How to have a barbecue without your neighbours hating you

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Preparation is everything when you’re hosting a barbecue. Ensure that the barbecue is lit and ready before guests arrive, so that they’re not waiting around feeling famished while you try to locate the matches.

Provide enough comfortable seats for all guests – they won’t be able to enjoy themselves as much if they’re having to juggle food and drink. Make sure there is plenty of shade; if you are fortunate enough to have good weather, the sun may be hazardous. Provide plenty of water; it will keep your guests hydrated, and may prolong the supply of chilled beer and wine. Similarly, have a wet-weather plan and indoor seating in case of showers.

Be aware of your neighbours and try to position the barbecue so that smoke doesn’t drift into other people’s gardens. You can pre-empt the problem altogether by inviting them. 

Barbecuing can bring out a chef’s baser tendencies towards one-upmanship, but competition over marinade ingredients and grilling techniques should only ever be initiated with tongue firmly in cheek. Make sure you prepare a vegetarian option for those who don’t eat meat.

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Gia G. Dixon
Gia G. Dixon

I’m Gia G. Dixon, an etiquette consultant certified under Royal Charter of King Charles III. Here is my guide to elegant style, high quality living, and little things that make your daily life glamorous.

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