It’s been a long and strange spring and early summer. We’ve done quizzes on Zoom where we once met together for cocktails, been to socially-distanced street parties instead of intimate dinner gatherings, and spent more nights watching Netflix than meeting with friends than we’d ever want to admit. But with COVID-19 restrictions easing, our social lives can broaden once more, just not in the ways we’re familiar with. What can you organise which will have you and friends or colleagues having fun, being social and yet staying safe?
At home socialising is de rigueur
Lockdown restrictions may have eased, but many people still feel most comfortable staying at home and using their garden to entertain and relax. What’s great is so many different businesses have extended their offerings, or started something new, making entertaining friends at home the easiest and most luxurious experience yet.
We’ve spotted some particularly fabulous at-home entertaining ideas.
Why not plan afternoon tea under the bunting in the shade of your garden? There are countless London luxury hotels, bakeries and restaurants delivering the afternoon tea experience to your door. Delightful options include Cutter & Squidge and Betty Blythe (where you can even hire the linen and vintage crockery).
Invite one other household over, or have over a group of up to six friends (including you) for a garden BBQ. Who says you’ve got to slave over it? Simply order a BBQ pack from Dachis Restaurant to You and you’ll get everything you need including meats, fish, salads, drinks, desserts and even charcoal if you need it.
Another way to organise in-home dining without the effort is to hire a private chef to rustle up a splendid spread. Dineindulge will find you a private chef that can come to you.
Prefer to spend an afternoon and evening whiling away the time whilst grazing al fresco? You’ll be fully set with a beautiful platter from Grape & Fig. It’s fair to say their food presentation is in the showstopper league. Your guests will be wowed by their creative canvasses of artisan cheeses, cured meat, antipasti, nuts, fruit and crackers.
For those with a sweet tooth, you can’t beat an at-home ice cream delivery. We recommend Blush Ice Cream or Nonna’s for distinctly adult flavour combinations, and for real crowd-pleasers including when little ones are around, try Ice Cream Union.
Of course, whatever at-home event you have, you’ll need plenty of drinks of your choice. For exquisite bubbles choose The Champagne Company. They also have glass hire if you need it. If cocktails are more your thing, then you’ll adore Mixing Link (with waiting service) and Cocktail Delivery.
Looking to extend the gathering? A perfect way is to hire a trailer screen or structured screen and watch your favourite sport or film. Lots of companies offer this, but we recommend https://screenhire.com/ with prices starting from £2000 per day.
Get set, head out…
Getting out into the great outdoors is the new going out. Meet up with friends and share a special picnic. Plan a Ruffled Truffle food cart to surprise your guests and be the envy of the park. We also love the idea of grabbing a 6-person reunion hamper from Fortnum and Mason and kicking back on a picnic rug in the shade.
Go retro and head back to the era of the American diner with a trip to a drive in cinema. The Luna Drive In has venues across the country, as does @The Drive In and some local options are available through Star and Mouse.
Not quite ready?
If the lockdown months are showing on your waistline and you’re not quite ready to put yourself out there again just yet, then it’s time to get in shape despite the gyms remaining closed. Find yourself a personal trainer through Bidvine. Alternatively, brush up with some private tennis lessons with Aceify, before encouraging your friends to join you.
All we’ve done here is whet your appetite to remind you that life is there and it’s for the living. We’ve got plenty more ideas where these came from to help you get your work and personal social lives back on track. If you’d like our help then please get in touch.