Last month's lockdown easing saw groups of up to six people being allowed to meet socially in a private garden once more. As my birthday celebration was long overdue, this felt like a great way to belatedly mark the occasion, as well as to acknowledge further progression of the recovery road map.
Friends arrived at my house and, despite maintaining social distancing and not being able to hug or kiss each other, it was an exciting and emotional greeting. Needless to say, tears flowed as we were finally able to say hello in person.
Home-cooked food and drinks were plentiful, however, in order to make the get-together really special I spoke to some local businesses who were able to help create the perfect ambience for us in my back garden. Martinis, mojitos and mocktails arrived from Single or Double Cocktails (www.singleordoublecocktails.co.uk), who are based in south Croydon. Their mixology team craft a selection of both staple and novel cocktails which are then delivered to your door, along with appropriate garnishes, ready for you to pour into your favourite glass.
The garden was beautifully decorated by Natasha from The Hip Hooray Company (www.thehiphooraycompany.com). They specialise in unique and exquisite bell tents, but for this occasion we opted for their lounge set-up. Natasha's eye for detail was amazing, as she transformed our garden into a beautiful bespoke venue. She is able to work with any space and tailor the look accordingly.
Rachel, from Rachel Thornhill Photography (www.rachelthornhill.co.uk), took some stunning shots of the party, including close-ups of the cocktails and lounging area.
For me, music is an integral part of a party and so I just had to book our own local radio station, Ridge Radio, to play for us. Mel DJ, one of the station's presenters, raised our energy levels with his tracks and was able to accommodate every request we had. Being able to dance with good friends again felt incredible!
Mel DJ told us:
"I'm Mel DJ, and I have the pleasure of being a presenter for Tandridge's best community radio station, Ridge Radio. I also get out into the community to perform at, or promote, private and community events. It was exciting and inspirational to bring the music vibe to Louise D'Costa's garden party. It was a sign of good things to come, heralding the return of live and in-person gatherings. If you want Ridge Radio to help at your event, whether it's a community fundraiser or private celebration, then email firstname.lastname@example.org. Fancy joining Ridge Radio? Then email email@example.com – we look forward to hearing from you. Please also listen in at ridgeradio.co.uk!"
As the night drew in, we sat chatting around our log fire, reminiscing on the past year, exchanging stories and commenting on how surreal some of it has been. It was the perfect end to the perfect party. If you are looking to hold an event in your garden why not contact these locally based businesses to help perfect your event.