Football fever has gripped the nation, with even fairweather fans taking an interest in the beautiful game.
And speaking of fair weather, the combination of sunshine and soccer is a great opportunity to host a party.
Here’s some handy tips to help family and friends enjoy the football together.
Theme everything: England v Panama – 1:00pm, Sunday June 24
There’s no limit to what you can festoon with decorations. Cakes can be made in your team’s colours or with the national flag on them and why not use facepaints to decorate your children (and adults!) in national colours (or national animals if they prefer)?
Food could be carefully chosen from around the world to give people loads of delicious choices. For example, blinis are Russian pancakes often used for canapes. Smashing if you want a starter with smoked salmon.
Consider Mexican snacks like homemade guacamole and salsa to go with tortilla chips. Frankfurters are ideal for a BBQ and are a nod to Germany. Miniature toad-in-the-hole can be cooked in muffin pans with cocktail sausages and make for a fun British treat.
You’ll want to display all your glorious food, so make sure you’ve got one or two Halfords Roll Up Aluminium Tables. These are an absolutely ideal way to make sure everyone can choose from the spread without creating lots of extra clutter, thanks to their compact size when folded away.
Don’t be afraid to use the Halfords brightly-coloured Plates, Cups, Bowls and Cutlery. These are all made of tough plastic which will prevent breakages during a post-goal celebration. They’re just £3 each too (half price).
Drinks are cool: England vs. Belgium – 7:00pm, Thur June 28
No matter what your guests are drinking alongside the football they’ll want them cool. Start by keeping as much in the fridge as you can, but get the Halfords 40 Litre Coolbox on standby too.
Like food, why not take a look around the world for drinks specific to countries in the tournament. Fruit cocktails can be made with strawberries for England, oranges for Spain and mango juice can, at a push, represent Japan (they aren’t native, but are grown there).
It’s always sunny in Russia: Uruguay vs. Russia – 3:00pm, Monday June 25
Actually, it’s often snowy and sunny in Russia because one third of the country is in the arctic circle. However there’s no reason that you need to suffer any sort of extreme weather. To ensure your head stays dry it’s worth popping to Halfords to pick up a Halfords 300 Gazebo. It’s waterproof, protects you from the sun’s UV rays and is £69 (save £21).
Take a load off: Mexico vs. Sweden – 3:00pm, Wednesday June 27
The most important part of any party, apart from the food and drink, is the relaxation. You’ve made snacks, food and drinks and your guests are all happy and chatting about that “sneaky left hook” or how someone “was robbed”. Your work is done, it’s time to sit back and take a load off.
Adults will really enjoy the comfortable Halfords Camping Armchair for only £7 (half price). These nifty seats are easy to pack into their very own carry case and can be easily tucked away when not in use. They even have a cup holder to keep your drinks safe.
Let me entertain you: Serbia vs. Brazil – 7:00pm, Wednesday June 27
No football themed party would be quite right without some ball-based activity. If you have one already you can break out the football for some back garden championships of your own.
If you’re lacking a football then Halfords can hook you up with a Kickmaster Academy Ball for £10.99. And why not encourage kids to have a clean, respectful game by offering prizes not only to the winner but also to those who help teammates. Halfords has fun football-themed bike accessories like a Kids Football Bell and X Rated Football Valve Caps.
Make sure you are Really Ready For Summer with Halfords. Visit www.halfords.com or go in-store for full details on all offers and services.
Prices correct at time of publication. Offers end August 5.