We all love a long weekend, particularly when the weather is starting to warm up! The Melbourne Cup Long Weekend is the perfect time to entertain friends and family with a good old-fashioned BBQ.  We've outlined exactly what you need to ensure a successful and relaxing day for everyone, including the host.

Interesting guests

Who will you invite? Out of all of your friends, who is the life of the party? The one who always has an exciting story to share? Invite them! They'll keep the rest of your guests entertained while you are busy preparing and being a good host. You may even be able to word them up beforehand and ask for their support in ensuring everyone has a good time. Just because you are holding the BBQ, it doesn't mean that you need to do all of the work. 

Comfy furniture

Make sure everyone is comfortable. There's nothing worse than attending a BBQ and having to sit on old plastic outdoor chairs and tables that are at risk of splitting due to sun exposure! Ensure you have comfy outdoor furniture that suits your space. Luckily enough, we have plenty of options to choose from these days with formal outdoor dining setting as well as more comfortable options.

If you need some help deciding what outdoor furniture to invest in, take a look at this: Everything You Need To Know About Choosing An Outdoor Table

Next, make sure you've catered for the temperature. Have throw blankets ready is the weather is looking chilly, and umbrellas if it's sunny – our summer sun is brutal, you don't want anyone to get sunburnt. It may even be worth offering sunscreen.

Tasty food and drink prepared earlier  

One of the most makes or breaks of a successful BBQ is whether or not your guests have had good tucker! To make it easier, it's best to ask everyone who is attending if they have any dietary requirements. This will ensure there are no awkward or unpleasant surprises on the day.

The next step is to prepare what you can in advance. You'll always find a salad or two at a BBQ and usually, these can be made in advance, but hold the dressing. Salad dressing will cause the salad to go soggy and it's best to let people dress their own salad.

If you are looking at going a little more gourmet than your typical ‘snags on the barbie' BBQ you will be able to marinate your protein of choice before your guests arrived. There are heaps of simple and tasty recipes here that will take your BBQ up a notch.

Themed Melbourne Cup Long Weekend Activities

Make your BBQ fun and interactive. For the little ones, there are free Melbourne Cup printables you can download here.

For the adults, why not arrange a sweep where the winner is awarded a different kind of prize instead of cash? You can also make the BBQ a horse and jockey theme. And even though it's not exactly themed, a bit of jumbo jenga never fails to get the party started!