The summer weather has surprised us all with its early appearance this year and it’s the perfect time to spend your weekends celebrating the sunshine with friends and family – be that out in a beer garden, taking a picnic to the park or setting off to the beach.
For those who prefer to enjoy the sunshine at home however, the better weather is a great opportunity to invite a few guests around, get the barbecue out of the garage and host the perfect summer garden party.
Whether it’s a birthday celebration, a nod to an anniversary or simply an excuse to get out in the garden with people you love, summer marks the ideal chance to kick back on your sofa and plan for the best barbecue of the year.
Prepare the garden
The perfect barbecue will start with the ideal setting, and your garden party will work best when everyone feels relaxed and comfortable. You might be inviting one or two family members round or sending out a Facebook invite to scores of friends – either way, it’s important to make sure you have plenty of seating in the garden.
Get into the shed and dust off the patio furniture, borrow a few chairs from the neighbours and make sure there’s plenty of space for people to sit comfortably and chat with each other over a burger or two.
Of course, you’ll also want the garden to look the part and make the most of summer with a pop of colour. Plant some pretty blooms in your flower beds, get some vibrant hanging baskets and freshly mow the lawn ready for your guests’ arrival and you’ll have the perfect bright and airy staging area for your barbecue.
The great BBQ menu
When it comes to choosing the food for your barbecue, there are a few sure fire winners. Pop down to the butchers for some local produce. Sausages, burgers and chicken are all crowd pleasers sure to have an impact when you fire up the grill.
But why not make your barbecue one to truly remember with a few more unexpected dishes? Vegetable kebabs packed with colourful peppers, mushrooms and onion will not only burst with flavour when they’re lightly charred on the grill, they’ll also have a vibrant look that will keep the guests coming back for more. Ideal if you’ve got a few vegetarians coming to dinner.
Try bringing in some trendy foodstuffs as well to put a more modern twist on traditions. Everyone loves an avocado these days, and they make great additions to a barbecue menu. Simply half them, remove the stone and sprinkle with some seasoning and herbs before you grill to create a tasty snack.
Prepare for the worst
Of course, it wouldn’t be a British barbecue without at least a little threat of some rainfall. You can’t really plan for the rain, but if it does come, remember that you’ll soon have guests diving for cover in the comfort of your home. For this reason, it can be a great idea to make sure your living room is prepared as an alternative hosting spot.
Before guests come, create plenty of space for everyone in the living room and have the table prepared to hold a temporary buffet when the burgers and sausages have to be saved from the rain.
Comfortable sofas are also absolutely essential if the party moves inside, and you’re going to want plenty of space so everyone can get a seat. The Parma from Sofology is the perfect solution for your hosting needs. Spacious and comfortable, the accompanying footstool also folds up into an extra chair, ideal for those with a few guests to seat.
Even if you’re not hiding from the rain, it’s a great idea to make sure the living room is ready for hosting. Once the sun goes down and a couple of the guests start to head home, move the party inside for a good chat and a catch up. Recliner sofas like the Darley are perfect for the end of a long day in the garden, with guests able to put the chair back, spread out and truly relax as the party winds down in style.
Whatever the reason for your summer barbecue party, and whatever the weather, preparing in advance and setting the scene is essential to making it a day to remember.