Let’s face it, a barbecue isn’t a barbecue without a good helping of meat. But there’s no reason why it can’t be a little more upmarket than frozen supermarket sausages.

If you’re a pork fan, why not try marinating a tenderloin overnight in some garlic, ginger, honey, five spice, hoisin, soy sauce and oil.

Serve with iceberg lettuce leaves, cucumber, spring onions and plum sauce for a summery Oriental dish.

Butterflied leg of lamb is delicious done on the barbecue, and quite a different take on a traditional dish that will impress your guests.

Marinate the meat overnight in lemon, garlic, rosemary and olive oil before cooking on the barbecue.

Serve with a couscous side dish, mixed with chopped chilli, red pepper, coriander and spring onions, or a tomato, feta, green leaf and beetroot salad.

Loin of venison is the ultimate in luxurious al fresco dining.

Marinade inch-thick slices of meat in olive oil, chopped rosemary and salt and pepper then grill for three minutes one side and about a minute and a half on the other.

Fish is always a good barbecue favourite. Go for a whole fish, such as salmon or seabass.

Wrap the fish in foil with herbs and a slug of white wine and cook on the grill for about 20 minutes.

Alternatively, go for salmon kebabs, served with crisp lettuce leaves, lemon wedges and a hoi sin sauce.

Scallops in the shell are quick and easy to do.

Mash some finely chopped chilli and lime together with some butter and a tiny bit of garlic and put a dollop in each shell.

Sit the scallops on top and put the shell on a very hot grill until it sizzles – about 30 seconds.

Or smother them with a creamy Chardonnay sauce and gruyere cheese topping.

For some different side dishes, try minted new potatoes. Boil new potatoes and add some butter, mint sauce and a dash of vinegar and tiny bit of sugar.

Or jazz up an ordinary potato salad by adding chunks of smoked salmon and watercress with a horseradish sauce.

A lovely raw courgette salad can be made by peeling small courgettes vertically to get thin strips. Dress with oil, lemon juice, white wine vinegar and black pepper.

For a really dramatic dish, make pink pickled onions. Slice red onions and soak in boiling water for ten minutes before draining and adding orange and lime juice and chopped red chilli.

Keep the drinks classy as well, with some summery cocktails...