Written by Emily Falconer on 13th April 2015

We love the great British summer! Long, warm evenings, the smell of freshly cut grass, fruity cocktails and a feeling of general bonhomie – when the weather gods are on our side we can’t get enough of it! But, without wanting to put a downer on your summer parties, this isn’t always how it turns out. Event planners, more than anyone else, need to be prepared for what often accompanies a typical summer’s day or night; unpredictable rain, wind and cold snaps. But worry not, help is at hand with No.4 Hamilton Place’s contingency guide.

1.    Blankets
OK, so it might not sound very sexy, but having a pile of luxury, wool blankets on hand for guests to cover their knees with will be a real hit. Bring them out as the sun goes down and you’ll make friends for life. You could even consider commissioning branded blankets if your budget will stretch. It’ll be an investment you’ll be glad you made every summer.

2.    Heaters
Even if the weather is glorious, the UK doesn’t stay balmy and warm for long after dark, so gas heaters are a must for any outdoor summer party. A variety of shapes and sizes will enable your guests to enjoy their warmth while sitting or standing. It’s a good idea to check with guests as to whether or not they are cold – remember, you’ll have been running around all over the place and might not be the best judge of temperature.

The Roof Terrace during the day

The Roof Terrace during the day

3.    Cover up
A little light drizzle doesn’t need to spoil a fabulous summer party. To avoid having to haul all of your guests, staff, entertainment and buffet indoors, why not cover your outside area? Or even just half of it? It gives you the best of both worlds; shelter for the occasional downpour but all the opportunity for your guests to enjoy the delights of a warm summer’s eve.

Tent on the Terrace at No.4 Hamilton Place

Tent on the Terrace at No.4 Hamilton Place

4.    Umbrellas
As well as providing your guests with cover for the odd shower, brightly coloured or branded umbrellas can add something to the aesthetics of your event. Think about Wimbledon – the purple and green brollies are just as much a part of the occasion as strawberries and cream.

5.    Warming drinks
A hot toddy or warm cider will work wonders in thawing out your guests. You can tailor your hot cocktail recipes to your event’s theme, but great bases include whiskey, cider and milk. Make sure you also have non-alcoholic options too, and not just teas and coffees.

6.    Hot food
As well as steaming glasses of warm drinks, it’s also a great idea to serve hot food, warming your guests up from the inside works a treat. If you’re worried about the food getting cold before it’s eaten, speak to your caterers about which foods retain their heat for longer.

7.    Move it, move it!
If appropriate for your event, a great way to keep body temperatures up is to get your guests moving. Whether it’s on the dance floor or through some sort of interactive entertainment, getting everybody’s hearts pumping will help them forget the chill in the air.

8.    Know when to give in
Event planners are a resourceful bunch, but there may be times when you have to surrender to the weather and move your event inside. It’s essential you’ve discussed the wet weather plan with your venue thoroughly and that you’re happy with the inside space on offer. It needs to be as special as the outdoor area you booked, or you’re going to end up hugely disappointed.


9.    Communication
Attendee numbers for summer events plummet in bad weather. On the day of your party, your guests will be looking out the window at the rain lashing down thinking, ‘I don’t want to spend the evening being cold and wet!’ If the forecast isn’t looking good, make sure you get in touch with your guests to let them know the party is still on and what your Plan B is.

10.    Transport
Try and keep some budget back to arrange some taxis or mini buses for your guests if lots are travelling from the same place. The cold and wet begins the moment they leave the office and you don’t want to start the evening on the back foot with a room full of grumpy people.

Contingency plans at No.4 Hamilton Place

The recently refurbished terrace at No.4 Hamilton Place is a stunning outside space with views stretching over Hyde Park. But if the weather’s not playing ball, we’re fully prepared for whatever the skies throw at us! We can fully, or half cover the terrace and the newly decorated Argyll Room, which adjoins the terrace, is one of our most beautiful indoor spaces.. We always make sure there is a stunning space to enjoy the party.

If you’ve not yet booked your summer party, give the Events Team at No.4 Hamilton Place a call on 020 7670 4314 or email to see if we can accommodate your date.