterns using tea lights in jam jars filled with sand and shells.” Spending time outside also makes us so much more aware of the “seasonality of life”, adds Earle.

Here are her favourite tips for the perfect garden get-together - some of them simple yet hugely effective...

1. Have a theme

“A theme is always fun when throwing an outdoor party, as it creates a focus and helps you add clever details through simple twists - such as creating fan garlands by cutting and folding brightly coloured paper or old maps, and hollowing out pineapples and filling them with vibrant flowers,” says Earle.

The contents of the fruit can be put to good use too: “I like to use the pineapple pulp to make up a delicious fruity punch for guests.”


Liz Earle’s garden party tropical flower theme. Photo/Georgia Glynn Smith

2. Serve mood-boosting food

“What we put into our bodies affects us both physically and mentally, so consider serving feasts for the senses that not only look amazing but taste incredible too,” suggests Earle, a passionate advocate of healthy, balanced living.

“Some of my favourite summer party dishes can be found in the latest edition of the Liz Earle Wellbeing Yearbook (£25, lizearlewellbeing.com), and include buckwheat seafood paella, grilled sardines with capers and anchovies, and frozen pineapple rings and watermelon slices, all served in beautiful bright dishes to bring colour to the party table.”

Alternatively, if you don’t eat meat or aren’t too keen on shellfish, this Beetroot Tableware from Emily Bond plated with fresh veggies will look just as well dressed for dinner...

3. Personalise place settings

“Adding a personalised touch to your party, through personalised place settings, is a great way of making sure everyone feels included and welcome, and an easy way to place your guests around the table as you wish,” says Earle.

“I like to paint guests’ initials on water glasses, using a water-based paint so I can re-use the glasses time and time again.”

Otherwise, sweet treats with personal messages to celebrate special occasions will bring charm and fun to the table.


Alessi Mami crystal glasses and selection of barware. PA Photo/Handout

4. Introduce creative lighting

“If you’re hosting an evening party, then create some simple soft lighting with tea lights and candles once the sun goes down - a great way of setting the evening party mood,” notes Earle.

5. Keep everyone hydrated

“There are a host of wellbeing benefits to staying hydrated at summer events, and I keep guests cool by making a thirst-quenching selection of chilled hydrating treats, such as fragrant Earl Grey iced tea and cucumber, ginger and mint-flavoured water - alongside my renowned gut-friendly kombucha cocktails!

“Frozen fruity treats are also great for children - my own family loves feasting on frozen strawberries and blueberries served from a botanical ice bowl to keep them cold,” she adds.

Or for more sophisticated soirees and grown-up prosecco parties, Italian designers Alessi have introduced a new range of stemware to celebrate ‘Aperol Hour with Alessi’ and help you serve the perfect Aperol Spritz. Cheers!

For more ideas, visit lizearlewellbeing.com.