How to turn your casual backyard Barbie into a stylish backyard party this summer

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Don’t let La Niña ruin your summer. Do you know where it always rains? England. And you know what the British do well? garden parties.

We’ve teamed up with Whitley Neill Gin to help you transform your outdoor space into a charming green oasis that, while Keira Knightly doesn’t emerge from a fountain in that green dress or Colin Firth, will let you experience your British country house dreams in excellent taste and style.

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Paul Liddle

THE SET-UP

It doesn’t matter what space you’re working with, you’ll want to use lots of beautiful flowers. Check with your local florist for English varieties such as peonies, lavender and delphiniums. Arrange them in rustic vases – these can be easily purchased at your convenience store. Then set up a long table – a tressell will do – and cover it with a crisp linen tablecloth. Have fun practicing your calligraphy (and playing guest matchmaker) with some old-fashioned seating placeholders.

When it comes to napkins and tableware, opt for softer pastels – try using the flowers as inspiration for the color palette. And if you have the space to hang them, add some decorative garlands, which you can find at most party supply stores. Or if you fancy a craft afternoon, make your own.

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Paul Liddle

THE FOOD

Start with finger sandwiches. They are dead easy to make and can be adapted to all dietary requirements – plus they look super cute. We recommend keeping it simple and classic with chicken, curry egg and of course cucumber. For something more substantial to complement the refreshing botanicals of Whitley Neill London Dry Gin, serve delicious barbecue pork buns with coleslaw or rare roast beef with horseradish-potato salad. And to cap off something sweet, go old-school with a classic like eton mess, jam roly-poly or scones with jam and cream. Did you choose the latter? Sit back and watch the all-important debate over which goes first—the jam or cream—follows.

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Paul Liddle

THE DRINKS

With eight generations of gin to his credit, and a range of 15 100 percent grain-distilled gins with a broad spectrum of flavors, it should come as no surprise that Whitley Neill has some great recipes when it comes to booze. Give the Johnny’s Ritual Gin and Tonic a twist and top it off with a slice of lime or orange and a sprig of rosemary. Or take advantage of one of the more available flavors and make a pitcher of the Queen’s High Tea with the Whitley Neill Rhubarb and Ginger Gin, topped off with a splash of prosecco and ginger ale. The tartness of the rhubarb blends beautifully with the warming ginger for a full-bodied, yet refreshing summer cocktail.

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THE FUN

It’s time to ditch the beer pong (or Goon of Fortune) for more advanced games. If you have the space, why not give badminton a try? Or go full Alice in Wonderland and opt for croquet – but please don’t use actual flamingos. Chances are you or one of your friends has a bocce or quoits lying around, so make the most of it. You will be amazed at how much fun you will have.

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For more information on Whitley Neill’s innovative gin range, visit the website.

Top image: Paul Liddle

Published on January 24, 2022 by

Dominic Gruenewald


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