Country lunches & sunshine brunches: the complete guide to throwing a beautiful baby shower

 

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Impending motherhood is the perfect time for an intimate gathering. The flush of a pregnancy bloom becomes a celebration of new life – a baby shower.

But with nibbles, drinks and decor to juggle, there is plenty to think about.

Whether the bundle of joy’s gender is a closely-guarded secret or the big reveal has already taken place, our shower themes are a delightful way to celebrate a soon-to-be baby and pamper a friend on the brink of motherhood.

Country garden party

A country garden-themed lunch will make an idyllic setting for any mum-to-be. Gender-neutral soft pastels, such as lavender, mint and lemon, together with loosely-arranged wildflowers and chic candelabras combine to create rustic relaxation and glamour.

The carte du jour: For an alfresco buffet, whip up an array of bite-sized canapés: tiny sandwiches, lamb lollipops, fresh focaccia and a spring green salad.

Mocktails and bubbles are the natural partners for your delicious dishes. Try elderflower cordial with cloudy apple juice, lemonade, cucumber slices and fresh mint for the non-drinkers (laced with champagne for more indulgent guests) and topped with sliced strawberries.

The decor: Hang tissue paper pom-poms from trees alongside candelabras to give a vintage feel, complemented by stylish greenery scattered across tables. Intersperse with little posies of seasonal wildflowers, such as cornflowers, larkspur and sweet peas, artfully arranged in a Lismore Essence vase.

The pastime: If the baby’s gender is a mystery, why not set up a predictions board? Place a canvas with a gilded frame out on the lawn for guests to guess the name, gender, weight, length, birth date and time.

The gift: Give your expectant mum organic lotions and potions to help keep her skin glowing. A treat of natural pampering products will be gratefully received among all those gifts for baby.

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Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Chic mums-to-be will enjoy a luxurious brunch inspired by this much-loved film – a cute theme for a bouncing baby boy.

A robin egg blue and white colour scheme, a centrepiece cake and fun tiaras will allow guests to channel their inner Audrey.

The carte du jour: Pastries, from freshly baked pain au chocolat to cinnamon and raisin swirls, are an indulgent treat. Follow up with French toast and stacked waffles, served with piles of juicy strawberries and fresh cream for the ultimate heavenly brunch.

Add a twist to your menu with boy-blue aperitifs; banana blueberry smoothies and blueberry mojitos (virgin versions for the guest of honour) are both luscious and refreshing.

The decor: For a touch of Tiffany’s, present all your dishes and drinks in dazzling crystal, such as these Mixology Argon tumblers. Blanket the tables with robin egg blue tablecloths and white table runners, adding white flowers – freesias and lisianthus – in crystal vases.

To mimic the much-coveted little blue boxes, cover packages of varying sizes with wrapping paper in that distinctive hue, then adorn with white satin ribbon. Strings of draped pearls will finish off the look, in true Audrey Hepburn fashion.

The pastime: Mobile-making is a sweet activity, with each guest creating a different piece. Diamonds, pearls and all that glitters should be the main components for a Breakfast at Tiffany’s mobile.

The gift: The perfect gift to fit the theme? An engraved sterling silver rattle, naturally.

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Vintage afternoon tea

Is your mum-to-be expecting a baby girl? Throw an afternoon tea bash with a vintage feel, using a pink palette for a gender-centric celebration.

The carte du jour: We couldn’t contemplate afternoon tea without scrumptious scones, slathered in butter, homemade jam and clotted cream. Indulgent éclairs, rosy macarons and raspberry meringues are a perfect trio of petit fours.

Dish up a few light bites for savoury fans, perhaps artichoke crostini, stuffed garlic mushrooms, fresh asparagus wraps and miniature Welsh rarebit.

Orange-infused earl grey iced tea and bubbles – sipped from vintage teacups – will help to celebrate the occasion in style.

The decor: Break out the best bone china and assemble all the cake stands you can muster – we adore this floral inspired Butterfly Bloom cake stand from Wedgwood.

If ever bunting was called for, this is the occasion. Jugs full of old-fashioned flowers such as peonies, hydrangeas and carnations in romantic hues of damson, grape and blush will create artful centrepieces for your tables.

The pastime: Cupcake decorating is a relaxed treat for guests. Embellish classic miniature victoria sponges with candy-pink icing and provide bowls of edible pearls, rainbow glitter and sprinkles.

The gift: A personalised memory box, adorned with vintage images, will be just perfect, the parents can add treasures for years to come.

CountryLunches

Sunshine brunch

Looking for a gender-neutral affair? Host a brunch with a charming sunshine yellow and pristine white colour scheme, letting bright summer mornings and freshly sprung flowers act as your muse, whatever the weather.

The carte du jour: Hard-boiled eggs with buttery soldiers, banana pancakes drizzled in golden syrup and soft lemon muffins will capture the theme perfectly.

Refreshing bucks fizz and homemade lemonade will certainly bring sunshine to the tastebuds. Present in this Mixology Neon decanter to make your table a show-stopper.

The decor: Dress your tables with generous bunches of daffodils, tulips and chrysanthemums. For maximum impact, giant yellow balloons, tied with white ribbon, will look like you’ve literally invited the sunshine.

The pastime: Give your guests a creative challenge with quilt square making. Each guest pegs their creation to a ribbon strung across a wall, creating a unique display. If you have a particularly crafty crowd, persuade them to piece the quilt together.

The gift: Create your own hamper, filled with plenty of sunny goodies, for a thoughtful baby shower gift. A soft muslin square, luxury swaddle blanket, knitted booties and gentle baby balm make for gorgeous touches.

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