The BBQ rules

As the embers fade on the final bank holiday of the year thus signals the end of our brief BBQ season.  Having crammed two into the weekend I’ve been contrasting the differing hosting abilities on offer comparing to them to my own.

The first BBQ was my nieces 1st birthday party, I didn’t bring too much alcohol unsure of the rules at getting smashed at a 1st birthday party. I needn’t have worried as alcohol flowed from the minute we first met in the pub before heading back to the house.  Everyone had the same idea, the pub was full of babies so much so that it could have doubled up as a crèche, that and old ladies, this pub was either your first introduction to the world or it would be where you bow out.

The BBQ was eventually cancelled as the weather report was not being kind, so they had earlier made some one pots inside, a curry and a chilli and erected some gazebos so we could at least sit outside (in our coats), the BBQ did get lit though but only as a heat source.  My verdict:  Good fun and great back up plan, people often make the BBQ food indoors but if you’re not going to grill it over coals then you may aswell save it for another day, it’s not the same cooked indoors.

The following days BBQ I was surprised to learn we had to bring our own food.  Of course I would never expect people to supply me alcohol but was a bit confused about bringing food, so  they were only actually supplying a heat source and use of the toilet.  Doesn’t this defeat the object of inviting people round?  I’ll remember that trick next time friends come to dinner, they’ll seem disappointed to be served nothing whilst I tuck in “Oh, you didn’t bring your own food?,  but I am only offering a seat at my table”   

What constitutes food in this scenario? Will I need to bring condiments aswell?   I can imagine bartering as you attempt to trade a patty for a dollop of relish, or you forget the cheese slices so someone procures a sweaty pack from their back pocket.   My verdict:  Must try harder, if you are worried about cost then make it clear you will get the food but everyone contribute cash later on, this is far easier than having to go shopping for everything you need.

In order to clear up any possible confusion for my event next year I have attached an invite with full details (click to view).

Leave a comment


  1. It’s called a potluck in America. Everyone brings a side, dessert, or main dish. I guess we mostly do it for really big bbq’s though….hmm..I’ve never thought about it actually.

    • We’re quite alien to the BBQ due to the appalling weather so it’s fairly basic, I like the US model, I’ll attempt to integrate it next year!

  2. We’re the masters of this kind of thing in Australia – Beer and bangers and she’ll be right mate.

    • That’s what I was hoping when I went Oz last year and my mates only threw 1 BBQ aswell, probably getting back at me

  3. Good, good stuff.

    Kaukab’s daughter

  4. laughing in Canada

     /  September 1, 2011

    The last two BBQ’s I went to were potluck. The host supplied the meat, the band, dishes, cutlery etc. and you B.Y.O.B , a lawn chair and a side dish plus fire-works if you were staying for the late show. No one seems to mind…they only mind when people crash and don’t bring anything to share 😉 (& like Sara with no ‘h’) said it’s usually for quite large parties. I’m enjoying reading through your blog entries…very entertaining …

    • Were they BBQ’s at someone’s house?! It sounds like it would put the Royal Wedding reception to shame 🙂 I would have no problem bringing something to that party


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