Al Fresco Living // With The White Company {Part One - Hosting a Garden Party}

May 15, 2018

Morning! How's your week going so far? If you follow me on Instagram then you might have seen that we hosted our first garden party of the season on Saturday, in which I partnered up with The White Company to showcase some of their gorgeous outdoor living collection for this summer. I'm always excited to see what products they'll bring out each season, they just get it so so right and their ranges just slot right into place in our home and garden. I've been buying from them for years, and I particularly love how they repeat old favourites {so you can add to your collection like heart serving bowls, bunting or cushion pads} but equally give you some new inspiration. This is the first of three blog posts this week in which I'll be sharing some ideas for hosting, first up, the party prep. Then later this week I'll be sharing BBQ-recipe inspiration and garden decor.

I don't know about you but I really enjoy hosting and planning a party, no matter how big or small. Whether it's for a birthday or just because, a simple BBQ with family and friends, or a full on pizza party like our housewarming, I find it really fun to plan menus and pretty up our outdoor space. My parents always loved to host too, and I can remember from a young age, at a weekend hearing my Dad hoovering or cutting the grass whilst my Mum was in the kitchen early in the morning prepping the food and feeling that anticipation and excitement. It's really just about having people over -it's the gathering of everyone together that counts and it doesn't have to be a big thing. But every once in a while, I unleash my inner Martha Stewart and get planning to make it feel that little bit extra special. 

Once you've set a date and decided how many people to invite, my first thoughts turn to what to cook. I'm a born list maker and around a week before I'll start leafing through cookbooks, or going online to find some recipes. You don't want anything complicated at all. Hosting is all about keeping things uber simple, but making it look like you've gone to a lot of effort. But in reality, nobody will mind anyway. I like to have a list for a big food shop and work out what I can prepare in advance. 

May is such a gorgeous month to think about your outdoor decor and table linen with a whole summer ahead - and where better to look than The White Company. I genuinely don't think they sell anything that I don't like, it's the perfect mix of neutrals that just screams summer and al fresco living. And as proved by Saturday's weather forecast, you don't even need sunshine to make it feel like you're in the South of France if you've got the right gear.

Some of my favourites from The White Company for this summer;

Pom Pom Basket - need I say more?!

Cotton Bunting for your garden all summer long regardless of a party!

Linen Napkins {in a stripe here  and grey here, I mixed the two}

Hanging Glass Tealights

Sea Grass Tealight Holders

Whitewashed Rattan Tray Set - perfect for hosting, this comes as a set of 3

A Summer Scented Candle

Seychelles Triple Wicked Candle

Heart Stoneware dish

Boston Vase

I'll share more about food, tablewear and decorating in the next couple of posts but for now, let's talk flowers.

You all know how much of a flower addict I am and if all you do for a BBQ is pick some flowers for little jars to add to the table then it will make it look 10 times prettier already. At this time of year especially, when the hedgerows are full to bursting with green & white frothy cow parsley then I don't see the need to go mad buying flowers. Instead, pick whatever you can find from the garden or countryside near you {within reason, and be warned that most bluebells are protected!}. I really love these mini bud vases {that look like little milk bottles} for single stems out of the garden like this viburnum, and later in the year roses, hydrangeas and dahlias to add to the table.

With all the food bought, the first job for Saturday was to go out and pick some cow parsley for the table with this dream pom-pom basket  and the pup {a summer classic I can see myself using alll summer long for adding a bit of French charm to English life as well as taking on holiday. It feels really chic}. 

Riley wasn't much of a help picking the cow parsley but he sure is adorable. And LOVES to pose for some photos.

I adore green and white, so fresh and compliments the neutrals of The White Company so well.

With enough to fill a jug in the kitchen, we carried on with our walk and headed home to get prepping!

Back soon with BBQ and recipe inspiration next but in the meantime, you can shop all of the outdoor products here and use the code RVKLOVES15 for 15% off orders over £50 with free postage until midnight on Saturday 19th May. 

R <3 xx 

{This post is sponsored by The White Company, a brand I have truly loved for years and years}

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