Matilda's tips for

Hosting on the Fly

Matilda recently hosted a lunch party at home for Carrière Frères, planning ahead with wishful thinking for a sun-dappled June day in the garden. Inevitably the grey skies of a British summer started appearing and she quickly realised a last minute move indoors was needed… Here are some handy tips for hosting on the fly, and Matilda's favourite 'any weather' pieces.

The Great British

Indoors/Outdoors Party

Never let rain get in the way of a good time - stocking a few last-minute saviours in a cupboard or garden shed can save the day. A parasol is great come rain or shine; foldable tables help when moving through tricky doorways; it sounds simple but having a load of spare tea towels to wipe surfaces down saves a headache. Bring the outside in. Old terracotta pots or planters look smart atop an indoor table: an added plus is that you can keep anything you plant up, rather than using cut flowers with a shorter life span.


Food and drinks

Rain or not, keep your cool with an ice bucket on hand for drinks; an outside bar under an umbrella is a great way to make sure guests aren't all crammed inside. If you're anticipating a colder night, a firepit with cushion-topped seating and throws to hand makes such a difference - plus s'mores always go down a treat... Prepare food that doesn't hinge on the weather - a rainy barbecue can look a bit on the sad side... Fresh, bright ingredients bring the sun in - for this event we had the brilliant Johnnie Collins creating a vegetarian menu picked fresh from the garden.

Set the Scene

with pools of lights

Lighting creates a lovely atmosphere if you're suddenly moved indoors - think candles lined along tables and lamps on sideboards for a cosy feel. If you have an umbrella up, hang festoon lights from it to create an inviting outside space.

Shop the look: mix and match our beeswax candles in brass candleholders along a table.