The sociable way to barbecue

ONCE again, this summer’s been a dud for barbecue weather. We’re still holding our hopes out for the rest of August though – at time of writing, the weekend looks like a possible scorcher, and we may yet make it to one last bank holiday of sunshine. Fingers crossed.

If by some miracle that does happen, we’re hoping for an invite from anyone happening to have this antidote to one-bloke-in-charge barbecuing. Brit company Cole Henley (www.colehenley.com) has come up with the wonderfully sociable idea of a table with a barbecue in it – the English summer equivalent of a Swiss fondue. At £2,600 for a six-seater, it’s hardly cheap, but you’ll be hosting the best summer parties for years to come. For more conventional options, the Big Green Egg range (from £300, biggreenegg.co.uk) has us charmed with its unusual dimensions while Weber’s E20 gas barbecue (£429, johnlewis.com) is a reliable essential.