Hosting a garden book club party

Make the most of summer and bring your next book club meeting outdoors!

Hosting a garden book club party
Make the most of summer and bring your next book club meeting outdoors!

Why not choose your next book to reflect the joy of the summer season and throw a book club garden tea party. If you’d like to be the host then we’ve got some tips to make your next meeting a real summer celebration.

Start with a garden-inspired selection: Tis the season of summer! If it’s time to pick your next book club selection then why not pick a book that reflects bygone eras that held summer traditions such as afternoon garden tea. By picking a classic novel you have set the stage to throwing a fabulous garden themed party for your next meeting picks:
1) Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
2) The Great Gatsby by Scott F. Fitzgerald
2) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Set the date: Give your book club members approximately four-six weeks to read the next book club pick. As soon as the book has been selected then set out the invitations for your garden meeting party. Try hosting from 1-4pm when tradition called for afternoon tea.

Get into the spirit: If you’d really like to set the stage in terms of décor then ask your guests to come dressed up as their favourite classic character. It will make for an amusing atmosphere during your garden party. White gloves anyone?

Floral motif: Since you’re already hosting outdoors then you have the benefit of being in the beautiful outdoors. Set up a white-linen draped table near your garden. Decorate with flowers. You can make a stunning inexpensive floral centerpiece by picking flowers from your own garden. Display in an old ceramic milk jug or place floating flowers in tiny teas cups.

The tea table – what to serve: Set up a table just for tea. Choose approximately three-four teas to suit every need and let steep in an array of colourful teapots. Our picks: Chamomile, Peppermint, Chai, and Green tea. Tea is inexpensive so it’s easy to be able to serve half a dozen varieties if you so choose. If it’s an especially hot summer day try having a container of steeped tea over is ready. Ask guests to each bring a tray of their favourite recipe of crustless sandwiches. For a true Victorian-style tea party prepare (or buy) scones with Devonshire crème and a bowl of ripen summer strawberries. Check local patisseries for fresh-baked scones.

Accessorize: If you’re lucky enough to own china then add a dramatic touch to your table setting with antique porcelains and silver. Good tip: Try hunting at local flea markets or garage sales leading up to the pick day. You may be able to find an array of inexpensive china. The less matchy the better! It’s shabby-chic at it’s best.

Sweet melodies: Help draw out book club conversation with a sweet symphony of sounds. Select an artist or concert from your book club’s time period. Remember, music should blend into the background and not be the main focus.

To tea or not to tea: While following tradition is nice, you don’t have to be a tea snob to throw a great tea party. Invent your own traditions and customs. The most important detail is that you and your guest simply have a fun time.

Parting Ways: Want to give your guests something to bring home? Send them each on their way with a tea time favour. Tie a bookmark around a small container of jam or a packet of garden seeds.