Whether you’re enjoying a laid-back afternoon with friends or hosting a full-scale dinner party, your kitchen will play a big part in entertaining guests in the summer. Getting it ready for the warmer months is one of the easiest ways to make sure the season is a breeze.
Given that the kitchen is often centrepiece of the home, you’ll want to create a relaxing environment, and a bit of preparation is sure to serve you well in this. We caught up with Lauren Roper,resident food lover and design enthusiast at Wren Kitchens, to get her top tips on prepping your kitchen for summer.
Explore our handy tips and make sure your kitchen is set up to be as useful as possible; by taking a few simple steps to organise your space, you can spend less time prepping and more time basking in the sun!
Grow yourself a herb garden
Starting a herb garden is a wonderfully rewarding way to get yourself ready for the summer, and the best part is that it’s extremely easy to get started. You don’t need much space – a simple sunny windowsill will do, so this is perfect if you’ve got limited room outdoors, or you live in a flat.
The beauty of having a selection of fresh herbs right at your fingertips is that you can easily experiment with different flavours and new try recipes, broadening your palate and discovering new dishes you love.
Get started by reading our ultimate guide to growing herbs!
Ice trays and pitchers at the ready
An ice-cold drink is the best way to refresh your guests on a hot summer’s day. Invest in a good pitcher, fill up the freezer, and you’ll be ready to quench a crowd at a moment’s notice.
Experiment with fruit cocktails, or fresh lemonade, as they’re sure to impress your guests. You can even get creative and mix in some of those fresh herbs! In fact, adding some fresh mint to your drinks is really refreshing and also great for the digestive system; perfect if you’re hosting a BBQ or dinner party.
For more summer drinks ideas, get inspired by our guide to making incredible summer soft drinks.
Create a go-to list of no-cook recipes
When the weather’s great outside the last thing you’ll want to be doing is standing at a hot stove all night. Plan ahead and create a list of no-cook recipes with seasonal foods – it will serve you well over the summer months.
Simple changes, such as switching your morning porridge for overnight oats, or exchanging hot dinners for crisp salads and chilled desserts, work nicely. You can also try using different herbs to give your recipes a summery twist and create new lighter and fresher dishes. Go easy on warm flavours like nutmeg and cinnamon and instead use fresh citrus and coconut.
For more ideas, have a look through our favourite summer recipes.
Dig out the picnic basket
A picnic basket that’s pre-packed with all the essentials will make unplanned picnics and outings simple to organise. Knowing that the cutlery, blankets and non-perishables are all ready to go, you can simply pack up your fresh ingredients on your way out – perfect!
For inspiration for your outdoor feasts, read our guide to the perfect picnic.
How do you change things up in your kitchen over summer? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us @JamieOliver!