It's BBQ Season. 7 Tips to Host the Best Party
We are all set for a heat wave, so what do we Brits do? Light the BBQ of course.
Forget the burnt bangers and rubber burgers, set a little time for planning with our handy hints and you'll be like a pro in no time.
The bigger the party the more planning you'll need to do but a bash to remember is just a veggie sausage away!
Plan Your Guest List.
Unless you have a garden the size of the local park and a sizeable deposit in the bank then success is all in the numbers.
Plan your guest list to suit your space and budget.
If you are inviting neighbours then will the fence panels lift out? You can then share some of the essential services - aka toilets!
You don't need to have printed invites, word of mouth for small intimate gatherings or create a WhatApp or Facebook group so that people can easily respond and you know what your dealing with. The less stress the better.
Yes, it's Summer, but it is a British Summer and so we all know it will change at the drop of a rain hat!
Gazebos, large umbrellas, sheeting to protect the grass and carpets. Plan ahead, local DIY centres all have huge tarpaulins that are ideal for makeshift rain shelters. Not the best if i's windy though?
The same will be a bonus if the sun is beating down, make sure you provide shady areas. Hot sun and booze do not always mix well.
There are those that love to mingle and don't sit down all day, eating on the go but you will need some seats for those that want to take the weight off. You don't need dining table big enough to seat everyone, scatter cushions and beanbags will be just as good especially as the party goes into the night.
Beg and borrow from your guests, ask them to bring their camping chairs or patio sets. The communal feeling all helps to bring everyone together.
I love a party with a theme. Whether it's a Race Night or someone's birthday you can get the napkins, bunting and balloons but for a general get together, pop some lavender or rosemary in a clean jam jar, you get the lovely scent and it looks all rustic and beautiful, or grab a few of the cheaper bouquets from the local supermarket and dot them around the place.
Fairy lights always look gorgeous as the sun goes down. String them in the gazebo or through the bushes or tubs in your garden.
Unless you are a professional DJ you won't want to be messing about with the tunes throughout the day. Plan an eclectic mix that will last for hours and suit all tasted and genres. Plan it so it's more subdued as the food is served and then go all out to get people up and dancing the night away. You can do this on a whole host of apps like Spotify, Amazon and Apple Music.
Always a tricky one, but if you ask at the point of invite whether anyone has a specific dietary requirement you will be well prepared.
Spend time planning cheaper, tummy filling dishes like pizza and pasta and rice salads, perfect when the drink is flowing.
You don't need to supply fillet steaks for everyone, be savvy and if you are cooking meat, buy good quality burgers and sausages and if you can get wholemeal breads, it's more filling!
If you are thinking dessert then a big fruit salad that can be prepared the day before or a tray of cupcakes will hit the spot.
Save yourself a load of time cleaning up by buying disposable plates and cutlery. There are plenty of eco friendly versions available or have a BBQ committee and distribute some of the jobs, like the washing up!
Here is where it gets a bit more tricky and can get expensive. I would suggest providing a few of alcoholic drinks but mention in the invite to BYO.
A few bottles of Prosecco, jugs of punch or wine and beers won't break the bank, but it's not feasible to cater for everyone. Don't forget to provide plenty of soft drinks for those who are designated driver.
Now your guests are arriving, so pour a glass and enjoy. You've done the preparations so now you can enjoy the day/night.
Enjoy your party!
We have a beautiful Sizzler BBQ gift box for the day, with printed apron, Valiant Multi-Tool, various meat rubs and beers for the chef.