“Everything is better in summer,” says Sydney event planner Nadia Fairfax-Wayne. “The mood is lighter, the days are longer, and the outfits are brighter.”

For Fairfax-Wayne, hot summer days evoke languid, unhurried afternoons spent around the lunch table dining on a Mediterranean feast – one of her favourite settings to spend time with friends and family.

“We can sit down after the hottest point in the day and enjoy a slow afternoon filled with good food and flowing drinks,” she says. “Any event I throw in summer is outside so that we can enjoy the sunshine all the way through to sunset.”

Fairfax-Wayne frequently looks to “the colours and motifs inspired from my trips to southern Italy” when experimenting with summer table settings. Her favourite Italian spot is the Sicilian village of Taormina. “It’s a beautiful cliffside town that encompasses everything one is to love about Italy – restaurants that have been making the same delicious recipes for centuries, colourful and bustling streets, and stunning beaches.”

In Italy, she says, entertaining is about the company. “There’s no time limit – it’s all about connection. Events are relaxed, loud, fun and certainly never run out of great food and cocktails.” A long lunch that stretches over an afternoon “slows everyone down and allows time for people to enjoy every moment … No strict end time allows guests to relax into the afternoon and truly enjoy themselves.”

The food is fresh, simple and delicious, and nothing is overdone, says Fairfax-Wayne. “It’s all thrown together with love.”

Tips for hosting your own Italian-inspired feast

The Italian approach to entertaining offers plenty of inspiration for throwing your own event in Australia.

Start with styling
“The colours and motifs of Italian summers suit me to a tee,” Fairfax-Wayne says. “I love the vibrance, patterns and shapes inspired by the stunning country and culture. An eclectic table-scape that highlights fresh produce is key. I am known to have a mismatch of citrus and florals as centrepieces at my events while leaving space for the glorious and just as vibrant food to share in the middle.”

Curate your guest list
“A summer feast is loud with laughter and sharing stories,” says Fairfax-Wayne. “Don’t be afraid to invite people you have not seen in a while. Sharing a delicious meal and drinks is the perfect time to catch up.”

Don’t overlook the soundtrack
“Music is everything,” Fairfax-Wayne says. “Providoor offers great playlists to enjoy while entertaining and to set the vibe over the afternoon and into the evening – one less thing to worry about.”

Serve share plates
Create a communal atmosphere by serving shared entrees, advises Fairfax-Wayne, “the way Italians like to eat”. Avoid the stress of planning and executing a menu for a crowd by opting for a prepared banquet from one of the top restaurants available on Providoor. In Melbourne, choose from Cecconi’s, Pepe’s Italian & Liquor, The Hardware Club, Tipico and Grossi a Casa, which serves authentic Italian food by the Grossi family, a powerhouse of the city’s dining scene. In Sydney, Bambini Trust is a local institution that has been serving Italian cuisine for more than two decades.

This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Providoor.