National BBQ Week is the perfect excuse to enjoy some mouth-watering food al fresco while catching up with friends and family. And in a Places for People home, you’ll have all the indoor and outdoor space you need to entertain your guests in style.

The key to throwing a good barbecue is preparation. First things first - is your garden ready to receive visitors? If not and you’re after some inspiration to make it a bit more inviting, you might want to check out our recent blog – Create the perfect outdoor space for summer. A textured tablecloth and matching napkins, a few brightly-coloured cushions and some well-placed string lights can be all that’s needed to set the right mood.

Spend some time thinking about your menu, remembering to throw in a few vegetarian/vegan options along with plenty of salads, sauces and sides. Depending on what you’re cooking, some items might need marinating so factor that in when you’re timing your food shop. Check you’ve got all the utensils you need and – it goes without saying – don’t forget the gas cannister or charcoal!

When it comes to drinks, it’s best to keep things simple. Stick to bottles – beer, wine, juices, water – or impress your party-goers with a fruit-filled summer punch that everyone can easily help themselves to.

On the day, prepare the barbecue area and give yourself enough space to line up everything you need before you start. Prepare the food, chill the drinks, select some playlists and dig out plenty of garden games for the kids. If you’re lucky enough to live in a Places for People home, simply throw open the French doors from your spacious kitchen/dining area to welcome guests into your ‘fifth room’.

Then pray for good weather!