“Don’t knock the weather, nine tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while”. Kin Huddard

Let’s be honest, with our unpredictable climate in Britain it can be difficult entertaining outdoors during the summer months. However, sitting here at my desk as the heavy rain lashes down and puddles are forming in various parts of the garden, I am ever the optimist!

A number of weeks ago I committed to hosting an end of term barbecue for a group of friends and their children. Seemed like a good idea at the time and it is but for the fact that my home will be overrun with let’s say ‘enthusiastic kids’ and numerous adults if the weather doesn’t hold up. I am hopeful that this will not be the case and we will be relaxing in the sunshine enveloped in that ‘holiday feeling’ as we savour a chilled glass of wine and graze on delicious fresh seasonal food. The most important thing of course is that we and our friends enjoy our time together, rain or shine! With all of this in mind, I need a plan!

I would like to share my ideas with you on how to achieve ‘Relaxed Summer Entertaining’, whatever the weather!

Firstly, when entertaining at home, the environment in which you welcome your guests should be mellow, unhurried, easy-going and comfortable. You will achieve this by being well organised. Buy all the ambient products the week before and store them. If placing orders or shopping for fresh food , ensure you have them two days before the event. This allows you to do some preparation in advance such as marinading meat or making desserts.