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Fresh Ideas for Late Summer Entertaining

By JulieVR |

It’s not too late for warm-weather entertaining on the patio – the last long weekend before school starts provides a perfect opportunity for one last hurrah. If you’re new to hosting parties, or are looking for new inspiration, here are some fresh ideas for great eats, drinks, themes, and summery serving suggestions and decor.


Because watermelon is a classic summer treat, providing sweet refreshment that’s perfect for entertaining, the folks at the Watermelon Promotion Board came up with some great ideas to help make your late summer party the season’s best.

Choose colour: Energetic colours are ‘in’ this summer. Orange, salmon, sunny yellow and chartreuse make up the perfect palette to decorate your table and backyard with. You can also incorporate these colours into the food and drink you serve. Think: Watermelon Pina Coladas.

Mason jars: Greet your guests with a Watermelon Caipirinha in a mason jar. Preparing a signature welcome drink in advance gives you more time to mingle with your guests. Keep the mason jars on ice in a beverage tub or a big galvanized bucket.

Lollipops: Cake, fruits, cheese and meat served on a stick add “wow” factor to any menu. For your backyard party, serve lollipops speared into a wheatgrass bed or onto a watermelon. For an extra kick, consider topping the sticks with Spiked Melon Balls.

Set the mood: Set the mood with LED candles and solar lanterns. Large hurricane lamps sitting on the ground nicely define party areas and work well to light up footpaths.

Parchment paper: For a summer picnic with family and friends, impress the crowd with some delicious Jamaican Rock Lobster Tacos wrapped in parchment paper and tied with twine.

Take out boxes: Make a trip to the restaurant supply store and build your stock of Chinese take out boxes; they are great to serve salads or finger foods in. Send guests home with a Mediterranean Watermelon Salad, cold pasta dish or chicken fingers in one, at your next summer soirée.

Spa appeal: For a pool party, quench your guests’ thirst with watermelon flavoured water served in large beverage dispensers. Simply add chopped watermelon and mint.

Sorbet: While everyone else is serving ice cream, mix it up by serving some palette cleansing Watermelon Lavender Sorbet.

Host a camp out: Old style camping is still going strong as a party theme. Incorporate items like vintage canoes and old camping chairs, which can give even city homes a rustic feel. At a party like this, pass around a platter of good old-fashioned, freshly cut, watermelon triangles.

Sunday brunch: In the dog days of summer there is nothing better than taking the time to enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast. Remember, brunch isn’t brunch without a sweet Mimosa. For a twist on this classic cocktail, make it a Watermelon Mimosa!

Top photo courtesy of the Watermelon Promotion Board.

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About JulieVR

julievr

JulieVR

Julie Van Rosendaal is the author of five best-selling cookbooks, food editor of Parents Canada magazine, a CBC Radio columnist and a freelance writer. Her award-winning blog, Dinner with Julie documents life in her home kitchen in Canada with her husband and 7-year-old son. Read bio and latest posts → Read Julie's latest posts →

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