We have all been through (and are still experiencing) a pretty difficult period and now it’s time to do something different with some themed events for fun!
The Big French One!
Given the restrictions, it’s unlikely that there will be large gatherings to celebrate Bastille Day on 14 July but there’s nothing to stop you hosting a smaller event in your garden or nearby field. Think red, white and blue, berets, striped shirts and, if your local mairie allows them, fireworks for this Fête Nationale. You could even have President Macron as guest of honour with a life-sized cardboard cut-out! It’s one of the biggest, happiest and most loved celebrations – Vive La France!
Clued Up Clouseau
Forget Murder Mystery and spend a baffling night with the infamous Inspector instead. A family heirloom has been stolen but a series of clues (maybe in French?) lead your guests from one clue to another, finally, unveiling its whereabouts. Who will find it first? Dress code: hats, moustaches, overcoats (quickly discarded) and magnifying glasses. Dodgy French accents are an absolute must!
Curiouser and curiouser
How about a mad tea party with Alice and all kinds of bizarre sarnies, tarts, cakes and personalities! They may not have to arrive via a rabbit hole but only Alice in Wonderland characters are allowed! Fill your garden with psychedelic colours, clocks of all kinds (there goes that cardboard again), and pots and pots of tea plus bottles of “pop”. If you can find an oversized chair and miniature teacups even better. Raspberry jam and banana sandwiches anyone?
There’s no place like home
This is sure to be one of those great themed events for fun. Don your red shoes, click your heels three times and host the party of the year with a Wizard of Oz evening. Create a magical atmosphere with lights, a few coloured water fountains in the pool and huge paper and plastic flowers. Lay a yellow “brick road” to your door and prepare to welcome the munchkins, help the tin man to find a heart, and give some (bon) courage to the king of the jungle. Watch out for the wicked witch though!
The French Quarter
Gumbo, jambalaya, Cajun spices, po’boys, blackened chicken, rice ‘n beans and jumpin’ jazz of all kinds. Recreate the fabulous atmosphere of New Orleans, Louisiana with music, dancing and good ole fashioned creole hospitality. Date it back to the 30’s, 50’s or 80’s or add the Mardi Gras into the mix and you have a themed event to rival all others. We dare you to give that cardboard another outing and create a paddle steamer – or a wheel at least!
This Garden’s Got Talent
One by one your guests show off their skills in front of a discerning panel of judges and a raucous crowd. Jugglers, acrobats, magic tricks, impersonators, singers and dog acts are all welcome! Make sure the judging is based on the most outlandish costumes as much as the performance and you will be sure to have a spectacular evening.
Comic Book Heroes!
Bam, Splash, Wowser, Crunch and Kapow! Dot these (colourful) expressions around your garden, include a few spiders webs, a couple of old capes (left by the last crusaders), a cascade of zigzagging lights and marvel as the comic book heroes arrive. Bat mobile optional! Well, we did say they were themed events for fun!
Food and Ambiance
You don’t want to be in the kitchen away from the fun so make the food easy with a mix of meat and fish pate’s and French bread to dip into, a big pot of something like a coq au vin with garlic mash, plenty of French dressed salad leaves and cheeses, and a cook ahead dessert that won’t spoil in the heat, such as a traditional Tarte Tatin. Homemade lemonade and French 75 cocktails would be very apt as it’s the 75th anniversary of VE Day too!
Lighting makes all the difference and you’ll find some great tips on how to create inexpensive outdoor lighting in our Bright Ideas For the Night Garden in our online articles section pages under homes and gardens at www.thelocalbuzzmag.com/articles/bright-ideas-for-the-night-garden/
First published in the July and August 2020 issue of The Local Buzz
Images: Shutterstock and Les Caulins (food recipe can be found in the same issue or under Food and Drink in articles)