Now that summer’s here, you must be looking forward to enjoying the beautiful outdoors, spending time with your family and entertaining friends. While the days are warm and sunny, the nights can get a little nippy.

Modular Walls presents a few ideas for creating just the right amount of warmth for your alfresco dinner parties.

Build a bonfire

Great food, good company and the warmth of a bonfire to keep the conversation going – the perfect recipe for a lovely, enjoyable evening with family or friends. Bonfires are surprisingly easy to build and maintain all night long. Check out this awesome tutorial on how to make your own pit fire. Or get creative and build something a little more fancy and permanent, like a lacquered steel bonfire basket.

Get creative with soups

Get the alfresco dinner started with a steaming bowl of delicious soup. While hearty stews and hot soups are considered winter comfort food, they will work just as well on a chilly night in summer. However, step up and get creative with your soups. Try a few exotic recipes from around the world, such as Greek avgolemono, Malaysian laksa noodle soup, Italian minestrone, French bouillabaisse or Hungarian goulash. Surprise your guests with the serving style too by ladling out the delicious soups in bread bowls or special soup mugs.

Have a cup of tea

If you are entertaining, instead of an elaborate dinner, opt for something simpler – like a high tea with scones, biscuits and cakes served with pots of tea. Mix it up with a spread of lemon wedges, sugar cubes, honey and milk as well as a selection of green, herbal and black teas. If you want to raise the temperature by a few notches, add a special twist with handcrafted teas such as goldfish teabags, blooming herbal teas, bubble teas or beautiful loose-leaf tea served in novelty infusers.

Spice up your life

There’s nothing like hot curry to bring some warmth to the party on a cold night. Try a menu of butter chicken, tikka masala and beef vindaloo, with soft naan and fluffy basmati rice. For something lighter, try Thai cuisine with its fresh but spicy dishes, such as massaman curry, tom yum soup or a chili-sprinkled stir-fry.

Raise a toast

For entertaining on a cool night, consider warming drinks that don’t require chilling. Red wine, for instance, is perfect for cold weather and can be beautifully paired with hearty soups. A light nip of cognac, scotch whiskey or port can also add delicious, elegant warmth to the night.

If you’re going 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.

Contact Modular Walls to find out how you can transform your courtyard space.