Whether or not you’ve been to the Mediterranean, it’s perfectly possible to create memories of this sun-drenched region in your own home. Read on to discover how to throw an alfresco event for friends and family, which will have everyone dreaming of their next escape to Italy, Greece or maybe Spain...

GET THE MEDITERRANEAN LOOK IN YOUR OWN GARDEN

You don’t need to move to a Spanish style villa to get the Mediterranean look at home. The key, according to TV interior designer Zoe Hewett, founder of Stylemongers of Bristol, is to pick up on key colour palettes, patterns and design features to add a touch of Mediterranean style to your own.

“Nothing says Mediterranean garden like whitewashed walls to reflect all that sunlight, and plenty of greenery of course, but blue - like the rooftops of a Grecian village - is the perfect addition,” she says.

“Terracotta is also a quintessentially Mediterranean design feature. From slabs underfoot to rooftops overhead and all manner of pots and bowls in-between, a little terracotta is a must.”

Introducing pattern is also a great way to elevate any outdoor area and make it feel like a destination. Think of the colourful, patterned tiles of Spain and Portugal, influenced by Moroccan geometric repeats. If repaving the patio feels like too much, why not stencil patterns onto your existing tiles or put up filigree screens with cut out patterns?

Or if lots of pattern and colour doesn’t appeal, then Zoe says playing with scale is the way to go. “Even a modest back yard can be made to feel like a fabulous patio with oversized, giant plant pots,” she adds. “If you can fill them with olive, orange or lemon trees too then even better.”

CREATE A FRESH SPRINGTIME FEAST TO EAT ALFRESCO

When even winter temperatures rarely dip below 20C, eating your evening meal outdoors is only natural. Which means BBQs are common in the Mediterranean - especially as a way of celebrating Father’s Day.

Gianpiero Mugnano, chef at Pasta Loco and founder of Peng Pasta, explains: “For Father’s Day we make a big fire pit called falo, it’s huge, maybe 2m. Every neighbourhood will have a challenge: who can have the biggest one? The BBQ happens in the late evening, about 5pm.”

For your Father’s Day BBQ, make sure you have plenty of sausages and slow cooked lamb, marinated with Mediterranean herbs like rosemary and fennel pollen, not to mention extra virgin olive oil. Fresh bread - from garlic-infused crostini to warm Greek flatbreads - are also a must.

While you’re waiting for the meat to marinade, roast some vegetables on the fire: red peppers, aubergine, courgette. You’ll also want plenty of salads at the table, made with the freshest produce. “In Italy we would use a lot of tomato, fresh oregano, red onion, a type of small Italian cucumber called a Berese, spicy wild rocket,” says Ganpiero, who grew up in the Puglia region of Southern Italy. “I can remember my father always threw a few ice cubes into the salad to keep it fresh. At the end you have all these juices from the tomato, olive oil, melted ice cube - a perfect sauce to dip fresh bread into!”

For dessert, try the traditional Italian celebration treat ‘depaola St Joseph’ - a choux pastry filled with creme patissiere and icing sugar - Greek baklava, Spanish churros or keep it simple with a big bowl of gelato. “Ice cream in the summer is big,” says Gianpiere. “Or granita: crushed ice with lemon juice or mint syrup.”

Don’t forget plenty of wine and beer from the Mediterranean for the grown ups, or mix up a jug or two of sangria. And for the children, homemade lemonade, freshly squeezed orange juice and iced water flavoured with citrus slices.

GET INSPIRED

GET INSPIRED

TAPAS DISHES

Etsy

TILE COASTERS

Etsy

CUSHION COVERS

IKEA

PAPER LANTERNS

Etsy

LINEN TABLE CLOTH

Linen Me

GLASS TUMBLERS

IKEA

FESTOON LIGHTS

Etsy

CUSHION COVERS

IKEA

EXTRA TOUCHES TO ADD TO THE ALFRESCO PARTY ATMOSPHERE

The best parties are all about the detail, so once you’ve got your basics in place, let your imagination run wild.

Decorate your alfresco event space with plenty of Mediterranean colour - azure and cerulean blues, vivid saffron and burnt ochre, soft olive green and dazzling bright white. Scatter cushions for people to sit on and hang paper lanterns up to blow in the breeze. String lights around and fill colourful jars with tealights to create a flickering candle-lit atmosphere as the sun goes down.

The table should be a focal point, spread with a white tablecloth and decorated with nature-inspired beauty. Use flowers, foliage and even fruit to create an eye-catching centrepiece. Create a runner using strands of ivy dotted with vibrant oranges and lemons, or float colourful blooms like passion flowers and bougainvillea in glass bowls along the length of the table.

If you’ve got the space, why not set up a marquee for your event where you can dance the night away to classic Mediterranean tunes? Or better yet, a bell tent inspired by the Northern African countries on the other side of the sea, where you can even have a sleepover to finish off the family fun.

And lastly, don’t forget to create a party soundtrack with music from around the region. Keep it traditional with plenty of folk music, or stream the latest tunes from popular Greek, Italian or Spanish artists like Nikos Vertis, Eros Ramazzotti and Enrique Iglesias.

If you’ve got the space, why not set up a marquee for your event where you can dance the night away to classic Mediterranean tunes? Or better yet, a bell tent inspired by the Northern African countries on the other side of the sea, where you can even have a sleepover to finish off the family fun.

And lastly, don’t forget to create a party soundtrack with music from around the region. Keep it traditional with plenty of folk music, or stream the latest tunes from popular Greek, Italian or Spanish artists like Nikos Vertis, Eros Ramazzotti and Enrique Iglesias.

GET INSPIRED

TAPAS PLATES

Etsy

TILE COASTERS

Etsy

PAPER LANTERNS

Etsy

CUSHION COVERS

IKEA

GLASS TUMBLERS

IKEA

LINEN TABLECLOTH

Linen Me

FESTOON LIGHTS

Etsy

CUSHION COVERS

IKEA

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