Hootenanny, Shindig, Cookout – Planning the Ultimate Outdoor Dinner Party

With summer pretty much in full swing and the sun making its presence felt (yay!), many of us are looking forward to celebrating outside in the coming months, whether it be via a camping trip, a pool party, a beach party, or an outdoor cookout/BBQ of some sort.

When the sun is beating down, there’s a slight breeze in the air, and alcohol flowing (or soft drinks, if that’s your preference), there’s nothing better than adding an abundance of tantalising dishes for yourself and others to feast on while enjoying one another’s company. But the logistics of planning such an event can be tricky, particularly if you’re inviting lots of guests with a variety of tastes and different food requirements.

But this post is here to help! From suggesting the planning and sourcing of the very basics to discussing the perfect (and easiest) types of food to cook, everything you need is located right here.

Outdoor Party

You’ve Got the Power!

Even if you’re planning on hosting the event in your own back garden, and you’re going to have someone in control of a BBQ to please all the meat-eaters in your tribe, considering the supply of electricity sources and lighting for your foodie shindig is essential.

Maybe you want a bouncy castle for the kids to enjoy whilst the adults enjoy some grown-up conversation? Or perhaps you want an outdoor electric cooker to keep various foods at a safe temperature to serve your guests? Or somewhere to plug in outdoor lighting for when night-time draws in? Then you need to think about researching online electrical wholesale suppliers to provide you with weather-and-surge-proof electrical switches, sockets, or spurs – and this is an aspect that should be organised before booking or sorting out any additional electrical items for use!

Seating and Space

If you plan on having more guests than you do space, then it would be prudent to see if you can identify another venue that you can use to host your exciting BBQ-based hootenanny – you could check and see if you have any relatives who would be willing to give up their outdoor space for this purpose, or look to rent the outdoor area of a local venue for the evening (which might actually be a better option if you can’t use your own garden, as they’re more likely to have all the amenities you need for the evening).

In terms of seating, there are plenty of ways to rent the amount you think you’ll require – from benches and wooden chairs to your basic plastic chairs – at fair prices. Or, if you’re strapped for cash, you can always ask around friends and family to see if there’s the possibility of borrowing from them!

The Best Recipes

For larger-scale foodie events, it’s always good to provide an array of dishes for your guests that cater to both their tastes and individual requirements. Rather than asking each guest, it’s best to make a list of dishes that are suitable for everyone – meat-eaters, vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, nut allergies, etc. – so you won’t come a cropper on the day.

Big old dishes full of coleslaw and potato salad are huge crowd pleasers and can easily be made vegan-friendly by using vegan mayo or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and lemon as a substitute for regular mayo! The same goes for pasta salad dishes: gluten-free pasta is easy to purchase these days and barely differs from the original version, and there’s plenty of different gluten-free bread options for burgers and hotdogs (but ensure you provide vegetarian and gluten-free versions of these foods, too!).

The only other things needed to make your foodie-fun evening a success are to fill up a few tubs with ice to store drinks, ask some friends for help setting up, and then sit back and enjoy the party!

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