The refreshments at a garden party should be light, though elegant, and be easily eaten while standing and socialising, as guests tend to do at parties. Since the party is outdoors, you will want to try to incorporate foods that do not consist of heavy meats or sauces. Incorporate a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into each dish.
Cheese and Fruit Buffet
Create a display of various cheeses and fruits for guests to choose from. Incorporate cheeses such as a Brie, cheddar, blue cheese, Gorgonzola and mozzarella. In addition to the cheeses, provide a spread of various fruits to complement the cheeses. Fruit choices include strawberries, pineapple, blueberries, grapes, raspberries and even sliced apples. Round out the buffet with a few different types of gourmet crackers and biscuits, and guests can easily make a delectable plate out of the provided spread.
Finger sandwiches are an elegant and convenient way to present a variety of miniature sandwiches. You could opt to serve several kinds of sandwiches or simply focus on one or two. Cucumbers work well in finger sandwiches for a garden party since they are very light, crisp and fresh. Combine the cucumber with a high quality meat, such as smoked salmon, to give the sandwich substance. Add a touch of cheese, such as a goat cheese, to round out the sandwich.
Crab cakes are an appetizer commonly served at weddings; they are easy to transport as the guests mingle from table to table. Create miniature crab cakes to keep the garden party fare light and elegant. Pair the crab cakes with a sauce, such as a roasted red-pepper sauce, to add another burst of flavour to the dish. Another light though widely enjoyed appetizer that would pair well with a garden party is bruschetta. Make the bruschetta using fresh tomatoes and basil, topped with a sprinkling of mozzarella.
Meat and Fruit Pairings
An elegant course option that will pair well with an outdoor garden party is prosciutto wrapped melon, such as cantaloupe. Simply slice the cantaloupe into crescent shaped pieces and wind a strip of prosciutto around the fruit. This pairing combines the sweetness of the melon with the salty richness of the meat. Another option is to served bacon-wrapped dates, which also can be stuffed and baked with cheese prior to serving.