At the time of writing, there’s a heatwave across the continent. Record temperatures are predicted and schools in France have been closed because of the heat. Meanwhile, on this side of the English Channel we’ve seen flash flooding and the month looks set to be the wettest June overall since records began. All in all, you might say it all sounds like typical British barbecue weather! What’s more, if you’re planning a get-together, the Great British summer is just so unpredictable that it pays to have barbecue ideas for inside and out.

Barbecue Ideas: Being outside when it rains

Of course, we do get plenty of sunny and completely dry days in this country. However, your barbecue ideas and contingency plans need to consider all eventualities.

You don’t want to hear yourself uttering that old British adage of ‘rain stops play’, do you?

A passing shower isn’t the end of the world.  Having said that, trying to juggle a spatula in one hand and an umbrella in the other is an accident waiting to happen!

There are a variety of barbecue ideas that can make your garden all-weather proof. However, the likes of patio umbrellas, BBQ canopies or retractable awnings are investments that few of us seriously consider. After all, it’s not as if we’re outside having a BBQ every night of the week.

Barbecue Ideas: Plan for the inside too

No, rather than spending a considerable amount of money protecting ourselves from the elements, the best barbecue ideas involve having plans for the inside too.

Bringing the party indoors doesn’t necessarily mean you have to shut out the alfresco atmosphere altogether. Keeping patio doors open still gives you that fresh air feel.

Naturally, when an barbecue is moved indoors, the kitchen becomes the central focus point. As the hub of the proceedings, the kitchen can be decked out with summer décor: bunting, tea lights and fairy lights all give a quintessential summery vibe.

If space allows, why not bring the garden furniture indoors to really give the kitchen or conservatory that outdoor look?

Bring the outside in to create a summer look

And there’s no need to stop there. Continue the creativity in other aspects too. You’re unlikely to be bringing out your finest bone china for the event anyway, but don’t even bring out your every-day dinnerware either. Delve into the back of those cupboards and old picnic packs for the bright, the plastic and the summery.

Combine this look with brightly coloured, plastic tablecloths splashed over tabletops and units and you maintain the fun, casual theme.

The sun might be nowhere to be seen and it’s raining buckets outside. However, you’ve moved your own little piece of summer inside!

Hang a ceiling rack

One of the best ways of freeing-up space in a compact kitchen is to hang a multipurpose rack from the ceiling. Once installed, it’s then simply a case of using a bunch of hooks to hang just about anything that would normally take up space. Pots, pans, utensils and so on – all within easy reach but conveniently out of the way.

Reconsider shelf sizes

Take a look in your kitchen cabinets and consider if and to what extent any space is going to waste. If the shelves within your cabinets aren’t positioned efficiently, think about removing them and reinserting them accordingly.

Export items to other rooms

If you’re prone to using your pressure cooker once a month and that enormous crockpot even less frequently, why store them where space is at a premium?  Don’t fall into the trap of acting like there’s some kind of impenetrable force field around your kitchen, preventing you from storing kitchen-based item in non-kitchen areas of your home. Exporting a few items here and there really could make all the difference.

Clear the clutter

Last but not least, it’s worth occasionally going nuclear on your kitchen and having an aggressive clear-out. As a rule of thumb, anything you haven’t used or missed within the past 12 months is something you can live without. The same also applies to those random bits and pieces you completely forgot you owned. The less clutter you have about the place, the easier it becomes to deal with the somewhat limited space you have to play with.

Solid surface worktops are a firm favourite amongst UK homeowners.

They are the simple way to add an element of luxury into any kitchen design, measuring up as the more affordable alternative to solid natural stone worktops like quartz or marble. Completely customisable to any design, solid surface materials are a hugely flexible design choice, making them a valuable resource to kitchen retailers too.

Aside from their convenience, solid surface worktops also have a number of benefits in their own right. From their durability to seamless finishing, there’s a lot that can be achieved with materials such as CorianHi-MACSHanex and Staron.

The benefits of solid surface worktops – at a glance

Stain and resistant: Solid surface worktops are impermeable – they are resistant to even the toughest stains including grease, wine, makeup and permanent marker pens.

Extremely durable: Built from a blend of acrylic, epoxide or polyester resin, the synthetic properties of solid surface worktops make them extremely difficult to scratch, crack or damage. With a lifespan of over 10 years, a solid surface worktop usually outlives the rest of the kitchen.

Renewable and repairable: Chips, scratches or scorches can be removed with light sanding – renewing the surface appearance back to its former glory.

Bacteria and mould resistant: Impermeable solid surface will not support the growth of bacteria – this makes them extremely hygienic, easy to clean and resistant to mildew. The bacteria-resistant properties of solid surface worktops make them the preferred choice for medical and laboratory settings.

Thermoformable: Solid surface materials can be heated, bent and set into any shape to create beautiful bends and corners.

Seamless joins: Joins are glued and sanded until they are almost invisible to the naked eye. This creates seamless elegance within any design.

Variety of styles: Solid surface worktops come in innumerable colours, patterns and designs. They can be…

  • Solid block colour
  • Flecked with particles
  • Veined with swirls

To create unique patterns or replicate the textures of stone.

Easy to clean and maintain: Solid surfaces are incredibly low-maintenance – their impermeability makes them very easy to keep clean and shiny. Solid surface worktop = No sealing, painting, grouting or varnishing.