6 Steps to Pulling Off a Great British BBQ
Only recently have we had the joy of being able to host our very own Summer barbecue. Previously, we rented a small flat that had bundles of character and space for around 3 people under 5ft 4" to comfortably visit (including ourselves), but now we've moved into our own house and the garden is habitable, we decided to bite the bullet and throw our own! Now that we've successfully conducted at least two summery shindigs, I feel as if we're ready to share our tips on how to pull off your own British BBQ!
1. Worry constantly about the weather.
Once the date is set (and in our case, cannot be changed), ensure you have at least 5 different weather apps installed on your phone and check them daily (if not, more). Once rain has been forecast (this will undoubtedly happen at some point), conduct hourly checks of all apps and refresh, refresh, refresh, do an angry rain dance, moan to your partner regularly, and this will ensure that that 80% chance of rain turns into blistering sunshine! (disclaimer: may not always work..)
2. Make sure there's water (and cake).
If there's going to be multiple children attending, be prepared! Cake and fruit shoots will keep them going (and plenty of sausages), and a paddling pool is a necessity. You won't hear from the little scamps all day long and other guests will be forced to intervene when they start hitting each other with sticks, which leads me nicely on to..
3. Forget parenting!
Between tossing sausages and directing guests to the WC, you will forget you even have children. Healthy meals and nutritious snacks will fly out of the window and at the end of the day you'll have no idea how many sugary treats your little one has consumed (but you'll have an idea by the way they can't sit still) and you'll be thankful they've eaten anything at all after your 4-6 hours of parenting neglect. The most contact you'll have with your toddler all day will be when they toddle up to you mid-burger, sopping wet, holding a chewed-up Nerf bullet (usually when you don't even own a Nerf gun).
4. Think up your excuses!
The atmosphere is one of the most important things at your BBQ. With the very unpredictable great British weather, it's easy to be consumed by negative thoughts ("Oh no, dear, I felt a drop, did you feel that? Is that.. is that a black cloud!?") so surround your party with positivity. Being British, we love to be offended if we're not invited, so if you're going to post selfies of yourself having bundles of fun on Facebook (or worse, be tagged by someone else having bundles of fun), be prepared to be bombarded with messages from that friend you haven't seen in 5 years asking why they weren't there..
5. Have a kitchen spring clean!
Delve into the back of your dusty old cupboards and dig out all of the old Christmas biscuits and crackers you kindly accepted but really didn't want, hopefully they'll get eaten as an end-of-day snack when everything else runs out. Equally as important, chuck that nasty fizzy wine you received as a housewarming gift into the ice buckets, it's bound to be drunk when the cider & Pimms runs dry (even if it's by yourself)..
6. Invest in a hammock.
Got anywhere you can hang a hammock? Tree? Fence? Very tall person? If I've learned anything this Summer, it's that kids love hammocks and so do adults! When all the kids have worn themselves out fighting over who's turn it is, running to you with Nerf bullets poking out of their nostrils and ears (where do they come from!?), bundle them in bed and chill out in said hammock as a treat to yourself for pulling off a successful British BBQ (as the dark cloud starts to roll over..).
And what not to do..
1. Toddlers attending? Buckets full of water balloon ice cubes and drinks? Two words. Flies. Sh*t.
2. Don't pity invite! They might actually turn up..
3. Don't burn the sausages! Or do. We are British after all, "make sure they're well done!"
4. One person will get inappropriately drunk. Just make sure it's you.