You might have noticed I’ve been a little distracted lately. It turns out that moving, rewiring, repainting, redecorating and furnishing a house is actually a massive time-suck; who knew?! Add to that a new addition to the family – the cutest kitten on the planet (you may have met her over on my Instagram) - and a busy 9-5 day job and you can probably see why my blogging schedule has been a little erratic. Life is good, though – in fact, life is great – and normal service will resume asap; but in the meantime, we’ve been doing a little celebrating with our nearest and dearest.
I am all about the stress-free, easy entertaining, so for our housewarming, we decided on an alfresco affair. Never having had a garden, we’ve never actually thrown a barbeque, so we used a few cheats and stress-busting tips to keep things fun and fuss-free.
We bought the actual BBQ set and various accoutrements from Homebase in Santry, who are just the nicest, most helpful bunch of people in the world. Because it’s Ireland, we picked up a gazebo from Argos (and it came in very handy). Most of the crockery and décor came from IKEA, but everyone knows it’s the food and drink that’s the most important bit – and that all came from Lidl Ireland, who were kind enough to partner up with us for the party.
Instead of fussing about with cocktail ingredients, I made up some tropical fizz as a welcome drink: Lidl’s Vitafit mixed fruit juice and some chopped strawberries, topped with Prosecco Treviso DOC Frizzante – which is also delish on its own, so we popped a few out in ice buckets.
|Left: Lidl Alesto Dry Roasted Peanuts, €1.69|
At €8.49 a bottle, it’s a great value, celebratory summery tipple that tastes light, fruity and fresh. And frizzante is semi-sparkling, so no need for a cork and wire; the screwtop means instant and easy access for guests. We also laid out some buckets of Perlenbacher German Pils (€7.29 for 6 – also screwtop!).
Instead of chopping vegetables for hours, we served up a selection of pre-made summer salads: Meadow Fresh Spicy/Roasted Vegetable Cous Cous (€1.19), mixed bean and mint salad (amazing) and beetroot and carrot (both €1.39) which really took the pressure off. I just decanted into pretty bowls and set out beside the condiments, while himself got busy grilling up platters of tasty burgers, chicken drumsticks and thighs – along with his piece de resistance, a marinaded half leg of lamb (which was in and around €9, and absolutely delicious).
Some flower arrangements, including a few single peonies (also, you guessed it, from Lidl!), scattered tealights and a few strands of fairy lights gave things a pretty, but casual, boho vibe. To avoid messing about with music on the day, we made up a BBQ beats playlist on Spotify. And I had planned a tasty – and foolproof – dessert, which I totally forgot on the day - so I might try that out and post it up for you soon.
Any easy entertaining tips of your own to share? Do leave them in the comments!