a pool party is as glamorous as it gets
A daytime party should be laid back and fun. Guests like to bask in the sun, eat delicious food, washed down with plenty of booze. Some might actually like to use the pool, therefore you should provide changing areas and towels.
(see picnic and al fresco posts)
Simple, cold, and served buffet style: bowls of interesting mixed salads, a large dressed fish, plates of charcuteries, quiches. And an assortment of cheeses, fruit tarts, ice creams and sorbets complete the perfect table.
For safety reasons, I recommend using plastic or carton tableware. You can buy attractive plates, wine goblets and champagne flutes in different colours. IKEA, John Lewis, Tiger have large selections at reasonable prices.
Rose wine is the favourite drink at the moment. It brings back memories of holidays in the Mediterranean. But don’t ignore the non-alcoholic drinkers. As well as bottles of iced water, interesting fruit juices should be provided.
An evening party commands a sense of magic. You might even want to add a touch of glamour by giving the party a theme: Bohemian, Hollywood, 60’s, Nautical… Ask the guests to dress accordingly.
How to decorate the chairs
For table decorations, use shells on a bed of sand, or to add a little humour – fish bowls filled with swimming fishes!
In the pool, you can float flowers – rose petals, orchids – even artificial water lilies look amazing, and lots of candles.
At an evening pool party guests would expect more sophisticated food: seafood platters or seafood salads, and one hot dish – fish or meat. Then, a beautiful, delicious dessert.
Champagne brings class to any party. Don’t just crack a few bottles, serve Magnums. It costs the same but looks much more opulent. The alternative is a good quality sparkling wine like Prosecco.
Cocktails are very much the drinks of the fashionable youth. (see Cocktail post)
A professional cocktail barman isn’t essential, but if you can stretch the budget, the sheer theatricality of his performance will add pizzazz and glamour to the party.
Always remember the guests designated to drive home. Think of attractive looking, but also tasting, “mocktails“ like the Mexican Agua Fresca. (see recipe)
Use a fish net to decorate the table, and serve a couple of oysters as a taster.
Of course, music is part of all pool parties – lounge style or Latin during the meal – then more contemporary as the evening progresses and the guests take to the dance floor.
A few years ago, for a special celebration, I decided to “push the boat out” and got a specialist company to light up the trees around the pool with multicolour spotlights – pink, lilac, blue… and eight synchronised swimmers performed for us. It was a magical, as well as a memorable evening.