There aren’t many universal truths that everyone can relate to, but the love of barbecues is a rare exception to the rule. We all love a barbecue. The smell and sizzle of food being cooked in an exciting way, the ripples of laughter than swirl around your patio space, your garden getting the use you always hoped it would.
So why are these spectacles of gaiety exclusively reserved for the summer months?
We get the weather is (meant to be) nicer in the summer, but just because we are now on the countdown to Christmas does not mean you have to leave your grill to collect cobwebs in the garden shed for another year. Let’s be honest; most summer barbecues are tainted by bad weather, shivering guests and trying to find shelter. At least, everyone will know to wrap up for a winter barbecue party.
So, without further ado, here are our top tips to throwing the perfect barbecue soiree this season:
Wrap Up And Then Wrap Up Again
No one is going to have the best time of their life if they are freezing. Cold we can handle, but freezing we cannot. Hopefully, your guests will realise this themselves, but that shouldn’t stop you hanging a plethora of thick blankets on the back of people’s chairs or around your outdoor lounge area. It could even be worth buying a load of thick fingerless gloves and making a note that people should wear hats, scarves and thick socks.
Create A Heatwave
We’re not suggesting you do a sun dance (leave that until you’ve had a few drinks). Instead, create your own heat source, which is easily done through a few patio heaters, a fire pit or even having a bonfire that you can use as a spectacle. Not only will these keep people warm, they will encourage pockets of conversation to happen, and that’s what you want.
People Want To Be Comfortable
As well as thick blankets and patio heaters, you want your guests to snuggle up together and enjoy each other’s company. That means having designated areas where they can sit and lounge. So long as you make sure these spaces of yours are adorned with waterproof cushions and have a heat source that will entertain everyone, it won’t matter if you have wicker garden furniture, patio stools or a garden table to crowd around. Comfort is key.
Keep it Simple & Hearty
Traditional barbecue menus are made up of all sorts of fancy side dishes that are made to be light and healthy. Scrap this when it comes to a winter bash. You want to keep all the traditional crowd pleasers – burgers, hotdogs, veggie skewers etc. – but make the side dishes a little more winter-orientated. Hot chipotle-roasted baby carrots, curry-roasted butternut squash salads, cauliflower gratin, potato dauphinoise, creamy mustard greens and the sort of things that will warm your bellies.
Make Fun The Priority
You need to create an atmosphere of fun if you are going to make this brave soiree a huge success, and that starts with turning up the music (might be best to invite the neighbours around). Serve fun cocktails and warmer versions of drinks, like vin chaud and warm apple ciders, and have your guests get involved by bringing some snacks and dips and party games. This is the secret.