With the summer comes the warm weather, an array of garden parties and BBQs and, of course, the return of the Great British Bake Off! The nation’s favourite baking show is set to return this August, with plenty of opportunities to learn tips and tricks from both the contestants and the judges.

And as avid watchers of the show will know, the final is a huge garden party that is quintessentially British in décor. Decked out in bunting and with bakes available left, right and centre, it’s somewhere we would all love to go.

So, why not get in on a piece of the action with your own Great British Bake Off garden party? For our top 5 tips on how to be the host with the most this Bake Off season, read on.

 

Create a guestlist
What’s a party without guests? And, for a Bake Off party this will be particularly important. Make a list of who you want to invite, including people who will compete to win and the lucky ones who will be on judging duty. Just be aware that it’s unlikely everyone will be a baking expert, so make it clear that it’s just a bit of friendly competition.

Once you think you’ve nailed the guest list, it’s time to find some great invites, like the ones in this official Great British Bake Off party pack, to get your guests excited ahead of the event. So, whether you choose to buy them or send out handmade ones, ensure the date, time and any competition rules or dress codes are clearly noted on them. And, don’t forget to add an RSVP address or number, so you know how many refreshments you’ll need for everyone in-between each serving of cake!

 

Plan the competition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knowing how and where the competition will take place will be a big factor to think about. In true Bake Off style, you could get the competitors to bake the assigned sweet treat at your house, but if there are a lot of bakers or you’d struggle to find the kitchen space, it might be more practical to get them to create their entries at home and bring them along.

However you decide to do it, ensure the competition is fair. Assigning them a set recipe (that’s simple enough for everybody to take part), like these Bakewell Tarts from BBC Good Food, as well as a list of ingredients and appliances they can use will ensure you’re closely mimicking the real Bake Off. You should also think about how you’ll score the cakes: perhaps you’ll use an existing cake scoring template, or will go all-out and make your own. You might even want some voting cards to make sure everybody can get involved, judge or not!

 

Set up the garden

As the date draws closer and your RSVPs are flying in, you’ll need to start planning your garden set-up. The original Bake Off takes place in a grand marquee with all of the baking necessities included inside, but these can be very costly and won’t allow you and your guests to make the most of the summer sunshine.

That said, you’re bound to want a shelter in case the British weather decides to strike. Gazebos, like these ones from Wyevale Garden Centres, will save the competition entries from wind and rain, and will give everyone some shade from the (hopefully!) sunny weather. Be sure to have plenty of seating dotted round as well, whether it’s your garden chairs or you choose to go more relaxed with beanbags and deck chairs. Your guests will need somewhere to relax with a cup of tea, to wash all that cake down!

 

Add some decorations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Apart from the competition and cakes, the decorating process is bound to be one of the most exciting parts of hosting a Bake Off party.

British-themed bunting, tablecloths and balloons won’t go amiss in your Bake Off wonderland. And, if you’re really getting into the spirit, you could even invest in these British Flag aprons from the London Hut, to differentiate the bakers from the rest of your guests. However, if you want to go with a more classic party vibe, we have a great selection of paper plates and cups. You could even offer some goodie bags for them to take some cake away in. Check out our paper party bags.

 

Think of a prize

A competition isn’t a competition without a prize. So, make sure you put some thought into what you should award your star baker with. This could be something as simple as a framed certificate, or you might want to give them something bigger for their efforts.

Given that they entered the competition, it’s likely they already like baking and sweet treats, so why not gift them with a voucher for afternoon tea? Even if it’s just one you’ll make for them at home, they’re sure to appreciate being on the opposite side of the kitchen this time.

 

Hosting your own Bake Off party is a great way to celebrate the return of everybody’s favourite baking programme. And with so many ideas ready to put into action, this could even become a yearly thing for you and your guests. Just make it’s as fun as possible to ensure everybody leaves your party with a sweet taste in their mouth!