You can’t blame us Brits really. We love the summer and relish being in the great outdoors, so when the first tentative rays of sun glimpse through the grey skies, we are outside in a shot, brandishing our BBQs and picnic blankets, before you can say burnt sausage or soggy kebab. But with our unpredictable weather to work around, we just don’t get enough practice in, and alfresco dining tends to be a rather hurried, hotchpotch affair.
Tip number one is to get organised. So when the sun finally does make an appearance you are armed with all the necessary kit for eating outdoors – whether it’s a laid-back picnic in the park or an evening garden party with cocktails and canapés to boot.
Pick up some key pieces of practical yet pretty outdoor tableware (cups, tumblers, pitchers, cutlery et al) in tough, durable melamine and plastic. Choose pops of bold colour in vibrant hot pink, turquoise and tangerine for a really summery vibe (in designs that are good enough to use all year round indoors, not just outside on the odd day of sunshine). Invest in a stash of plastic wine glasses that can withstand the rough and tumble of outdoors with no fear of smashed glass ruining the day. Eco-friendly plates and cutlery are another great option as they tend to be sturdier and more rigid than paper versions and are 100% biodegradable and compostable after your outdoor soiree is done with.
If you’re planning a picnic away from home, invest in a sturdy cool bag or picnic basket, either in traditional wicker and gingham, or a more modern mix of neon stripes and cute florals. A decent sized rug or blanket, with a waterproof plastic backing, to be laid out on the grass or sand is a must, plus a stash of napkins and a bag for taking all your rubbish home with you.
While an extra ‘outdoor room’ complete with permanent, built-in barbecue, fridge and bar caddy might not be utilised in our topsy-turvy, British climate – a good old-fashioned bucket barbie is ideal for a small gathering (choose an ice-cream pastel for a hit of retro cool). Larger outdoor parties might benefit from a state-of-the-art, cookcentre kitted out with a rotisserie, grill and ovens for serious stir-frying and sautéing in the elements, and can be rolled in and out of a garage when needed.
One element you really can’t scrimp on is good, outdoor seating where friends and family can relax in the sunshine with a plateful of tasty food and a glass of good fizz. If you have the space, Bridgman’s modular garden sofa sets offer a choice of comfy, modern modular seating, tables and reclining loungers – and even better, the all-weather rattan furniture can be left outside so no need to lump in and out every time a spot of rain appears on the horizon. And while some cushions need to be packed away when the weather takes a turn for the worse, our Teflon-treated, acrylic, waterproof cushions can stay outside all year round.
Staycationing has never looked so appealing… If you thought this post was useful, please like and comment. Don’t forget to tag us in the pictures of your alfresco dinner, or share them on our page!
Featured image: A Feminine Tomboy
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