Proud mother, and new writer. Tips, advice, and anecdotes from a woman's perspective.
Published October 15th 2013
Pinky fingers up
We all have the same dilemma at this time of year; the dreaded/welcome barbecue invite. As soon as the sun shines its lovely face someone starts 'BBQ Season'.
Dress code It's not a party at the palace, but you like to make a bit of an effort. If it's not a family 'do, a maxi dress always works for girls, jeans and a T-shirt for guys, and shorts and T-shirts for children.
The timing If it's a family occasion, it's fine to arrive and leave whenever you want. But if not, I would usually arrive about 45 minutes after the starting time and depending how well it's going I'd stay for about 3-4 hours. It's acceptable to leave after such a time.
Food and drink Do you offer to bring some or not? I always offer to bring drinks unless it's someone new who has invited me, then just arrive with a bottle of white wine and hope that's enough.
I am usually wary of BBQ food unless I know the cook very well and I know where the food has come from. I don't eat burgers and I will only eat sausages if the meat content is more than 73%, and I don't eat chicken drumsticks. Fortunately, not everyone is like me thank goodness.
I went to a BBQ recently and ate before we went, but it was a family one, so they took no notice when I refused all food offers and made my own tea as I don't drink (unless there is a decent champagne on offer). Other guests had pork and said it didn't taste right, so I'm glad I'm so fussy.
It was nice to see family and sit in the sun and chat. We arrived early and left at 6pm-ish - just enough time spent there, yet early enough to go elsewhere if desired or invited.