Summer is all about being outdoors and enjoying those bright blue skies. When it comes to outdoor entertainment nothing quite speaks of style or technology like an outdoor TV.

You don’t need a custom outdoor TV to have an outdoor entertainment area that rocks, you can simply install your current flat screen TV in a weatherproof enclosure and get the same wowing result.

If you play your cards right inviting friends over for a summer series binge fest will be the talk of the season. That means being the kind of host who knows how to treat their guests to something special.

No matter what size your garden or entertainment area is, a backyard dinner party will always go down well, and the good news is it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort to pull off.

Here are the tips and tricks you need to make an outdoor dinner party really shine.


    Food: Include some protein, fruit and vegetables, herbs and spices.
    Fire: Charcoal grill works best, especially if you add in some smoke effects with wood chips.
    Drinks: Soft drinks, juices, chilled beer and wine.
    Atmosphere: Citronella candles, tea light candles or home made oil candles, flowers and greenery clipped from your garden, music, outdoor TV.
    Friends: Gathered from far and wide to enjoy social energy.

Be prepared.

Have your coals hot and ready for grilling or smoking.

Make salads and desserts, set marinades and skewer your meats well before guests arrive. That way you have more time to mingle and relax instead of prepping and organising.

Have snacks ready and available in small holders around the entertainment area to keep your guests satisfied while the grill is on. Go for easy finger food straight out of a packet, like chips and nuts, and leave the mains to do the real talking.

Create an outdoor drinks fridge with an ice bucket or cooler stocked with drinks so nobody has to trek in and out of the house for refills.

Let food take the spotlight.

Keep the meal plan light, use foods that are currently in season, go for lots of bright colours (think capsicum, pineapple, watermelon, eggplant) and grill as much of your food as possible so you can be outdoors and chatting to your guests while you cook.

Keep the table space clear for plates and platters. Decorations and lights, like bunches of flowers, trailing ivy and tea light candles can all easily be suspended above the table rather than cluttered upon it. Use kitchen twine to make a garland to hang decorations or hang lights from in fireproof vessels. Just make sure everything is secured tight and well.


Swap out chairs for benches. Bench seats are quick to put together, take less space and fit more people. As well as all that it’s a casual and intimate feel for your guests.

If you are feeling even more flexible, and don’t have an outdoor dining table on hand, forget the seats altogether and go for a picnic feel by throwing down a outdoor friendly rug. Use a coffee table as a centrepiece for food and drinks with your guests clustered around or mix and match by having an ‘adults table’ and kids picnic rug area.

Keep your guests talking.

Low music in the background encourages people to talk easily because they don’t have to fear the silence, which gives some people stage fright. Keep the tunes low and tasteful, you want your guests to be able to talk easily, not have to get too close or shout to make introductions.

TV trivia. Have some fun facts about the show, sport or series you are about to watch together and place these on the table for people to discover and share.

Start the conversation

Introduce your guests with thoughtful details. It will help break the ice and give your guests a starting point to talk about.

If you are going to be busy at the grill you can still achieve this in writing by creating guest cards with fun facts. Keep it simple and fun and be sure to allow room for your guests to fill in the details themselves. You can also make a game of it by asking guests to pick a card with info and talk to guests until they find the person who matches their card.