Top tips for a spectacular summer barbecue at Center Parcs

Family enjoying a BBQ outside together

12 April 2023

Top tips for a spectacular summer barbecue at Center Parcs

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The days are getting longer and the weather’s getting warmer: it’s barbecue season! Here are our top tips for hosting the barbecue of the year, Center Parcs style.


A barbecue is so much more than just a meal: it’s the social occasion of the summer and a wonderful way to make special memories together. At Center Parcs, you’ll find everything you need for a perfect barbecue - a brick-built barbecue stand, a private patio with panoramic views of the forest and our on-site supermarket, ParcMarket, just a stroll away.

Here are our top tips for hosting the barbecue of the year, Center Parcs style.


Mix up your barbecue buffet

Burgers and hot dogs are barbecue staples (and for good reason), but why not get creative with kebabs or spice things up with some tasty skewers? Meat doesn’t have to be the star of the show - try grilled halloumi, corn on the cob, courgette, mushrooms or jacket potatoes wrapped in foil. Don’t skip the salads and sides, either - coleslaw, potato salad, pasta and couscous are all tasty, refreshing crowd-pleasers.

If you spend more than £40 or €40 at ParcMarket, we’ll deliver to your lodge free of charge.


It’s all about the timing

Adding your food to the barbecue too soon is a sure-fire way to have scorched outsides and raw insides. Take your meat out of the fridge an hour before cooking, and light your barbecue around 30 minutes before you want to cook to give the flames plenty of time to die down. Use this time to prepare your sides, sauces and burger toppings, then store these in the fridge until you’re ready.


Save room for something sweet

For a cosy campfire experience, toast marshmallows over the barbecue, grill slices of pineapple or make American-style s’mores. Little ones will go bananas for banana boats – simply stuff each banana with chocolate, marshmallows and any other toppings you fancy, then wrap in foil and caramelise on the barbecue for 5-10 minutes. On hot evenings, ice cream and cheesecake will always go down a treat, too.


Sing along to summer tunes

Barbecues are just as much about the atmosphere as they are about the food. If you’re playing DJ for the day, check out our Summer Hits playlist on Spotify – you’ll find feel-good tunes that’ll have the whole family singing and dancing along (and distract them from the fact that the burgers aren’t quite ready). Don’t forget the speakers, and make sure to turn the volume right down at bedtime so you don’t disturb your neighbours.


To reduce the risk of forest fires, please dispose of your barbecue safely. Wait until your barbecue has fully cooled, then dispose in the correct waste bins near your accommodation.


A man cooks food on the BBQ with his family sat at the table
A little boy eating a chocolate covered marshmallow
Marshmallows grilling on the barbecue
Two men hugging next to a BBQ

Sophie Milne

As Senior Creative Copywriter, it’s my job to bring the Center Parcs experience to life with words. I love sharing ideas and inspiration about all the wonderful things you can see and do in the forest.