When you’re thinking about festive entertainment this Christmas, a barbeque may not be something that springs initially to mind. Traditionally, barbeques are reserved for warm summer days…or are they?
The answer is a resounding ‘no’, according to Kippure Estate’s chef, Paul McGavin. When it comes to food, Paul is a master of the unique and unexpected. His big tip for creating a magical Christmas get-together with family and friends this year? Reach for the barbeque and enjoy an evening under the starry winter sky!
Here are just a few tips to ensure that your winter barbeque is an unforgettable festive occasion:
- Give it some wintry flair. Make the event unique by adding a festive twist. Serve up mugs of steaming hot cocoa, or even a glass or two of mulled wine. Instead of ice-creams by the paddling pool, think mince pies whilst snuggled up on the sun-lounger. Paul’s recommendation? Or how about offering everyone delicious home-made turkey burgers, with some seasonal stuffing on the side!
- Make it magical. To create an amazing Christmas ambiance, start thinking creatively. Adorn your bushes and trees with twinkling fairy-lights, light some lanterns (oil lanterns are particularly mesmerizing, if you have any) and play some old festive tunes on your stereo.
- Wrap up. Even the hottest chili hot dog is unlikely to keep the chills out, so you’ll need to dress appropriately. Wooly hats and fingerless gloves are a must, as are thick winter coats. For added comfort, supply some throws for your guests to snuggle beneath, plus some scattered cushions to make your garden feel really homely.
- Warm yourself by the fire. Create a cosy glow with a garden steel fire basket, which can be purchased in most DIY and garden stores. This will really set the mood, not to mention provide some welcome warmth for your guests.
- Cook with the lid on. According to Paul, if you want your barbeque to be a success, you’ll need to know this tip. In the summer, cooking burgers with the barbeque lid off is standard procedure. However, if the temperatures are low, this will affect how your food cooks, so make sure to put the lid on.
- Have a back-up plan. Of course, if all goes to plan, you’ll be enjoying a delicious barbeque as the snowflakes gently fall. However, the weather can be unpredictable, so make sure you have a plan B. A canopy or shelter will help to protect both guests and food; alternatively, you could move to the garage if the weather isn’t behaving itself.
Having a winter barbeque is an amazing way to celebrate Christmas with loved ones, and creates an atmosphere quite unlike any other!