June is finally here, meaning that the official start of summer (June 21st) is not far away. This also means that you might be keeping an eye on the weather forecast to see when the best time is to drag your barbecue out of the garden shed.
While grilling a couple of sausages is easy enough, there are better ways to have a barbecue that everyone can enjoy - even if the weather doesn't play ball!
Follow our top tips to ensure you have the best barbecues possible:
Have a backup plan
So you have all the food ready to go, your guests are due any minute and the heavens open. What are you going to do?
If there's one thing you can rely on this summer it is that the British weather is unlikely to match your plans, so it pays to have a backup in place. Ensure you have somewhere inside for your guests to go if it does start raining and that you're able to prepare food in the kitchen rather than standing over the barbecue with an umbrella in hand.
This may not be what you planned, but at least you can all have fun and get fed.
Keep creepy crawlies away
Ants and other bugs can ruin barbecues as well as picnics, so you'll definitely want to keep them away from food and your guests. Any kind of creepy crawly can be off-putting and annoying when you're trying to enjoy a gathering outside, so you should have something to hand to get rid of them.
Rather than spraying insect repellent or other chemical-based deterrents around - which isn't ideal if you're eating or have sensitive skin - use our Citronella Outdoor Candle.
The citrus candle will make your garden smell nice and fresh while also driving away any insects that could ruin your party. Each candle burns for six hours so you'll be totally covered during both night and day.
Mix up the food
We all know that burgers and sausages are the standard options for barbecues, but they aren't exactly interesting. This summer, why not mix up what you put on your grill and offer your family and friends something tastier.
You could marinade and grill a rack of ribs to encourage everyone to get stuck in or create some tasty garlic prawn skewers. It isn't just what goes on the barbecue that you can update though. Create some different sides or even just make the coleslaw and potato salad yourself to add a personal touch.
Customise a cocktail
While everyone is likely to want a different drink once the barbecue gets into full swing, you can still welcome everyone with the same cheeky tipple. With this in mind, customising a cocktail for everyone to enjoy at the start of the party is a great way to get things going.
You can make it alcoholic or non-alcoholic, depending on your guests and could even serve it up in a traditional punch bowl so people can help themselves. Not only will this get people talking, it is also a great option in terms of creating a centrepiece for your table.
The party doesn't need to stop once the sun goes down, so have some atmospheric lighting at the ready to keep things going. Lighting candles when the sun starts to set can add a soft touch to your garden that is really beautiful.
This will allow you all to enjoy the cool evening outside when your gathering starts to die down. You can even team candles with battery-powered fairy lights, which will look lovely draped over your plants.