Summer is here – at last! Which means that the smell of BBQ’s is in the air and one thing is for sure, it’s certainly contagious! Having a BBQ means getting all your friends and family together, eating and drinking the long, summery evenings away and enjoying the sunshine with those you love most. However if you’re the one cooking and hosting it can also mean lots of preparation and hard work…
With the World Cup being on as well as Father’s Day, we had a BBQ over at my Dad’s house last weekend (you can check out what I wore above- everything is linked at the end of the post). My dad is a self professed King Of The BBQ with king prawn and shrimp skewers and ribs from Antony Worrall Thompson’s barbecue book to name but two dishes. There’s always so much work that goes into one of my dad’s BBQs but he has it down to a fine art now from the food and cooking to the garden decoration and seating.
To kick start your dining al fresco this summer, I’m going to share some helpful tips and ideas of how you can get your garden BBQ ready this summer.
LIGHTING IS EVERYTHING
You want your guests to stay as long as possible, right? Well, just because it gets dark at the end of the evening doesn’t mean you all have to say goodbye. Some well placed garden lights will show your guests that they don’t need to leave early. LED garden lights are really popular right now as they create a great atmosphere as well as save you a fortune on your lighting bills. You can check them out here.
You can also use garden path lights to light up walkways around your garden. This could be to direct guests to the seating area, BBQ station or even to the outdoor pool or hot tub if you’re one of those lucky few who have one!
Make sure you have adequate lighting on your tables and around your seating areas too. Got some empty jars and a few tea lights? Why not make your own lanterns by painting the jars in different colours. Candle light is always great for setting a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere – ideal after a busy afternoon in the sun, drinking, eating and having fun. Whatever holder you choose, I’d really recommend citronella candles because they deter flies and other bugs which can be so annoying when you’re sat outside trying to enjoy yourself! I’ve got some for my balconies from Home Bargains.
For the darker areas of your garden you could also try some solar powered garden stakes or fairy lights. These will look great on summer nights as they will illuminate the plants and garden paths.
ADD SOME COLOUR
If you’re planning your BBQ in your yard or your garden is just a little boring then adding a splash of colour can make a huge difference. Think brightly coloured planters and plant pots; you could paint these yourself or head to your local garden centre or discount home store as you’ll always find something to pick up there. You could even up cycle your existing garden furniture and paint it a bright, summery colour to make a really positive first impression and a great focal point in your outdoor space.
TAKE A SEAT!
If your garden furniture has seen better days then you could invest in a new set, especially if you’re going to be out in your garden a lot this summer as you’ll definitely get your use out of it. There’s loads of options available on the high street, online and on retail parks so check out your local discount home stores and supermarkets to see what you can find before you splash out. Making sure your guests are comfortable is important so ensure theres plenty of seating and provide picnic blankets to sit on too. I always find that lots of outdoor cushions go down a treat too, as will providing blankets and shawls to cover up with, should the evening become cool.
CLEAN & MAINTAIN YOUR GRILL
Check your BBQ the day BEFORE your guests arrive and make sure it’s clean and useable. Many of us are in the habit of opting to clean the BBQ the next time we use it… which sometimes means a year later! Plan your BBQ menu and try to take note of everyone’s preferences – especially those with allergies like myself who can’t have dairy. Now all you need is to put your drinks on ice and wait for your guests to arrive. Here is some more information on ways to have a perfect barbecue.
Happy BBQ-ing beauties!