Let’s look forward to dining al fresco

Warmer days are on their way, blue skies, birds cheeping, flowers blooming, and longer evenings. You know what this means? BBQs, suntans, and dining outdoors.

There is nothing better than a delicious meal and a glass of wine outdoors on a balmy summer evening after a long day at work, putting your feet up and letting that warm air gently caress your skin. Bliss!

Let’s not talk about the irritating flies and wasps, and the fact it’s likely to rain – we concentrate on the positives!

Getting your garden summer ready is something we all turn our attention to at this time of year, distracting us from the lingering gloom of the end of winter. Planting flowers and plants, buying a new lawnmower, planning our layout – these are all things we think about now.

As well as the overall look of our summer garden, we start thinking about those outdoor dining experiences we were talking about, as well as Sunday afternoon with our feet up, reading a book, sat on our new garden furniture. We start thinking about new garden benches, garden swings, tables, chairs, parasols, anything that will spruce up our space and make it look new and exciting.

This is what gets us through winter, well, that and booking summer holidays!

The ideal summer garden party has many different facets, and it’s all in the planning. Firstly, look at the weather, and then look at it again rather sceptically; if there’s a heatwave forecast, get in there as soon as possible! Next, we look at food – salads, BBQ meat, Pimms, beers, soft drinks for the kids, and desserts to finish it all off. Then we think about music, and activities for the kids – maybe we hire a bouncy castle if they’re very little, or a few games if they’re a little older. The ideal outdoor meal and chill out evening is very much about pre-planning, and getting the ambiance right. Of course, you could just decide one Sunday afternoon that the sun is shining and you’re simply going to have your dinner outside, taking advantage of the blue skies and your new sparkly garden set up – why not!

However you choose to organise your outdoor dining experiences, make sure you take advantage of any summer-like break in the weather – you can be spontaneous or you can pre-plan, but take a lungful of the fresh, clean air and enjoy the sun, after all, vitamin D is good for you!