Whether it’s a morning coffee sat in the sun or dining with family and friends, there’s nothing quite like doing it alfresco style. When the weather is beautiful here in the UK, we need to make the most of it because a rain cloud is never far away!
As experienced Landscapers in Portishead, we’ve designed and created many different styles of outside garden dining spaces for our customers. So, we thought we’d share our expertise with you and have put together this handy blog to give you useful ideas on how to create the perfect outdoor alfresco dining ‘room’ no matter what type of garden you have.
1. Design the space around your lifestyle.
Outdoor dining has really taken off and we’re seeing an increase in customers wanting all the luxuries of dining inside brought outside, by way of pizza ovens, in-built BBQ’s, outdoor storage, and fridges, as well as entertainment systems, fancy lighting, home cocktail bars and even outdoor cinemas.
We recommend that you start off by thinking about what you want to use your outdoor dining space for. Will you be using it for dining with your family and children? If so, then you’ll probably want a functional and safe space that you can all enjoy. Or do you intend to use the space for eating with friends and entertaining them?
Another factor to think about is access to your outdoor dining space and if anyone in your family or any of your friends have mobility issues? If so, then it’s not ideal to have your dining area in a part of your garden that is not easy to get to. And, if wheelchair access is needed then consider how much space you’ll need around the table.
2. Choose beautiful yet practical flooring.
We recommend choosing outdoor flooring that is hardwearing and non-slip, because it’s going to see a lot of traffic and if you need it to support your outdoor table, seats and possibly your barbecue, patio heater, or fire pit.
Traditional and Composite Decking are both great options and are very popular amongst our customers because they are both aesthetically pleasing and durable. Patio paving such as imprinted concrete, Sandstone, Limestone, Granite, Block Paving and Porcelain are all visually striking affect as well as being practical and long-lasting.
3. Choose stylish but adequate outside seating.
There’s a vast range of garden seating and tables in all styles on the market today and you may feel like a kid in a sweetshop when having to choose which one, but all of what we just talked about above will help you decide. For example, if you’re intending on hosting a large number of people on a regular basis, or have a large family, then you’ll need a table that is big enough for everyone to fit comfortably. If you’re pushed for space though, there are some fantastic foldable and extendable tables, and chairs that stack.
Give your outdoor dining area that touch of luxury by accessorising with an outdoor rug, outdoor cushions, pretty tableware and solar lights.
If you haven’t found a dining set that ticks all of the boxes, we can build you a timber bench seating area one to the exact size you need it to be.
4. Position your outside dining area near to your kitchen.
Unless you’re looking to burn a few extra calories lugging plates a long way backwards and forwards to the kitchen, we suggest placing your outdoor dining area as near to it as possible, or near an entrance point like your back door or patio doors. This will make it much easier for you to bring food and items outside, and if you forget something or need the loo, you and your guests won’t have a mile hike back to the house.
However, we appreciate that not all houses have the same layout so this may not be possible, but you could think about adding an outdoor kitchen area with storage for plates and cutlery. Not only is it convenient, but it’s also ultra-trendy too and makes a good feature in your garden.
5. Maximise your surroundings
If you have an amazing view or your garden has a certain area that is a suntrap, then it would be a shame not to make the most of it. Your surroundings can make or break an enjoyable dining experience for you and your guests, so if your garden is a bit unkempt, now is the time to consider a revamp. We can help with everything from replacing fencing, to installing a new patio or decking, building feature walls, steps, and attractive brickwork, to giving your garden a complete makeover.
Nick White Landscaping, Portishead, has been designing and creating striking landscaped gardens throughout Portishead, North Somerset, and Bristol for over 17 years. So, speak to us about your next landscaping project.
6. Shelter from the elements
We all know that the great British weather can be unpredictable. It can be a glorious sunny day one minute and then pouring down the next. With this in mind, we recommend that you think about adding some form of protection from the sun and the rain.
Pergolas are great for providing a shield against the elements and make a great focal point in your garden. Our custom-built Pergola’s will provide the shelter that you need so you can enjoy your outside space without the worry of when it might rain, or if it’s going to be too hot. Contact us today for your free estimate.
7. Let light into your life
If you’re planning on entertaining in the evening, have you thought about what you’ll do when the sun goes down? There are so many choices of lights these days from fairy lights and festoon lights for a relaxed feel, to colour changing LED lights that are perfect for creating a party atmosphere.
You don’t have to keep the lights all on one level or in the same place and can mix and match the type. But ask yourself what the function of the lighting is? In other words, do you want them to provide light to certain areas of your garden, like steps, walls, your patio, or decking, or you’re your outdoor dining area so you’re not eating in the dark.
As part of our landscaping service available throughout Portishead, North Somerset, and Bristol, we can install lighting as part of a garden makeover, add lighting to decking, steps, garden paths, and if you would like a bespoke pergola, we can add lighting to it.
8. Think about privacy
It’s lovely to have a good relationship with your neighbours but do you want them to see you when you’re having breakfast on your terrace, or barbecuing on your decking?
We think privacy is important when designing an outdoor dining area. Tree’s, plants and shrubs like bamboo and tall bi-annuals help to create natural privacy. But if you don’t have room for plants of shrubs, then fencing and screening also make the ideal choice for adding privacy to your garden.
How do you like the idea of a secret garden? Our bespoke Landscaping design and installation is available throughout Portishead, North Somerset, Bristol and all of the locations in between, so get in touch with us today for your free estimate.
9. Keep warm
A glorious sunny day can soon turn into a chilly evening when the sun goes down, so don’t forget to consider how you’ll keep yourself and your guests warm.
Electric patio heaters are great for heating up your outside seating area fast and keeping it warm all evening. Garden chimenea’s and firepits bring a natural source of heat and mesmerising flames that will last for hours. Just remember to be careful where you place your heaters or fire pit and don’t put them next to anything that is likely to catch on fire.
10. Music is the answer
It doesn’t matter if it’s Beethoven who floats your boat or a bit of Calvin Harris, music invokes happiness and helps us to relax. Adding a music system, whether it’s a Bluetooth portable speaker or an integrated sound system can create the perfect atmosphere when you head outdoors. But remember to be conscientious of your neighbours and don’t play your music too loud late at night or you may get a few scowls from them the next day.
We're a team of professional landscapers based in Portishead, who, between us have over 40 years of experience in Landscaping, Gardening and Groundworks.
It doesn't matter how big or small your garden is, or the complexity of your garden project, you can be sure that we'll follow our company's core values of professionalism, efficiency and reliability at all times.
Our services include Fencing, Decking, Greenhouse, Shed & Summerhouse construction, Patio & Driveway Installation, Turfing & Artificial Grass, Driveways - Block paving, Tarmac, Gravel and Resin-bond, Landscaping - Garden Walls & Steps, Fancy Brickwork, Garden Makeovers.
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Our professional gardening, landscaping and driveway installation service is available throughout Portishead, Bristol, North Somerset, and the surrounding areas.
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Areas covered: Portishead, Clevedon, Yatton, Weston-super-Mare, Weston in Gordano, Nailsea, Avonmouth Bristol, and all surrounding areas in North Somerset.