How to Host the Best Barbecues

If you’re planning a get together with friends and family, there’s no better place than in your garden. It’s the perfect excuse to dig out those barbecues and pizza ovens, and enjoy some time outdoors with a bit of alfresco dining. Whether you prefer charcoal barbecues or cooking on a gas barbecue, with a little simple planning and organisation, you can get your gatherings going without a hitch.

How to Host the Best Barbecues - Gazebo Garden Shelter Outdoor Seating Area

Seating Area

One of the first, and most important, things to think about is where everyone is going to sit and eat. Arrange your garden furniture to create a seating and dining area for your guests to relax, eat, drink and be merry.

Consider splitting your garden into different areas or zones designed for different uses. If you have the room, it’s a good idea to set up the barbecue away from the seating area, or provide a screen between the two. This way you can try to stop too much smoke from interfering with your guests.

Lay out garden chairs, floor cushions and picnic blankets on the patio and lawn, ensuring that everyone has enough space and is not too overcrowded. Add soft furnishings like blankets, cushions and outdoor rugs for a warm and cosy feel that looks inviting and makes everyone feel welcome. Brightly coloured accessories will give your furniture and outdoor area a lift, especially on days when the weather is a bit dreary.

Set up a buffet table for cooked and ready to eat food, salads, burger buns and condiments etc, where everyone can easily help themselves. Add a separate work station next to the barbecue, so you can keep raw meats away from everything else.


You never quite know what the British weather has in store, so it is vital that both your cooking and seating areas have some form of shelter or shade. Keep food and guests protected from passing showers or burning rays of sun under the cover of a garden building or structure like a gazebo. A gazebo makes a beautiful feature in your garden and is ideal for use as an outdoor seating area.

Dunster House has a wide range of wooden gazebos with various layout options, including timber walls at either full or half height, and glazed panels. The addition of walls will provide added protection and privacy. Opt for the toughened glass panels to benefit from extra shielding from the elements whilst still being able to view your surroundings. Visit the website to take a look at the full range of garden structures available.

How to Host the Best Barbecues - Garden Party Log Cabin Alfresco Dining

Garden Bar

Get the party swinging with plenty of food and drink. Prepare everything in advance as much as you can, so you have time to enjoy yourself too. Leave the grill master to cook the food, or rotate and take turns looking after the barbecue, so everyone has a chance to relax and socialise.

You can easily set up your own bar with a gazebo, shed or log cabin in the garden. Log cabins come in all sorts of designs, shapes and sizes, so there should be no problem finding something to suit your garden and needs. A larger sized garden building is perfect for multipurpose use, and could incorporate both a bar area for serving drinks, and a sheltered seating area. For a simple alternative, Dunster House offers a selection of garden buildings that come complete with a log bar included as part of the standard kit. Take a look on the website at the garden bar shed range.

Be sure to stock up on plenty of wine, beer, soft drinks, or whatever is your favourite tipple. A pitcher of freshly made lemonade or Pimm’s always goes down well as a refreshing treat on a hot summer’s day. Add a selection of spirits, mixers, garnishes and an ice cube bucket, so everyone can have fun shaking themselves up a fancy cocktail. Keep drinks cool by storing them in a mini fridge or large tub filled with cold water and ice.

How to Host the Best Barbecues - Log Cabin Garden Bar Pub Party

Lighting and Decoration

No garden party would be complete without some decorations and strategically placed lighting to add to the ambience and mood.

Some solar lights, lanterns or tealights will brighten up your outdoor space when the sun goes down, so you can party on into the night. A string of fairy lights entwined around trees, fences or a pergola are easy to install and will look pretty too. The scent of citronella candles will help to keep insects away while emitting a soft glow.

The addition of a chiminea or fire pit will keep your guests warm and cosy, and it’s great for toasting marshmallows on the fire too. But be careful if there are young children around, a safer option may be to use a patio heater to add warmth instead.

Use colourful or patterned plates, bowls and glassware for a nice finishing touch to your garden party. Where possible, try to choose plastic reusable items that cannot be easily broken, and are kinder to the environment than disposable wares.

Take a look at our website for everything you need for setting up your garden to throw the best party and handle the unpredictable British climate. Dunster House has a wide variety of Log CabinsGazebos and Pergolas that are perfect for creating the ideal outdoor living area to host your barbecues.


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