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At Countryside we don’t just make great inside space. Landscaped gardens, balconies and roof terraces all feature too. So with barbecue season upon us why not head for the great outdoors and organise an outstanding alfresco experience.

Alfresco dining with Galvin: Tips for a star quality barbecue - by Chris and Jeff Galvin

Here are some top tips from celebrated chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin. Chris and Jeff are the first UK based brothers to both have Michelin stars to their names and they own several restaurants in London including La Chapelle in Spital Square.

  • Plan beforehand – choose a date as far ahead as possible, decide how many guests you can cater for, and make sure you check the forecast because you need to plan for that typical British inclement weather!
  • Set the stage – Create the perfect atmosphere. It’s not just about the outdoor furniture you will be using. Think of how to dress the garden too - use candles, flowers and decorations while thinking of the music you will play and how to heat up your guests during the cooler evenings.
  • Cool down – Ensure you have plenty of ice for drinks. Homemade herb infused ice cubes are a cool way to spice up your G&T’s; add your Prosecco, sparkling ciders or rose wine to a large ice bath; or make large jugs of Pimms, with all the fruity trimmings.
  • Meat marinade – Work with your local butcher as he can advise you on the best cuts and marinades. Make sure you marinate the meat the day before. Tie up a bunch of rosemary and thyme together and use this as a brush to spread olive oil and marinade all over the meat.
  • Organise your cooking times - For certain cuts of meat, it is advisable to precook them two-thirds in the oven and then finish them afterwards on the BBQ. While large joints of meat such as Cote de Boeuf need resting – the golden rule is the time to cook the meat is equal to the time it needs to rest. For example, a 500gr piece of meat will need to cook 20-25 minutes on the BBQ and will need 20-25 minutes resting, on the highest shelf to keep warm. Remember to light the BBQ ahead of time.
  • The extras – crudités with dips are a good option to accompany the aperitif, and it’s a good idea to prepare a fresh bowl of crispy lettuce with fresh herbs, but keep the vinaigrette on the side. After cooking your potatoes and other vegetables, such as corn on the cob, asparagus or aubergines – wrap them in silver foil and reheat them on the BBQ.
  • Sauces – Fruit vinegars such as cider or raspberry vinegar really liven up your dishes and are ideal for a warm, sunny day. Prepare a separate sauce station with cocktail sauce, ketchup and BBQ sauce for dipping fans.

Chris and Jeff Galvin will soon be opening The Green Man (the oldest pub in Essex 1341 AD), in Howe Street, near Chelmsford, close to our new Beaulieu development.  The star chefs are partnering with Countryside and L&Q on a number of projects, including a summer fete at Beaulieu in Chelmsford in July, a great way to pick up more culinary tips from the brothers!

Countryside’s homes feature gardens, roof terraces and balconies that make great spaces for barbeques so why not check out our great range of homes here.

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Chris & Jeff Galvin,
Galvin Restaurants



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About this blog

Here you’ll find property related blog articles from the team at Countryside as well as independent experts. Expect regular tips and advice on topics such as buying a new home, interior and landscape design, setting up home, mortgages and finance, plus articles on architecture, the property market, regeneration and more.

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