How to throw a mystical-styled garden party

We live in a complex and don’t really have trees to lunch under, however we do have a courtyard and with a little bit of work, we could definitely ‘get the look’ described in ‘this how’ to from Liza Watermeyer, Visual Display Manager at Tile Africa.

This summer, we’re veering away from our typical high-tea spree for something a little more whimsical. How about an enchanting outdoor lunch or dinner party that will make your guests feel like they’ve been transported to a fairy-tale story? It’ll take more than just a few fairy lights to pull off though. 

The Scenery

All gardens are different, so finding the sweet spot in which to set up a magical luncheon or seated soiree may take a little thought. Under trees is always a good way to go if you have the option, because you can easily hang lights for a night-time affair, and they’ll provide shade from the sun if you’re hosting during the day – an umbrella or gazebo will be a bit too overstated for this look. If your garden is flat with few features, you can dress it up with some closely grouped flower pots and two or three stepping stones to lead guests to the table. Create glowing stanchions with fairy lights and a few sticks or poles knocked into the ground. Then you can even add a wooden picket sign that reads “fairies this way”, with an arrow for good measure.


The table setting

A mystical mood is achieved best by contrasting organic and the ordinary with ethereal textures. We recommend either a naked wood or a white tablecloth for your base, so you can easily build upon it with the other elements of your table. Instead of pricey underplates, opt to use tiles instead. They’re affordable, so you can choose a design that will suit the look you are trying to create best, even if you never use them again. As a bonus, they’re easy to clean. Embellish with candles, flower vases or small trinkets, and lastly, don’t be afraid to bring some life to the table… literally. The more plants and flowers, the better.

The food

Considering the warm weather, lemonade trumps tea in this case, but it also lends to the mood better, especially when presented in a glass dispenser with ice, a few lemon slices and flower petals. Don’t underestimate the visual effect of your food and beverages. You want them to complement or add to the theme, not take away from it, so avoid processed finger foods like sausages on sticks or overly prepared looking canapes.

Salad won’t just tie in beautifully with the greenery around you, it is also very versatile when it comes to presentation; present it encased in glass jars, spooned into teacups, or heaped on a metallic platter. Breadsticks in a tin cup or a loaf on a wooden cutting board is a nice touch too, or even a bowl of deep purple olives to tie off a deconstructed, harvest board type of look. For a more elegant menu, like tarts or pre-plated foods, just use natural elements to offset the over-tidy aesthetic. Try throwing a garland over the table before setting it, or surround your tabled courses with edible flowers.

Now you’re ready to throw that “Once upon a time” party that everyone will be talking about for years to come.

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