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When the summertime finally rolls around there is nothing quite like dinning outside in the garden. This simple but enjoyable way to eat is usually reserved only for holidays and the warmest of days.
With long, chilly winters you really have to try to make the most out of every summers day! Garden dinning can be an enjoyable way to entertain friends and family when the suns is shinning.
Enjoyed most days by people in the Mediterranean for millennia garden dinning can become a way of life. This is especially so if you have beautifully landscaped gardens or amazing views. Watching birds sing, chatting with friends and tasty cuisine are all fantastic ways to enjoy garden dinning experiences.
Hence here we have gathered a whole range of garden dinning products for you here. From cutlery sets to pizza ovens there is everything you need for amazing garden dinning all summer long.
Garden dinning sets
One of the most crucial parts of creating the perfect garden dinning space is the furniture. Table and chair sets come in a whole range of styles shapes and sizes. The best garden dinning sets actually become a part of the surrounding garden design or decor.
For instance if you have a contemporary patio with neutral colours go for something similar. With a designers eye you can almost make your garden dining set bled in. However using contrast and juxtaposition can also be an effective landscape design strategy.
Once you know what design style you want you can now think about seating. How many guests will your space allow? Do you have a big family? Garden dining sets can really set the stage for great family events. Why not check out some of our suggestions below.
Garden cutlery sets
When it comes to fine dining outside it’s not enough to just have fancy furniture. The best garden dining experiences also pay close attention to every detail.
This means everything from the garden decor to table cutlery is well thought through. This does not necessarily mean it has to be expensive or stylish. However garden cutlery sets can be a great way to show you have considered of every detail.
This can create the ultimate garden dining experience and one to rival any restaurant. Below we have included some good examples of cutlery sets perfect for dinning outdoor.
Garden drinks dispenser
The truth is during most garden dinning gatherings very little time is actually spent sitting down. Most of the time people are mingling, standing and walking around.
Hence it is a great idea to disperse some refreshment points throughout the space. These can be a few tables with treats such as nibbles. However a really great idea is to utilise some large, glass drinks dispensers.
These are great to fill with fruit juice or even punch if you like tipsy guests! These dispensers come in a wide variety and generally work with any garden dinning theme.
Garden drinks cooler
There is nothing more exciting than friends and family coming round for some garden entertainment. If the weather is warm and fine this makes the experience even more serene!
However a typical challenge is having enough fridge space to keep all your drinks cool. Food and drinks space usually comes into direct conflict and you simply cannot do without both. A common solution is to fill a large bin or container with ice water. The problem with this approach is it never really keeps drinks that cool.
Furthermore continuous fishing for submerged bounty usually results in wet arms and clothes. Hence the best solution is a garden drinks cooler! These come in a range of designs and styles including very posh roll-able drinks chests like the one below.
One of the main annoyances when having a garden party is unwanted flying guests. Fly’s and wasps will happily gorge themselves on the spoils of your feast.
Consequently food covers are an effective way to keep flying insects away from your food. Below we have included some popular food covers which are lightweight and easy to store.
Summertime provides the perfect opportunity to eat outside on the patio. However during the heat of the day some seating areas can become far too hot. Therefore having a robust garden umbrella can be perfect to provide some welcome shade.
Garden umbrellas come in many shapes, colours and styles making it easy to find one that matches your space. Garden umbrellas can also be used to suspend lighting for later evening meals. Furthermore they can help retain warmth from nearby garden heaters.
Garden dinning pergolas
Pergolas are garden structures which can overhang your garden dinning space. These can be utilised in a number of ingenious ways, especially over patio, seating areas where they can provide added interest and shade.
Pergolas are perfect for growing attractive climbing plants over them. Commonly in Mediterranean countries grape vines and Kiwi are grown to produce hanging fruit.
The green vegetation also provides cool shade perfect for hot sunny days. If you have a contemporary dining area there is plenty of more modern looking pergola options. Pergolas are also effective at suspending lighting and heating to your garden, dining areas.
