Courtyard dinner party ideas that beat the chill

  • 3 minutes
  • 6 October 2017

Just because winter is here, it doesn’t mean your outdoor courtyard area has to go unused. The days are still gloriously sunny, but the nights bring a chill factor that can leave guests a-shiver. Here are some fun, warming ideas for a courtyard dinner party to brighten up the winter months!

Light it up!

Nothing speaks Australian nights like a toasty bonfire! Why not keep your family and friends smiling warmly with a bit of safe flame and some toasted marshmallows? Bonfires are surprisingly easy to build yourself and maintain all night long; check out this awesome tutorial on how to make your own pit fire.

Need a blanket?

As a nice, cosy touch for guests, drape each chair in a gorgeous blanket for them to drape across their lap or around their shoulders. Mix it up with your textile choices for a stunning visual display; faux fur, chunky merino, soft velour and heathered knits all look incredible next to one another.

Hot soup on a cold night

Hearty stews and steaming hot soups are best enjoyed as winter comfort food. Get creative and try some exotic recipes from around the world; have a go at Greek avgolemono, Malaysian laksa noodle soup, Italian minestrone, a French bouillabaisse or Hungarian goulash.

Serve in delicious bread bowls, like clam chowder, or in special soup mugs to heat everyone’s frost-tipped fingers!

Spice up your life

For those who like a bit of a kick, curries certainly bring some warmth to the party. Shared dishes such as butter chicken, tikka masala and beef vindaloo would not only combat the cool air, but welcome it!

For a lighter option, Thai dishes offer fresh but spicy dishes, such as massaman curry, tom yum soup or a chilli-sprinkled stir-fry.

Wet the whistle

For a courtyard dinner party on a cool night, consider warming drinks that don’t require chilling. Red wine has long been a winter staple drink and pairs beautifully with hearty stews. A light nip of cognac, scotch whiskey or port can also add a delicious, elegant warmth to the night.

Mulled recipes for mead, cider or wine bring magical, robust notes of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, and the warm temperature gives you something cosy to sip on.

For something a bit milder, add a splash of Bailey’s into your hot chocolate or make a delicious alcoholic coffee with butterscotch and coffee liqueurs.

Keep calm and have a cup of tea

This one ain’t just for children’s play dates! If you’re steering away from the booze, pots of tea with scones, biscuits or cakes can be incredibly comforting. Mix it up with a spread of lemon, sugar cubes, honey and milk, green, herbal and black teas.

Add a special twist to your courtyard dinner party with fine china, handmade earthenware or specialty teas. Check out these beautiful goldfish teabags, blooming herbal teas, bubble teas or stunning loose-leaf teas served in novelty infusers.

Winter is the best time to begin rejuvenating your outdoor area for the warmer months; update your courtyard area before the heat hits again!