These days garden parties are stylish affairs – think outdoor standard lamps, flat panel LCDs and tea light chandeliers and make your backyard the best venue in town.

“There was a time when a garden party involved nothing more than pulling out a couple of extra chairs and opening a bottle of Lambrusco. But these days entertaining outdoors can be a stylish affair and, with a bit of planning, your backyard can be the best venue in town.

“If you entertain regularly, it’s worth planning some permanent party spaces. An outside dining area is great for dinner parties, but for more relaxed affairs you could consider a conversation pit. These sunken spaces with seating all around are a great way to create a sociable area and, if you put a firepit in the centre (look at Stainless Steel Firepit, £88, from, it can keep you sheltered and warm; make sure you install some drainage so it doesn’t turn into an unplanned pool party.”

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