Inspiration & Ideas

How to make the most of outdoor dining in spring

St Mawes Dining Table with Drinks Cooler in Reclaimed Teak

If March roars in like a lion, so the proverb says, it will leave like a lamb. In other words, come March 1st, you are probably still looking at winter – and that has been the case this year with the Beast from the East and Storm Emma – but by the end of the month, the temperature could start creeping up toward double figures.

The evenings may be a little chilly still, and in some parts of the country, the night time frosts will still be a feature but as the days start to stretch longer, we find that spending some time in the garden is a possibility.

However, you may think that dining al fresco in the garden during March is still a little ambitious. But, with these clever hints and tips, you may find that you can enjoy dining out in March – for Mother’s Day or for another celebration.

The Solution - Create an exciting outdoor ‘room’

During winter, we retreat indoors, huddling around the open fire and snuggle on the couch under wool throws and blankets. And why not? And you can emulate this outdoors in March, creating a cosy outdoor ‘room’ that shelters you from the wind with an edge of spring chill.

Perfect for a Mother’s Day picnic – or a full three-course meal – creating this cosy space is relatively simple….

1. Choose your spot

From a pretty corner of the garden to the wooden decking with pergola, creating a space with a roof can be relatively simple. Attached large plastic sheeting to the top surface of the pergola, using vast expanses of voile panels on the underneath to hide some of the structure.

2. Deck it out

Start with the essentials such as comfy outdoor chairs or choose a dining garden set that is just like a dining room set but made specifically for the outdoors. In smaller garden ‘rooms’, bistro or café sets are a perfect choice.

Outdoor Garden Rattan Sofa Set

Or you may want to create something more like an outdoor living room. A rustic corner outdoor rattan furniture set is ideal. The sofas come complete with comfy seating cushions made from weave material that means they can happily withstand spring and summer weather.

3. Lights and heat

Clearly, these are essential, but they don’t mean that you have to spend a huge amount on either;

  • Solar lighting has come on a lot since the early days of weak fair lights! From fencing panel lights to solar lights on stands, to fairy lights and stylish hanging pendant lights, the solar panels are more efficient at capturing solar energy and so you can have hours of gentle illumination when you dine out this March.
  • A fire pit is perfect for adding the level of heat you need but don’t have the fire pit under the cover of your garden room. As the coals start to cool, they give off carbon monoxide that will concentrate undercover. Place the pit out in the open air to avoid this happening.

4. Accessorise!

Garden Wall Lights

From flickering candles to pretty rustic lights, to soft scatter cushions to throws and an amazing centrepiece for your outdoor dining table, there are all kinds of ways of making the ‘room’ look cosy. There is also a growing choice of outdoor garden rugs to choose from but on a dry day, there is nothing wrong with requisitioning an indoor grey sheepskin rug for using as an extra layer of warmth of garden seating.

Will you dine out this March – for Mother’s Day or any other occasion?

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