LuxList: Best Summer Entertaining Accessories
One of the best things about summer is the chance to spend some time outside enjoying the sun on hot days and the warm, fragrant air at night. There is no better way to enjoy that than with a big, cold drink, but it certainly doesn't hurt if you have a few friends over and fire up the grill, as well. Here, we're rounding up some of the best summer entertaining accessories, from barware to real umbrellas. We're going beyond the standard table and chairs because, let's face it, you're not going to get very far without those. It's the extras that give a party a little something special.
Avoid unpleasant smoke and ashes floating out over your guests with this Gas Firepit (above) from Smith and Hawkin. There is minimal set up and little maintenance to be done to keep it in top shape and it is lightweight enough - made of crushed stone and fiberglass, not concrete - that it can be moved whenever needed. $699.
Disposable plates aren't always cheap and insubstantial, made of paper that barely lasts through one use. In fact, Bamboo Bowls and Plates are chic and made of organically pressed bamboo. They can be hand washed and reused many times, but biodegrade after about 4 months, so they are disposable and environmentally friendly. Sets start around $15.
It's important to have something unbreakable in your entertaining collection because the patio is a hazardous place for glass, especially if there are kids involved. This set of polycarbonate tumblers with a matching pitcher is fun and summery. The kids will love it and so will you. Available in red and green, the pitcher is $29 and a set of four glasses is $26.
For more adult drinks, Double Old Fashioned Barware might be a more desirable design, though one could hardly consider these colorful tumblers, made with a process of hand-cutting colored glass rods, boring. Each is unique, due to the design process, and is etched with the signature of the artist. $85 each.
A sturdy margarita glass is vital for any outdoor event. An icy drink - with or without salt - will cool you off, but the Tequila Sunrise hand-painted margarita glasses and matching pitcher by Sol Chicks will look hot on the table. A set that includes a pitcher and 4 glasses is $95.
Topping off the drink options is something that is a bit ridiculous on its own, but easily the ultimate accessory for a pool party or an evening luau. The Grog Tumbler is made of finely painted ceramic and is just funky enough to set the mood - and don't fruity, blended drinks taste better on a fun glass? All you need is a fire dancer to cap off the perfect tropical celebration. $12.99 each.
The Panama Bar with two matching stools looks like rich, elegant leather, but is actually a weather-resistant wicker on an aluminum frame. It won't rust, mildew or fade, so it will last season after season. The bars are modular, so two or three can be joined together to make a bar as big as your party. $899.
It is difficult to imagine that you might fit more into any cooler than this 50-qt. Rolling Cooler Cabinet. It can hold over four dozen cans, along with enough ice to keep them cold, and still have room for a couple of two-liter bottles. The solid-fir cabinet has a weather-resistant finish, a large space underneath for dry goods and the cooler section has a drain and hose, so emptying it after the party is no problem. $439.95.
Regardless of whether you have the practical Rolling Cooler Cabinet, sometimes it is nice to have an ice chest set out. This Giant Wine Stem Cooler takes chilling drinks to a new level, as it is stylish and fun. It holds at least six bottles of wine and numerous smaller drinks, though it could also simply be filled with punch. Made of acrylic, it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. $159.95.
No summer party is the same without a barbecue- even if you're not the one standing behind it. This choice on our list is a two for one. Serious grillers should look into the Fire Magic Monarch Magnum ($6,600, pictured), but the gourmet chef might want to consider something like the Talos Outdoor Cooking Suite ($35,000), so they can bring the whole kitchen outdoors with them.