Outdoor entertaining is a great Australian tradition, and with summer fast approaching it’s time to think about preparing your outdoor entertaining area for success.
Writer Erin Warbrook shares her tips.
1. Get the best BBQ in the land
The most important aspect of a great outdoor party is naturally the BBQ. Without a great grill to cook your veggies and meats on, there would be no summer BBQ. There are a wide variety of gas BBQ models to choose from, whether you want something smaller and more portable adaptable for both household and camping use, or something large and powerful enough to handle over a dozen guests. Just remember to make sure your BBQ gas cylinders are full so you don’t have to make a last minute dash to get a refill. Before the party, double check your cooking tools and prep ingredients. Stock up on ample amounts and varieties of meats and vegetables. It’s better to have leftovers than to have guests with grumbling stomachs.
2. Sort out your outdoor furniture
Not every guest will be content to stand and stare at you flipping the steaks and burgers. Give your backyard a mini makeover. Provide comfortable and variable outdoor furniture such as a decent sized table setting and, if possible, have a couple of sun beds available for guests to laze around on. Just be sure to have enough seats for all of your potential guests, so someone doesn’t have to be the awkward person half-standing, half-sitting during meal time.
3. Have a kid-friendly area
If either you or your friends have children, be sure to incorporate kid-friendly play areas. Yard games for adults can double as entertainment for the kids. If you can, snag a small inflatable pool from the store or neighbor. Cold water on a hot day will keep most young children readily occupied, but be sure to locate the pool in an area well seen by the adults. If possible, hire a babysitter for the day even if you don’t have kids yourself, or rope in one of the older kids to take the job. Your friends who do have kids will be more likely to come over, stay longer, and relax more if they don’t have to worry after their children’s antics all day.
4. Ban unwanted guests: Mozzies!
While you can’t control the rain, you can control the one other massive BBQ killer, the pest that will have guests running inside to escape: mosquitos. Scientists predict heavy mosquito infestations this summer, be prepared to ward off these busy bodies from your backyard habitat. If planning ahead, plant rosemary, geraniums and basil plants around your garden and backyard as these have been known to act as natural mosquito repellants. Just before your BBQ get-together, place lit citronella candles intermittently around your deck and backyard. In addition, buy a small supply of sunscreen and insect repellant sprays and leave them in an easily accessible place for guests to use at their leisure.
For a range of outdoor appliances for entertaining or more information about gas appliances, refills and safety, visit www.kleenheat.com.au
For more great Outdoor Living tips and inspiration, check out our Outdoors section!