With us all right in the thick of a national lockdown that will not ease up until the early stages of March at the very least, hosting is very much off the table for now. However, once those restrictions begin to relax, we can be hopeful that some level of social interaction is made available, including the ability to host at home, albeit in an alternative way.
Looking towards summer, the garden party, or rather a socially distanced version of it, looks like it might be the go-to option for friends and family who want to spend some time together as best they can. But how do you go about throwing a successful and safe socially distanced garden party event of that nature?
Use your setting
Your garden naturally lends itself to a safe socially distanced event. It’s outdoors, so well ventilated, and you should hopefully have the space to allow your guests to relax and move around relatively freely without infringing on any rules. The number of guests you invite should reflect the amount of space you have to offer (they’ll also no doubt be dictated to a degree by the guidance at the time).
Create a setting that encourages safe practices, make sure any tables and chairs are properly spaced out according to the different groups or households you have coming, or encourage your attendees to bring their own picnic blankets instead. If the layout of your garden is right before people get there, it’ll stand you in good stead for the rest of the event.
No mask, no party
No one wants to be a party pooper, but with plenty of people out there who aren’t the best at either wearing their mask correctly or bothering with it at all, it’s important you let your guests know that it’s entry only with a mask (plus, they’ll need to keep it on at all times it’s required). No exceptions, no messing around – if you’re going to have a party, it’s important you’re doing everything in you power to protect all attendees and act as ethically as possible.
Say you’re setting up a typical non-lockdown party, you’re likely to set up numerous waste disposal points around the house and your garden. If you take the same attitude to creating sanitising stations around your garden, then you’ll be on to a winner in terms of keeping your guests safe and clean.
For the bathroom, make sure to remove all towels and instead provide paper towels or another one-use method for drying hands instead.
Be sure to check your finances before installing any measures to make sure they fit your budget.
Socially distanced food?
Does such a thing as socially distanced food exist? Yes it does, and it’ll have to if you want to have something to eat at the party. You can still do finger food and all the usual buffet treats people like to see at a garden party, but you’ll need to separate it into individual portions that are provided to each guest separately.
The best way of doing this efficiently is finding out what your guests want to eat in the build up to the event and creating individual lunch boxes tailored to them. This is a great option on a number of fronts; you won’t waste food, your guests will be happy to get exactly what they want and you won’t have to deal with any picky eaters on the day – a win for all!
No one knows exactly what the next few months will hold in terms of rules and regulations. What we can assume, though, is if we are allowed to spend time with friends, it’ll be under some restrictions. With sunnier months ahead, a socially distanced garden party could be the perfect way to spend some quality time with the people that matter to you the most.
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