It's that brief moment of sunshine we Londoners call summer so we are getting our pasty legs out and barbecuing for all we are worth. Giving you our tips on outdoor entertaining 2LG stylee, making those summer parties as beautiful and as easy as they can possibly be.
Foraged flowers, flame grilled halloumi and friends with a bit of paper cutting and jelly making thrown in for good measure. Oh and a certain sausage dog who pops up in various forms.
Night before: we made Jamie's frozen black forest cheesecake and just added the hot chocolate glaze and gold leaf at the last minute.
We also made some black cherry vodka jellies, to pop in the fridge overnight, that were so lethal one was almost too much. Notice there is a cherries soaked in alcohol theme here, a weakness of ours.
On the day: we woke and cut some paper chains based on a drawing we did of dancing Buckley...as you do. It was one of those spontaneous moments of fun - and a perfect excuse to use our new Normann Copenhagen blue metal scissors, fresh from our Copenhagen trip, to cut - where you have nothing to lose except a few sheets of plain white paper and your dignity. So we went for it and rather liked the result. Sometimes simplicity is hard won, so when you find it on a whim you have to let it happen. The vodka jelly we 'tested' may have helped.
Next we put up our hand painted party banner, made from an old white sheet and a tester pot of blue paint then stretched between two fruit trees. Makeshift and all the better for it in our rambling, whimsical garden setting.
We then laid out some colourful woven plastic rugs we got from the Conran shop last summer (if it ain't broke don't fix it) and our favourite hand dyed fold tablecloth by Hay on our vintage gplan dining table that we were lucky enough to find left in the house when we bought it.
Check out the Bronze Age cutlery from Anthropologie still doing us proud after three years of hard service and the vintage pink pressed glass cups we found at our gorgeous local independent shop full of curated loveliness, Stag & Bow, here in Forest Hill.
We then popped to Sainsburys to pick up a last minute BBQ and couldn't resist this rose cake - we have an enduring passion for roses! So when we got home, just in time before the first guests arrived, we put the cake of pink heaven onto a simple plate and then gave it some easy wow factor by placing the plate on a vintage retro vase with deep blue glaze to create our own cake stand.
An oversized neon pink candle says birthday and the sprinkling of fresh rose petals in the perfect matching shade came by pure serendipity from a simple posey we had picked from the garden earlier that week that had seen better days. The perfect decoration and a fitting end for such a beautiful bloom.
Complimented with a whimsical seasonal bouquet from the fabulous Bloomon and the table was ready for our guests. A small gathering of friends including the newest addition to our gang, the wonderful Sarah Akwisombe and her beautiful family.
The weather did us proud as did our foxgloves in baskets by the front door and naturalised in the garden borders, blooming at just the right moment as if they knew we had a party coming. Always good to plant up some lovely containers by the front door to greet your guests and give them a flavour of what's to come.
It may have been a spontaneous whiz round to pull it together and make the most of the weather but it was worth it and let's hope the weather stays for a little longer than usual this year. The most important thing to remember if you are having a party is to relax and have fun, that means with the decorations too.
Jordan and Russell x