May is finally ending and Summer is just around the corner. Although England (and London especially) has a really bad reputation for rainy weathers, the sun does come out. Sometimes. On a good, sunny day, no other country enjoys the sunshine as much as the English. People head out in droves to the Parks and host large backyard parties. And everywhere you’ll see the Brits cooking up a barbecue. Here to help you join in on this tasty cultural happening, this is Uniplaces special beginners’ guide for International students and Erasmus.
First of all, invite some friends. The more the merrier: text or tweet them and get them to bring their friends along too. You might think you’ll need somebody to bring one of those heavy barbecue grills along but you don’t even have to worry about that. The British, you see, have this all figured out and you’ll find small, disposable barbecues in nearly every chain supermarket out there. Just don’t forget to ask your friends to bring drinks!
If you have the friends and the barbecue, you’re going to need some stuff to go on it. You can buy basic meats of all kinds in the supermarket. Grab some burgers, some sausages, some buns, and whatever else grabs your attention. Crisps are a must! Find some sauces and check out. Top tip moment: for extra fresh and tasty meat, find an actual butchers to buy your meat from. You’ll be supporting local commerce and the food will taste better in the end. Similarly, if you have to find specific meats (halal, kosher, or other) you’ll find them easily enough in London and many other English cities.
Grab some drinks and head out. You may think location is something to bear in mind, but nobody knows exactly for how long the sun will be out so you just have to choose whichever place is nearest. If your university’s hall of residence has a garden or your student apartment has a backyard, no matter how small they are, they’ll do. I’ve seen barbecues outside University’s libraries so it really is whatever is closest. Identify a patch of greenish land nearby and claim it.
If you’re in London, and have nowhere near you that’s fit to hold a grill up, head down to Regent’s Park or Hyde Park. There’s always room for one more barbecue in these gardens: just make your way through the rows of more or less pasty people in their swimwear sprawled out over picnic towels.
Let your friends know where you are, take a match to the top of the disposable barbecue and let it light. After that, it’s the usual: put meat, bread or vegetables on grill, flip until done, take them off, and enjoy. Drink plenty of liquids while you’re out in the sun and enjoy every minute out in the sun!