As summer approaches and the weather warms up thoughts turn to the BBQ and soaking up the sun with a refreshing drink in hand and taking every opportunity to spend time outside.
With the unpredictability of the great British weather, parties and gatherings are often something that are organised at the last minute. Regardless of how far in advance the garden events are planned, there is one thing all hosts share in common – impressing the guests, whether it’s the food we put out, the collection of drinks available or quirky garden party hacks and ideas.
Keep it cool
Ice is probably one of the most important essentials for any garden gathering and sometimes it feels pointless going to the supermarket to buy big bags when we can just make our own at home. Granted, there are only so many ice trays that we can fill, but there are other alternatives that you may not have thought of which will score a few brownie points and frozen fruit is one of them.
Frozen fruit will not only avoid drinks being watered down, but it also adds an elegant touch of flavour. It will make the drink more interesting and refreshing, which is perfect for the summer months.
If you have a large number of guests and are struggling to find room to store bottles, why not use an inflatable swimming pool– with permission from the little ones of course. Just fill the paddling pool with cold water and throw in some ice. Alternatively, fill buckets or storage containers with lots of ice and cold water. It might even be worth attaching a bottle opener to the bucket to prevent guests going on a treasure hunt for one!
We did a bit of research to alternative summer party hacks to keep drinks cool and frozen water balloons kept cropping up. We’re not sure whether you’ve used them or not, but it is something that the team here at Bents are intrigued by. If you’ve used them, let us know on our Facebook or Twitter page. We’d love to see how you used them and hear what your guests thought.
Spread the taste
So we've spoken about the way to keep the drinks cool, but what about the food?
The food is what guests tend to remember. Sometimes we have to cater for different tastes or dietary requirements, and we have to take into consideration how we present the food. If you have space, create food stations instead of having everything on one table. It means guests can easily add to their plate and avoids everyone gathering around the table.
Light it up
Mason jars with tea light candles create a tranquil atmosphere in the evening, and they are ideal for quick garden party ideas. If you wanted to add a contemporary feel to your garden in the evenings and you’re looking to buy new outdoor lighting, then our Eureka Solar Light Bulb collection might be exactly what you’re looking for.
Cleaning the BBQ can feel like a chore, but it’s something to avoid leaving to the following day. One way to add flavour to your food and prevent the grill from rusting is to grease it with cooking oil first. This will stop the food getting stuck on the grill and can also stop residue from sticking to the grill and prevent it from rusting. It is recommended to rub oil on the grill once it’s clean.
Scrubbing with baking soda is a common cleaning hack. It contains a mild alkali, which causes grease and dirt to dissolve effortlessly in water, plus it’s non-toxic. You can make your own BBQ cleaning paste using baking soda and water, and simply cover the grill using a fine brush such as a toothbrush and leave it to dry. Once dried, you can wipe it off using a dry cloth. To remove any excess paste, place the grill back on the BBQ and light it up for around 10-15 minutes.
Onions also make good cleaning hacks for BBQs. It is advised to use half a fresh onion on a hot grill to scrub away any residue. Of course, please avoid using your bare hands; you can stick the onion on a knife, skewer or fork for extra grip. When you next light up the BBQ, the onion will add an extra element of flavour to your food.
If you really want to impress your guests with your culinary skills with minimal effort, a great BBQ idea to include in the grilling is Webber Apple Wood Chips. These woodchips will add a hint of delightful apple flavouring to the food and a summery scent in the air. Or you could spray fresh apple juice onto the food whilst cooking. As you may already know, apple and pork go particularly well together.