Checklist for putting on an Australian Summer spread

No one does an alfresco Summer spread better than Australia. Now that the sun is showing it’s face, here is a checklist of everything you need to have your own Aussie inspired outdoor gathering. There is a bit more to it than stubbies of Fosters and chucking another shrimp on the barbie!

Punch – Who doesn’t love a large jug of sparkling fruity cocktail? This is a special occasion kind of drink. So pop a bottle of your favourite prosecco, add some fruit juice and throw in generous handfuls of frozen berries.

Esky – A cooler box filled with ice is the perfect place to keep your bottles chilled and conveniently close at hand.

Cheese – Head to local farmers markets for something a bit more special than the cheese slices found in your everyday sandwiches. Stock up on full wheels of brie and camembert for your cheese platter. And don’t forget the halloumi that tastes great when hot and fresh off the grill.

Fresh Bread – Unfortunately in Australia there is no such thing as soda bread, potato bread or wheaten bread. So head to your local bakery and ask for fresh loaves of sourdough, dark rye or tiger loaf instead.

Salad – These are the three popular salads that you will always find on the table at any barbecue in Australia. Chang’s crispy noodle salad, dill and red potato salad and mango & avocado salad.

Meat – It might be a surprise for some to find out that the iconic Aussie phrase ‘throw another shrimp on the barbie’ is actually incorrect. Don’t get me wrong, Australians love their grilled seafood. Call them prawns instead of shrimp and you are on the right track. Try grilling them with a chilli and garlic marinade. For the meat lovers out there, add some prime cuts of lamb to the grill too.

Dessert – Luckily we all have a separate stomach for desserts because it would be a shame to miss out on a slice of pavlova. Technically from New Zealand, Australia has adopted this dessert as one of their national dishes. This is the perfect way to finish off the meal, with its light meringue and juicy fruit salad topping.

Plates – Save the mountain of washing up at the end of the day by investing in biodegradable bamboo plates.

Tunes – Feast your ears as well as your stomachs and listen to  Triple J’s hottest 100 playlist. It is the count down of the top ‘non-mainstream’ tracks from the year, as voted by everyday Australians. The countdown is released on Australia Day each year and is a catalyst for barbecue parties across the country.

Sunscreen – Covering up from the harsh sun in the heat of the day is essential in Australia. I think that having some sunscreen at the ready is an optimistic move that will ensure that the sun makes an appearance at your alfresco event.


Now you’ve got a checklist, all you’ve got to do is chuck on a pair of Orlebar Brown thongs (flip flops) and call up your mates!

Mr Stitch

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