I have something really exciting to share with you guys today! I’ve been dying to spill the beans about this event. A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to get to kick off the Christmas countdown with Weber barbecues. Having heard about my crazy all weathers barbecuing obsession, they approached me months ago about working together on the challenge of creating the most beautiful, sumptuous indoor/outdoor feast in the midst of winter. So I said – sounds crazy, let’s do it. Cue manic preparations, but on the 30th November it all came together and I hosted about 20 lovely journalists and guests at my pad, while Weber grill chefs cooked up the most delicious food on the grills.

It was such a fabulous event that I’m planning to do a bit of a rerun tonight for the staff Christmas do – and I also wanted to share with you guys a full behind the scenes scoop and some tips  I learned about throwing an amazing winter party.

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Whenever I have people over I want to give this impression that it’s entirely effortless, and that I’ve thrown everything together in a nanosecond. I want them to find me nonchalantly sitting by the fire, champagne flute in hand looking like I’ve been relaxing for hours! Why is that when we all know that’s not how it goes? Reality is – for any event that is, let alone a big press party like this one – I’ve probably recleaned the house after the cleaner, pruned and power-hosed the garden, repainted the hallway, cleared up after the M’s, gathering up stinky hidden bones and abandoned chew toys, stacked and aired the wood, searched high and low for the most perfect wine pairing and spent hours slaving away over the cooking.

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Luckily this time I didn’t have to worry about the food and drink at all, because Weber and the fabulous catering team had that covered – and believe me, it was totally delicious. If you’ve seen my instagram you’ll see that I’ve already been working to recreate the recipes because I can’t get them out of my head! There was the most incredible oak smoked cheeses, moreish little devils on horseback, homemade smoked salmon, molten butterscotch sauce puddings and even full roast ducks – on a spit – inside the barbecue.

abigail_ahern_001How cool is that? Definitely not what you expect to find when you lift the lid, but the automatic rotisserie grill accessory was such a clever feature and the most amazing wow centrepiece. I love it so much I’ve now got my own, so I’m hoping to pull off a bit of medieval style drama with roasted pork on the spit for the team tomorrow night. That’s the plan anyway! I’ll keep you posted on how that goes. I promise to have the full Weber winter menu to share with you guys later this week, so look out for that if you fancy ditching the trad turkey dinner for something a gazillion times more exciting.

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Forgive my rambling, but it was delish. Anyway enough about the food (for now), and back to my duties. With the pressure of cooking off, all I had to worry about was the fun stuff, namely styling and decorating indoors and out to create a winter wonderland.

weber-proposal-draggedHere’s the moodboard we put together for the event, which should give you the idea of what I was going for. I wanted it to be a really simple seasonal, stripped back, Kinfolk meets cabin vibe, with an abundance of greenery and foliage. I wanted all the focus to be on the food and foliage and bring the season in that way. Luckily it’s also dead easy to recreate!

READ ON FOR MY TOP TIPS . . .
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