SHOPPING: THE ULTIMATE beach barbecue kit
Saturday 15 August 1998
Stylish barbecues require a very stylish setting despite the sand and this soft Welsh rug, pounds 125 from Mulberry (enquiries 0171 352 1937) is ideal to perch on. Forget Swiss Army knives and plunge into the necessary fresh and rustic loaves with a bamboo bread knife, pounds 22.95 or a horn bread knife, pounds 35.75, both available from The General Trading Company (0171 730 0411).
The star player at a beach barbecue should combine practicality - enough space to cook with but small and light enough to carry - with chic. This galvanised tin mini barbecue, costs pounds 39.99 from Colour Blue (0171 820 7700 for mail order) and is perfect for the job. Langoustines are the perfect size to grill, or you could cheat with these cooked ones, pounds 5.61 from Bluebird.
Fresh fruit is a must for any barbecue caterer - eat it to cleanse the palate after a gluttonous sausage too many or wrap it in foil with a scoop of butter and brown sugar and throw it on the barbecue for a wonderful warm and squishy dessert. The fruit pictured here all comes from Bluebird (0171 559 1153 enquiries) and costs from pounds 1.05 for a mango, pounds 4.10 for a pineapple, and pounds 1.55 for a small bag of cherries.
The nearby surf should inspire you to include fresh fish on the menu and Red Snapper is sure to impress anyone. This fine specimen was priced at pounds 18.79 and the adjacent seabass pounds 11.90 both from Bluebird (0171 559 1153 for enquiries). All the produce on the fish counter here is brought in from the coast daily but canny fishermen may like to catch their own barbecue prey.
A cobalt-coloured wine cooler is sure to dazzle your friends and do a worthwhile job too. This one costs pounds 24.50 from The General Trading Company (0171 730 0411). Conran sparkling water, 95p, Bluebird (0171 559 1153 enquiries), will help prevent dehydration and Citronella camping candles, pounds 4.95 for 24 from Lakeland Limited (015394 88100), will keep insects away.
The ultimate barbecue kit would not be the same without these Scented Garden Incense sticks, pounds 18.50 for 10 from Les Senteurs (0171 730 2322 for mail order). They come in four different fragrances and will make your site feel and smell completely wonderful. The Ceylon juice jug costs pounds 16.49 from Bodum (enquiries 01451 810460) and comes with its own filter to clear away any nasty specimens from your old water bottles.
Co-ordination is the key to a successful beach barbecue. A blue-handled cutlery set will match your wine cooler, and this one has enough knives, forks and spoons for all the family. It costs pounds 54.95 from The General Trading Company (0171 730 0411) which also does mock-crockery plates in blue or yellow at pounds 5.50 each for plastic bowls, and pounds 7.95 for dinner plates.
Finally, leave the tupperware at home and pick up ready-packed salads from your local deli. Semi-dried tomatoes, pounds 1.55, olives, pounds 2.38, wood roasted vegetables, pounds 3.72, and Thai salmon salad, pounds 4.30, all made on site at Blusebird (0171 559 1153 enquiries). Grill Chef Organic Barbecue sauce, pounds 2.49, Sainsbury (customer services 0800 636262).
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
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