What better way to while away a balmy summer’s eve than to entertain a crowd of guests outdoors with fabulous food and great company? If hospitality isn’t your top talent, here are five simple tips to help you impress your guests, without the stress.

1. Plan Ahead
Sit down with notepaper and pen and list your “to dos”. Order them with headings such as: two days before, in the morning, thirty minutes prior. Remember to include “check there’s enough gas for the barbecue”!

2. Create Atmosphere
Imagine your guests arriving. What do you want them to hear, see and feel? A game of croquet or petanque on the lawn, candles or sparkly fairy lights and table decorations are easy to setup and
help create a celebratory vibe. Don’t forget to pre-plan a music playlist.

3. Keep It Simple
A few delicious recipes for which you can increase quantities are less time consuming to prepare than many smaller ones. Marinated steak, chicken and tasty sausages cooked on the barbecue, served with a gourmet green salad, creamy potato salad and grilled corn will keep it simple but cheerful. Serve garlic bread on the side.

4. Nibbles & Drinks
Offer guests a drink upon arrival and have nibbles nearby. The shared pleasure of eating and drinking has a remarkable way of helping people to mingle, relax and socialise.
To really impress, summer cocktails are easy to make and a lot of fun. Provide non-alcoholic options too and ensure everyone drinks responsibly.

5. Make Dessert Fun
Do you remember, as a kid, bubbling with excitement as you chose your own flavours and toppings in an ice cream parlour? Setup an ice cream bar so everyone can make their own sundaes.
Even adults will love it