The weather may not be as good as we hoped just yet, but now that spring is finally here it's time to start thinking about all those al fresco meals and barbecues we can enjoy with our family and friends over the next few months. Hot on the launch of her new BundleBerry collection at QVC, Amanda Holden has shared her top tips for entertaining exclusively with HELLO!, and you're going to love them. From setting the mood with the right lighting to keeping children entertained, the Britain's Got Talent judge has all bases covered...
Make it comfortable:
Just because you're outside doesn't mean you can't be cosy and comfortable! Scattering your chairs with throws and thick cushions, or even creating a laid back picnic area on the grass means you don't have to move indoors when the weather gets a bit chillier! My BundleBerry chevron cushions are perfect for settling back on and my reversible rug works both in and out of the house so you don't have to worry about the weather.
Create a talking point:
I don't feel like the 70s ever really went away and I love adding a retro touch to my outdoor get-togethers. My BundleBerry cocktail chest is the perfect place to store drinks, mixers and nibbles where people can help themselves, it's a great talking point as guests don't expect to see a bunch of goodies in a wooden suitcase chest!
MORE: Amanda Holden shares her home styling secrets
Set the mood with lighting:
I'm obsessed with candles and tea lights – I must have hundreds in my house. Scatter them around the table and garden before guests arrive so you can light them as soon as it gets dark. They make the ambience nice and cosy and also scented candles can help keep bugs away.
The weather may be temperamental, but when it gets a little warmer it's great to entertain outside. When the sun goes in, my BundleBerry hand-woven storage baskets are perfect to store rolled up blankets for guests when they get a little chilly.
Entertain the little ones:
You may be wanting to kick back and relax at an outdoor dinner party but if kids are in attendance, they may have very different ideas! I always keep a supply of outdoor games like croquet, badminton or board games to keep the little ones entertained, or a table of paper, crayons and paints..if you don't mind things getting a little messy!
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Invest in multiuse furniture:
Invest in nesting tables, and interchangeable furniture. We can't entertain all year round so it's good to have furniture that's multiuse. My set of 2 nesting tables are perfect to provide extra surface space for guests without cluttering your home all year round, the tray also lifts off the table so it's great for serving!
Keep track of your drinks:
As it gets a bit darker it's easy to lose track of who has which glass – my BundleBerry tassle wine charms will brighten up your evening and are perfect for keeping track of which glass is yours!
Amanda Holden's BundleBerry collection is available exclusively at qvcuk.com