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Outdoor entertaining in winter

10 Jul 2018

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Making use of your outdoor spaces needn't be confined to the warmer months. Whilst the cosiness of being inside is there during the cooler months, it doesn't have to always be this way. There is a certain charm that comes with the outdoors in winter, which is exactly what makes entertaining feel a little bit 'special'.

Of course, there are a few things you can do to create an inviting atmosphere in your garden. Simple tips that will make you and your guests cosy and comfortable.

Build a fire pit

There's a real feel-good factor about just sitting around a fire with good company. And it goes much further than the marshmallows you might be toasting. Perhaps it's something to do with our long-distant past as primitive humans. Whatever the reason, it's definitely worth recreating if you can.

Check with your local council about fire regulations first. Then if okay, you can get a kit or readymade piece from your hardware, build your own, or have a custom one built for you. Here are a few ideas to warm you up.

Light up the lighting

Lighting has an incredible ability to transform any area with little effort. A touch of fairy lights throughout will create a magical picture, whilst also providing a soft and warming glow. Make it feel like Christmas in July by dressing up any trees and placing the fairy lights on flashing mode to give that sparkling effect.

For further lighting around a table, lanterns and glass jars with tea light candles inside will be the perfect accompaniment for a picturesque finish.

Check your outdoor furniture

Much of our outdoor furniture is made of wood, plastic or stainless steel. And while it's durable (though wood needs upkeep), it's often not so inviting for winter entertaining. Adding pillows and cushions to bring the comfort level up a notch. Check out these tips for the best and most durable outdoor furniture for any season.

Don't forget the blankets

Wool's the best bet here. And here's the thing – because you're outdoors and people are rugged up, older style woollen blankets are fine: you can get them second-hand, and with a long top on there's no 'itch' factor.

Or the rugs

It's amazing how much cold can come up through your feet. So an outdoor rug could be just the thing that turns a 'maybe' into a 'yes'. You can get weather resistant. Woven outdoor rugs from jute or sisal are ideal as they combine durability with grip, and tend to cling to the dirt from shoes.

And especially the food

Getting in the winter spirit from drinks to desserts is essential. Think warm drinks, and hearty eats that will aim to keep you and your guests warm on the inside as well. For inspiration and thought starters, here are our top dishes when dining outdoors in winter:

Don't forget the night caps either. With a dash of Kahlua, this tasteful venture hot chocolate recipe will be a winter warmer that all your guests will love!

And for the kids, keep them entertained with the ultimate S’mores hot chocolate.