A garden sofa, complete with cushions and bottle of champagne, is ready for an out Olympic watch party.

Throw a Gold-Winning Olympic Watch Party

Two glasses of wine sit on an outdoor ottoman ready to celebrate sporting success at the Olympics.

The Paris Olympic Games open this summer on Friday 26th July: the perfect excuse for a party!

That doesn't mean sack races across the lawn and Olympic Torch ice cream cones - if you want something a little more grown-up (with less chance of a twisted knee) bring friends together for an Olympic garden party.

This year the Olympic and Paralympic Games are in our time zone (or close enough!) so we can experience the action and excitement as it happens. That's 16 days of sporting magic; human stories of adversity overcome; and the opportunity to become the undisputed expert in Greco-Roman Wrestling!

Book a date with your nearest and dearest, get your outdoor space ready for a party, and follow our steps to sport-watching success. 

Olympic Party Planning - 3 Steps to Success:

(1) scintillating sport,

(2) scrumptious snacks, and

(3) squidgily-comfortable seating!

To take the hard work out of organising the perfect Olympic viewing party (for adults) I've picked out the top sporting events to watch, my favourite French-inspired party recipes, and, most importantly, the comfiest of chairs to enjoy it all from. 

If you need to keep the kids entertained too, I highly recommend setting-up some Olympic party games from, expert party-planners, Sharky & George.

Step 1: Know your Olympic sporting schedule

The BBC will be broadcasting the Olympic Games this year, whilst Channel 4 will again lead the way with Paralympic Games coverage.

The athletes of Team GB 2024 and Paralympics GB have nearly all been confirmed - keep a listen out for the names that you'll soon know by heart! Of course, Great Britain and Northern Ireland may not be the nation you choose to support. The beauty of the Games is the opportunity to support athletes from across the globe.

Whether it's the diving or the boxing, you'll have your own unmissable Olympic events. However, when bringing people together for an Olympic viewing party, I suggest you consider the following dates and events which offer plenty of opportunity for loud collective cheering and sporting celebration:

  • Sunday 4th August: crowning the fastest man on earth in the men’s 100m final (8.50pm BST) is the perfect reason to get together for sport-watching. It’s not just about the athletics though, there’s boxing, dressage (in which Britain tends to do well), and the tennis finals to get behind too. And, if you’re in Scotland, Monday is a holiday: perfect!
  • Friday 9th August: the sport of breaking is a new event in the Olympic repertoire (along with surfing, skateboarding, and sport climbing). Whether or not you’re a fan of less traditional sporting events, breaking’s debut (women’s final from 7pm BST) is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. (I enjoyed learning more about breaking in a recent episode of BBC Radio 4's Front Row - I'd highly recommend giving it a listen for some knowledge nuggets to drop into party conversation!)
  • Saturday 10th August: with 39 gold medal events, Super Saturday is a great day to get together for an Olympic Watch Party. There’s a vast array of sporting prowess on show to keep guests at your garden party enthralled. From Tom Daley’s old event, the 10m platform diving at 2pm BST, to track cycling (4pm BST), to beach volleyball (8pm BST), to the 400m relay finals (8.12pm BST). What a line-up! (FYI: Tom Daley's back for a fifth Olympics! He'll be competing on Monday 29th, 10am BST, in the 10m synchronised diving, hoping to retain his gold from Tokyo 2020. I suggest an al fresco brunch party!)

    Step 2: Offer an alfresco menu they'll be talking about for the next Olympiad

    If a potluck party appeals, allocate your guests to a country participating in the Games and ask them to bring a national dish.

    However, as this year the Olympics and Paralympics are in France, it’s a wonderful opportunity to focus on French cuisine. In the words of Julia Child (the famous chef who shared her love of French cooking across the world), “in France, cooking is… a national sport!

    A party grazing table with charcuterie, cheese, grapes and fresh vegetables.
    Image: a grazing table of fresh colourful flavours, filled with charcuterie, bread and cheese, is the perfect party feast.

    Keep it simple and delicious with a grazing table of cheese, wine, and charcuterie. Order home-delivered cheese and charcuterie plates from The Charcuterie Box and tick something off the party prep list. Add a couple of bowls of olives and plenty of my favourite French wine, Picpoul de Pinet - then, whatever happens in the sport, a glorious garden party is guaranteed.

    Or, if you relish the chance to experiment with French-style cooking, add this fresh and delicious Jamie Oliver tomato medley dressed with roast garlic. Perfect for enjoying outdoors. Rick Stein's lentil, beetroot, and goats’ cheese salad is tasty too.

    Image credit: Jamie Oliver Recipes

    If you'd like to offer a more substantial dish the outdoor cooking experts at The Woodee have created a roast chicken and ratatouille recipe for a fire pit. A traditional coq au vin would be perfect too.

    Although a dessert is unnecessary, a dish of baked peaches and lavender is irresistible. To impress your guests bake classic French palmiers ahead of time (they’re so much easier to make than they look!)

    Whilst the sport will take centre-stage, a delicious French-inspired menu will be an excellent accompaniment!

    Step 3: Create a tip-top (outdoor) viewing experience

    You could just turn the television on in the living room… or you could create a fabulous outdoor cinema.

    For unbeatable sports-viewing and socialising for all, consider zoning your seating. This way you can provide for those who want to sit, fully absorbed, by the sport; those who are more interested in a good chat; and those who mill between the two.

    Make sure to set out low comfortable seating right in front of the screen for the sports fanatics. I love Armadillo Sun bean bag chairs because they won’t block the screen, they’re easy to move around, and, with stain-resistant fabric, the inevitable knocked plate or glass with the leaps of celebration don’t cause any stress.

    I like to have a convivial garden sofa set up a little away from the action - but still in sight of the screen - with the food close at hand on a table or outdoor ottoman.

    Add garden pouffes and garden coffee tables around the edge of the key viewing zone as places to perch for those that mill in and out of the action.

    Don’t forget speakers too – BBC Olympic commentary is brilliant! Make sure to warn the neighbours or, even better, invite them to the party.

    A comfy-looking blue outdoor sofa, in the sunshine, inviting guests to sit, chat, and watch the Olympics.

    Get the garden ready for a party!

    To host a fabulous garden party you need your outdoor space to look fabulous too: don’t forget to ensure the patio is guest-ready!

    If you’ve been hankering after an excuse to refresh or revamp your outdoor area, this summer of sport could be it! As inspiration, we’ve gathered together ten expert tips for designing a garden great for entertaining.

    Most importantly have your country flags at the ready and choose the most eclectic sport you can to become an expert in.

    We can’t wait!

    A cushioned outdoor sofa is ready for garden party guests to celebrate the Olympics.