7 tips for easy summer hosting

Garden furniture set with party food | Summer hosting tips | Tesco Living

Take the stress out of barbecues, garden parties and picnics with these hosting hacks.

1. Turn a watermelon into an ice bucket

Serve seasonal watermelon at your party and keep the rind to transform into a homemade ice bucket for chilling wine. Here’s how:

  • Slice a thin layer from the watermelon's base – this will create a flat bottom for it to stand on its own.
  • Slice the top off the watermelon, scoop out the flesh with a spoon and serve to your guests.
  • Stand the hollowed-out watermelon on a table then fill with ice cubes and decorative melon balls.
  • Pour the wine then keep the bottle in the bucket ready for top-ups.
Wine being chilled in a watermelon | DIY watermelon ice bucket | Summer hosting tips

2. Use a muffin tray for condiments

Fill the compartments of a muffin tin with sauces, relishes and burger toppings – it's an easy way to serve up condiments, and means you'll spend less time playing hunt the ketchup.

3. Make cocktail ice lollies

Using basic freeze-pop moulds, make cocktail popsicles to keep your adult guests refreshed. Pour in gin and tonic with lime juice and slices of cucumber, or Pimm's with lemonade and strawberries.

Fruit popsicles

4. Tie a bottle opener to your cooler

Bottle openers are always the first things to go missing at a party. Tie yours to your drinks cooler with a colourful piece of string to avoid it getting lost.

Watch how to keep bottled and canned drinks cool with ice and salt.

5. Keep flies off your food and drinks

Storing your fresh salads in large, lidded jars looks classy and keeps the insects away. Use cupcake cases to stop flies from taking a dip in your drinks, too.

6. Prepare for rain

Designate one large room that guests can escape to in the case of a downpour. Make sure there’s a table set up for food, and lay down a few rugs with comfy cushions if you’re short on seating, ready for an indoor picnic.

See how to waterproof your garden on a budget

7. Slice desserts like a pro

Save time and effort by serving up ice cream with a heated knife instead of a standard scoop, or freeze individual portions of ice cream in muffin tins and let the kids help themselves.

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