We already know what you’re thinking: Manchester isn’t exactly famed for its balmy climes and year-round sunshine. You might have a point as well, but hear us out on this one – al fresco dining is possible even in the depths of winter.
You see, you’re picturing it all wrong. Rid yourself of those visions of glowering skies and rain pelting down, turning your wine into rose-coloured water. Of course we’re not suggesting you expose yourself to the elements like that! No, what we’re talking about is a different experience entirely.
Let us take you on a journey and show you how it can be done.
Invest in all-weather furniture
For starters, al fresco dining in winter requires some impressive all-weather furniture. You need something that’s equal parts stylish and durable, and there are more options on the market than you might imagine. These come in all shapes, sizes, and styles, which means it’s easier than you think to choose something that looks good and works well for the task at hand. It’s not just the frame that needs to be durable – consider the soft furnishings too. Waterproof and easy to wipe down are non-negotiable.
Find ways to keep yourself warm
Once you’ve envisioned the sort of furniture you want in your outdoor area, it’s onto another practicality – how to stay warm. Again, there are a surprising number of options out there, because you’re not the only adventurous diner with a taste for al fresco. As well as dedicated patio heaters, which you can place around the perimeter, there are ways to incorporate this feature into the furniture itself.
For example, have you heard of a fire pit table? Designed to keep you warm during cool-weather soirées, these radiate heat from their centres. They come in a range of pre-configured combinations to suit your needs and can even be combined with accessories that allow you to start cooking at the table. Practical and stylish in one!
Protect yourself from the elements
While dining on a clear day is perfectly possible with the right heating equipment, it won’t protect you if the heavens decide to open. To really facilitate all-weather eating, consider ways to shelter yourself from the worst ravages of rain and wind.
For example, you can invest in garden gazebos that can be erected around your dining set. The side panels on these can be pulled back when the weather is pleasant or closed completely when you wish to shield yourself from the elements.
Add some ambient lighting
Last but not least, add some ambient lighting to illuminate evening events. One of our favourite options is to install solar lighting, as this is environmentally friendly and can also look lovely. Sink solar stakes into the ground to light up pathways and hang strings of lights to create a paradisiacal aesthetic perfect for a night spent enjoying good food and better company.
How about it? Set to work today to transform your outdoor area!