Let’s go alfresco: your guide to life outdoors

Secret picnic spots, spring fashion, zesty cocktails, dining in the garden… Make the most of the open air with our fabulous guide to outside livingNow the lockdown is easing, it’s time to get outside and embrace alfresco living. Whether you’ve got a balcony or a back garden, there are many ways in which you can create an idyllic outdoor retreat to entertain friends and family. We asked six professional hosts and designers to share their expert advice.Warm it up Temperature is a key element when trying to create the perfect alfresco space – especially on a chilly evening. “If it’s cold, my new addition is a hot-water bottle for everyone to place on their laps,” says chef and presenter Clodagh McKenna. “John Lewis has a range with textured, faux-fur covers (£25) that are so soft and lovely. They make a huge difference.” As for rain: “There are ways of keeping dry that don’t involve a mac,” according to supper-club host Alexandra Dudley. “A pretty parasol, such as the vintage-inspired fringed options from Business and Pleasure Co (from £132), work as well as rain covers or sun shades.” Think about cover that is equally useful in good and bad weather, such as pergolas, shade sails and gazebos. Woodside sells an all-weather pleasingly pointed gazebo for £119.99 that can be assembled in under a minute. Continue reading...

Secret picnic spots, spring fashion, zesty cocktails, dining in the garden… Make the most of the open air with our fabulous guide to outside living

Now the lockdown is easing, it’s time to get outside and embrace alfresco living. Whether you’ve got a balcony or a back garden, there are many ways in which you can create an idyllic outdoor retreat to entertain friends and family. We asked six professional hosts and designers to share their expert advice.

Warm it up Temperature is a key element when trying to create the perfect alfresco space – especially on a chilly evening. “If it’s cold, my new addition is a hot-water bottle for everyone to place on their laps,” says chef and presenter Clodagh McKenna. “John Lewis has a range with textured, faux-fur covers (£25) that are so soft and lovely. They make a huge difference.” As for rain: “There are ways of keeping dry that don’t involve a mac,” according to supper-club host Alexandra Dudley. “A pretty parasol, such as the vintage-inspired fringed options from Business and Pleasure Co (from £132), work as well as rain covers or sun shades.” Think about cover that is equally useful in good and bad weather, such as pergolas, shade sails and gazebos. Woodside sells an all-weather pleasingly pointed gazebo for £119.99 that can be assembled in under a minute.

Continue reading...

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