The sun peeking out from behind the clouds in the UK can only mean one thing: time to get the barbecue going!
Give your guests something to talk about with a stunning BBQ area. Think twinkling lights, colourful plants, comfortable seating and classic decking. You’ll be sure to impress at the annual family barbecue! And it’ll be the perfect venue for entertaining friends on long summer evenings.
Serve up a sensational atmosphere alongside your culinary masterpieces with these tips.
Picking a BBQ
The reason all your guests have gathered in your garden: the BBQ itself! When weighing up your options, you’ll want to consider your budget and how often you’ll be cooking up a storm.
There are plenty of options, from disposable BBQ’s to more luxurious built in gas or electric set ups.
Keep in mind the space you have in your garden – chances are you won’t want to sacrifice the kids play area for your annual BBQ, so choose accordingly.
Whether you’re wanting to create a stylish BBQ area on a budget or are aiming for an outdoor kitchen to rival the best, the possibilities are endless.
Consider laying patio or decking
It’s a good idea to have a flat, level surface for your equipment. Laying patio or decking creates a focal area for entertaining guests and divides up the garden.
If you already have decking, why not spruce it up with a tin of paint? You could even be adventurous and choose an unconventional colour scheme.
Position your BBQ area a safe distance from the house, so that you’ll have easy access to the kitchen. You won’t want to accidentally spoil all your hard work prepping food – plus, you’ll want quick access to a sink.
Bear in mind your surroundings to minimise hazards when the BBQ is fired up.
Consider adding some shelter to the BBQ area if it isn’t prone to shade. It’s the food you want to cook, not the chef! It’ll also offer protection during unpredictable weather.
Comfortable seating area
Of course, your family and friends will want somewhere comfortable and inviting to sit back and relax.
Garden chairs and outdoor seating with weatherproof cushions are good options if you’re tight on space (or invited a few too many people!) Alternatively, create an “indoor-outdoor” living space that acts as an extension of your home by adding a corner sofa. Your guests will appreciate the extra comfort.
A bar with stools near the BBQ station means whoever is cooking can still socialise with guests without taking their eye off the food.
Light up your BBQ
Keep the party going into the night with a touch of sparkle in your garden!
String up battery powered fairy lights to add a magical atmosphere to your gathering. Solar powered candles can be used to light up pathways in your garden.
Make your garden feel homely by injecting it up with your personal style – whether that’s modern, traditional or eclectic. Add pops of colour by attaching bunting to walls or fencing – it doesn’t have to be just for birthday parties!
Potted plants with shrubbery and colourful flowers will brighten up any garden. Plants like lavender, sedum and rudbeckia will bring your garden to life. Arrange them throughout your decking or garden for a cohesive look.
Water features add a calm and serene feel to any garden, and work well to cancel out any traffic sounds from nearby roads. Integrate your BBQ area with the entire garden and allow your guests to embrace nature.
What could be more satisfying than growing your own produce?
Treat your family and friends to fresh herbs picked straight from your garden to complement their BBQ food. Create your own DIY labels to stick into the soil to identify each herb. It’s also a fantastic way to introduce the kids to cooking.
Add a touch of sophistication – and fun – by using a chalkboard to write out the menu for your BBQ.
Get creative with your menu – you could even add your own ‘chef’s special’. And when the cooking’s finished, simply wipe clean and let the kids draw and doodle on it!
Keep the children entertained by giving them their own area to enjoy the BBQ in. Set up a picnic table with a wipeable table cloth and reusable tableware.
Don’t forget storage!
Last, but certainly not least, it’s important to consider storage solutions. Sadly, life isn’t one long BBQ, and you’ll want to make the most of your space. Making sure your BBQ area has enough storage helps to create a clean and uncluttered layout. And you’ll never misplace the lighter again!
Invest in benches that double up as storage, or if you’re a keen DIYer you could build some yourself.
If you’re creating a more permanent outdoor kitchen setting, don’t forget about fitting some simple shelves for storing extra firewood or spare cooking utensils.