How to Host the Perfect BBQ – Part One

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There’s nothing we like better in our house once summer rolls around than getting the BBQ out. I swear I have an in-built BBQ sense and my nostrils can pick up any BBQ within a 10 mile radius! Over the years we’ve hosted so many and there are a few things that I feel can really give your BBQ that extra touch. I’m splitting this into two posts – the first focusing on styling your BBQ, and the second post focusing on some of our favourite food and drinks to serve at a BBQ.

 

Drinks & Glassware

If you’re anything like me, your cupboard is full of mismatched glasswear – we seem to have numerous ‘lone’ glasses where we’ve broken 5 out of 6, but for some reason we’re hanging onto the last one. It makes such a difference to lay out glasses that all match, so it’s well worth seeking out some great value sets that won’t break the bank. This set of 6 Tallo tumblers from Rinkit are perfect – just £4.99 for a set of 6 – and will work for so many different kinds of drinks.

 

Rinkit Tallo tumblers filled with lemonade

 

It’s a pet hate of mine when white wine and beers are served warm. A large ice bucket will keep your drinks ice cold, and people can simply help themselves rather than you having to trek back inside to serve drinks. I love this galvanised steel one from Waitrose Garden, which is big enough to hold 10 bottles of wine or 16 beers.

 

Drinks cooler

 

I always love cocktails but there’s no denying that it’s a faff as a host having to mix them up all the time. This large drinks dispenser and stand from Kilner is the perfect solution – just mix up a huge batch and set it on your table for guests to help themselves. If cocktails aren’t your thing, it works just as well with lemonade – add a few sliced lemons and ice and you’re all set!

 

Kilner 8 Litre Drinks Dispenser

 

Lighting

Once the evening sets in there’s nothing better than sitting in the twilight with a drink in hand. I love festoon lights, draped amongst the trees or along a fence to provide a bit of twinkle, and lanterns with candles popped in to light as the sun sets.

 

 

Furniture

Our garden is North facing, but not at all sheltered, so it can be difficult to find shade. A really good umbrella is a great investment – we have a cantilever one, which can swivel 360 degrees, as well as being tilted up and down, so wherever the sun is, you can always adjust the umbrella to give you a bit of much needed shade.

 

Oustide Seating Area - L-shaped sofa with cantilever umbrella

 

Pick a limited colour scheme

I’m definitely guilty of being drawn to lots of different colours, but sticking to a limited colour scheme really brings your styling together. I’ve tried to limit our outdoor palette to navy blue, white and grey.

 

Lemonade jug and glasses sat on table in front of sofa with navy cushions and throw

 

 

If I want to make things a bit more exciting, I can add a pop of colour to that quite easily – a splash of yellow or fuchsia fits in easily with those colours and stops the magpie me from feeling too restricted.

 

Sunflowers on garden table

Mason jars with blue and white striped straws

 

Cater for your younger guests

Garden games or a paddling pool are a great idea for keeping younger guests amused and away from the hot BBQ. If you have the space, a slip and slide is always a good bet!

Bring out some children’s plates, bowls and cutlery to make sure they feel included. This 5 piece floral design set from Tiny Dining is really cute and will please your younger guests as well as looking stylish.

 

Kids Bamboo Plate and Bowl Set

 

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 where I’ll be talking all about tips for BBQ cooking, along with our favourite dishes and drinks to serve at a bbq.