Arguably Australia is the home of the barbeque, although countries such as South Africa, New Zealand and the US might disagree, and it is an inherent part of life in OZ. Many of us Aussies attend our first BBQ within days of being born if not hours.

Here in the UK the locals are just as enamoured with charring meat over flames and coals but seem to have a different view as to what is required. From what I can tell in order to have a barbeque in Britain it must first of all be sunny, with barely a cloud in the sky so as not to cause disquiet about the threat of rain. It needs to be over 20ĚŠ C (which is considered hot) and you must be able to eat outside.

You must also have a strong belief that the whole event is going to be a complete disaster thus ensuring that if anything vaguely goes according to plan it is considered a triumph. And, by the way, the meat must be virtually vaporised, bearing no resemblance to its origins, so requiring an extensive forensic investigation by highly qualified technicians to ascertain what you are eating, or a hint from the hosts.

In Australia we share this primeval desire to gather around a fire to cook what we have managed to hunt and gather whilst sharing tales and legends. This is how stories and social mores are passed from generation to generation.

However this intuitive behaviour and need to barbeque is so ingrained that mere trivialities such as weather are not even considered. In a country like Australia with its extremes of climate and weather both annually and geographically barbeques are held all year round.

Often the best time to have a barbeque is in the Autumn or Spring when the weather is more moderate and the flies or various insects are not so rampant. If it is a little cool then you rug up. If it rains then you head inside. The most important thing is that you still cook outside on a barbeque.

Whereas in the UK BBQs are only considered in the main during Summer to the point that the Weather Bureau announces when there is going to be a ‘BBQ Summer’. Of course it then rains non stop for the whole summer.

This Summercentric view of BBQs in the Old Dart is so ingrained that it is nigh on impossible to purchase charcoal or heatbeads for your barbeque before June and after August.

Therefore I say to all Brits, indeed all inhabitants of this verdant group of islands, stock up on charcoal, keep the barbeque clean and ready for action and get into some
Autumnal charring and feasting. Much better weather for sumptuous eating and slurping delicious wines.

And don’t forget when you start making furtive steps outside your cave after a long hard winter that is an ideal time to start barbequing again. 

So please come and see us at the wine room for some cultural, gourmand and vinous advice. 

104 Tankerton Road, Tankerton, Whitstable, Kent CT5 2AJ. Tel: 01227 773141

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