Planning Your Perfect Summer Barbecue

When we reach June we can safely say that the true Summer has actually arrived. After a glorious Spring where the weather was stunning but we had to keep isolated socially, we are now in a position when we can meet up with some friends and families in our new social bubbles as long as we stay outdoors, and this makes fine weather all the more important. Although June has been a bit of a washout so far, parts of next week, and particularly next weekend, are looking so much better. They are looking like barbecue weather, to be exact.

But what makes the perfect barbecue, and are there any things you can do to make it even better. Here are some of my tips to improve that Summer barbecue.

Choose your food and drink carefully

The right food and drinks make your barbecue go off with a bang. All those fabulous meat products, particularly if you are planning on serving steak, deserves a great wine to compliment it. My number one choice this summer would be Rubinelli Valpolicella Classico Superiore DOC 2016  from specialist wine brand Independent Wine. This wine is already being widely fetted, it featured in The Independent and was named one of the Decanter Top-Scoring Valpolicella wines for  2022.

I love the fact that this is produced in a small family vineyard in Italy, and that is has now been produced by the same family for more than 100 years. ( The Rubinelli family ). I also love that this is a product produced with sustainable methods: avoiding all weedkillers and synthetic fertilisers, with the grapes harvested by hand. This makes it incredibly tasty, a real treat for wine lovers, but also sustainable and planet friendly, a consideration for everything we buy in our current climate.

Valpolicella is one of my favourite Italian wines, if it is new to you, Independent Wine has a brilliant guide to helping you choose your next bottle.

The other drink I would suggest is some kind of cocktail. Maybe go down an old route and opt for some sort of frozen Margherita or a Pina Colada, or you can invest in a cocktail making book and try to make a variety of different drinks.


For me, the best barbecue food is all about the freshest products that you can get from a local farm shop. Avoid the big supermarkets and shop locally and independent. We are lucky enough to be able to get award winning produce from our local farm in Essington, they stock a great selection of sausages, steaks and chicken, as well as fresh bread baked daily in their bakery and a range of salad that is also produced on the site.

The local farm shop will also have other items that can be added to your feast if you are planning some sort of buffet. I am thinking of quiche, potato salads, fresh coleslaws and cured meats. These will give your food options an extra edge.

A Gazebo

With the weather so changeable, adding a gazebo to your outdoor space is the best way to make sure you don’t have to abandon your barbecue part way through. You can pick these up in a range of sizes from your local garden centre (all open now) and are another great way to shop local and support stores that are reopening now.

A theme

With people having no opportunity to dress up recently, why not have a theme for your barbecue?  You could have a ladies day themed party, complete with hats, a cheeky online bet and the races watched online. This could be great fun and give everyone the opportunity to get really dressed up, even if they are just going to be in the garden!

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