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Summer is a time when we love to get outside in the garden while we can enjoy the sunshine. Many of us choose to host barbecue garden parties, inviting friends and family over for a few drinks and some (hopefully) tasty food.
Now that the warmer weather is coming, we've put together a list of some of the essentials you need to host the perfect barbecue.
1) A Barbecue
Well you won't get very far without one will you? Gas, coal, disposable; it's all a matter of personal choice. As long as it cooks the food thoroughly and effectively, you're onto a winner.
Another obvious one, but no barbecue garden party is complete without a good selection of food. You need something to cook on the barbecue, so make sure you get plenty in to feed everyone. Don't forget sides and if there are vegetarians attending, have something available for them.
3) Good Weather
Okay, you can't control this one. But if you're planning ahead, it's worth having a look at the weather forecast. While it's not always totally accurate, it can certainly give an indicator as to the probable weather; remember nobody wants to sit outside in the pouring rain!
4) Time and Preparation
For smaller gatherings with a handful of friends and family, you'll probably get away with a last minute arrangement. But for larger garden parties, you'll need to prepare in advance. Let people know about the party well before it's due to take place, and ensure that you do all your necessary shopping in the run up. Try also to prepare any food the night before to reduce the stress on yourself.
Guests will often bring their own drinks to offer to the party, but stock up just in case some turn up empty handed. It might also be worth providing some ice and an ice bucket to keep people's drinks cold.
6) Table and chairs
People like to sit while they chat and eat, so make sure you offer a good quality seating and table arrangement. Teak garden furniture is perfect for entertaining, thanks to its tough and durable characteristics. Shop for teak outdoor tables and chairs here.
Above: A good garden table and chairs set can really help to make your barbecue garden party a success. Pictured is the Antibes 10 Seater Teak Garden Table & Chairs Set.
7) Disposable Plates
Hosting a garden party can be stressful enough, without having to wash up dozens of plates at the end of it. Picking up some disposable plates and cutlery from your local supermarket can relieve this hassle and make the clean up operation much easier.
8) A Hazard-free Garden
Nobody likes attending a garden party where they need a sickle to hack their way through an overgrown lawn, or eyes in the back of their head to see all the trip hazards on their route to the beer bucket. Keep your yard in tidy condition to avoid accidents.
Most guests will be happy to simply chat amongst each other, but you might want to inject some fun into the proceedings by incorporating some garden games. You can also liven things up with a party music playlist that caters to everyone's tastes.
10) Spare Chairs
You'll probably be entertaining a lot of people, so make sure you've got enough seats for those who want to sit down. Some will be happy to stand and socialise, but most will be sitting at some point during the party. Borrow from a neighbour or break out the camping chairs if you need to.
If the sun's shining, many guests will love to soak up some rays. But it's always useful to provide some kind of shade for those who want it. A teak parasol can be a beautiful and sturdy addition to your luxury teak garden furniture set.
If all goes to plan, barbecue garden parties can be a really fun and enjoyable experience for everyone, so just make sure you have all of the things you need when hosting one!