01932 829 593   |   07767 242 974   |   karen@holleydesigns.com
01932 829 593   |   07767 242 974   |   karen@holleydesigns.com

Alfresco Dining is here to stay

Barbecue and Pergola

Do it in your own style

5 tips to great out door entertaining.

With Summer approaching and covid19 restrictions relaxing, we will be entertaining in our gardens in no time, but this may be a sign of the future, for some time, just like Flu & Covid infection rates may rise and fall and eating with our friends indoors may be an on and off scenario.

So how do you make an outdoor eating area that works all year round.

  1. Think about when and where you want to entertain.
    • Any eating area doesn’t want to be too far away from the kitchen, but in a small suburban garden like mine this can be at the far end of the garden and only 20 step away.
    • Use the warmth of the sun: find a place that has the sun shining on it for the best part of the day if you can, a shade may be required in the heat of the day, but a cold spot is neither comfortable or inviting.
  1. You need a firm base. Whilst a lawn is perfect for picnics and impromptu parties, over time tables and chairs can sink into the ground.
    • A good patio may be an option, but a deck, or a gravel area with a firm sub base can work equally well and prevent damp feet as the dew falls in the evening.
    • Make sure the space is big enough for your table and chairs to fit comfortably so no one falls off the edge!
  1. Temperature control: British weather is so unpredictable and will continue to be so with climate change, so it bodes well to be prepared.
    • If you are planning an event, protection from hot sun and summer showers might be necessary.
    • A pop up gazebo may be the answer, or a permanent wood or metal gazebo, may be a possibility and will serve as shade and rain protection.
    • Warmth as the sun falls is another consideration, the choice is wide a varied, from fire pits, patio heaters, and chimenias, styles to suit any budget or décor.
    • Collect some blankets for your guests to snuggle under as night falls.
  1. Lighting is a must: It doesn’t need to be expensive or even electric, some well-placed candles can create a magical effect, and the light of a fire can add a flickering glow, solar lighting is improving all the time and there are great ranges of plug in festoon lights for outdoors from most garden or lighting retailers.
  1. Add your own style: You could have a corner bench seat on a patio, a carved log around a wood fire, rattan lounge furniture or a formal dining area, but make it your own and make it splendid.
    • Coloured blankets or cushions, some cut flowers, scented candles, fairly lights, to add a touch of magic.
    • Prepare ahead and have everything to hand, so you aren’t running back and forth to the house.
    • Perhaps set up a little bar area, a simple table and a tub for ice will do, with glasses and bottle openers.


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