Garden dinning gazebos
Most garden dinning events do not always completely have the weather on their side. Therefore garden gazebos can be really good ideas encase the heavens open!
Although sitting under a gazebo and eating may not seem optimum there are actually many advantages. Some gazebos are actually very stylish making them fantastic places to hang out. They can also trap warmth making them very effective at providing outside rooms.
Most gazebos are very quick and easy to set up making them a good emergency shelter. Typically they are useful for garden dinning events as they can act as after dinner chill out rooms. These are perfect decorated in a Moroccan style with outdoor bean bags and low tables.
Garden dinning dome
Love garden dinning but don’t want to suffer unpredictable weather? Why not invest in one of these incredible garden dinning pods. These incredible greenhouse like domes provide excellent shelter while enjoying the outside. These are amazing for late night garden dining experiences especially with external lighting. We have included our favourite of these down below.
Picnic baskets for outside dinning
Not every garden dining experience has to be an exuberant or formal affair. There are always opportunities for a light hearted picnic out on the green or patio.
This can even consist of posh nibbles like salmon sandwiches and champagne. However more often garden picnics are perfect for simple pleasures such as scones, butter and jam! Below we have described some really cool picnic baskets for the perfect garden dining experience.
Garden fire pits
Fire is something which has fascinated the human species for thousands of years. Just by simply harnessing fire has led to some humans most advanced achievements.
There is something so captivating about spending time being warmed by the radiant flames. It is easy to sit for hours simply glaring and getting lost into the dancing flames.
One of the best ways to enjoy fire during garden dinning events is with a fire pit. These come in a wide variety of styles and shapes perfect for late evening gatherings. Below we have displayed some of our favourite fire pits on the market.
Garden dinning events are always an opportunity to show off to family and friends. Consequently anything new and exciting to show your guests goes a very long way.
Garden smokers are actually more of a sealed barbecue but allow you to flavour food. These garden gadgets are great for slow cooking fish or even making jerky.
When the charcoal has burnt down, place on some wood chips and allow the cinders to smoke. Then simply hang what you want to smoke and close the door! Soon you will have beautiful smoked delicacies for late night drinks.
One of the biggest catalysts for some memorable garden dinning is barbecues. There is something so exciting about watching the food slowly cook! The anticipation combined with glorious smells and sizzling sounds are quite simply irresistible!
For meat lovers barbecues are a real treat! There is something so tasty about meat which has been cooked at very high temperature over charcoal.
Some of the best barbecues are ones which have varying cooking levels; these can allow food to heat at different speeds.
A favourite is the Greek style rotisserie barbecues which allow meat to go crispy but still stay moist in the centre. Below we have displayed some of our favourite barbecues for the most tasty garden dinning.
There are very few people who do not love eating pizza! The crispy base combined with delicious toppings make them extremely difficult to resist. Originating from Italy pizza has now spread across the world and is a common culinary favourite.
Generally however people who enjoy pizza the most when garden dinning are those with a pizza oven. Pizza ovens consist of a large dome traditionally built from masonry materials. A fire is lit which creates a heated, thermal mass which can get to over 400 degrees Celsius.
The hot stone base and oven like atmosphere cooks pizzas quickly and with great ease. This makes pizza ovens a real quick and exciting way to prepare food for guests. These ovens are also ideal for cooking stews and fresh bread! If positioned well in a heat trap they can actually double up as an effective patio heater.
This makes pizza ovens a very real asset to any garden dining experience. Combine this with some mood music and lighting and you will never need to get on a plane again! There are now some very good pizza ovens on the market, we have linked to these below.
It is remarkable what an impact sound can make to an outside space. This is especially so within a garden dining experience. The background music dissolves awkward eating sounds making people more able to let go and come out of their shells. Garden speakers now come in a varying range with many products to choose from.
Some of the best are speakers which are actually camouflaged as the surrounding landscaping. A great example of these is garden rockery speakers! These cool garden gadgets look like rocks but actually play music. They can be hooked up to smart phones via Bluetooth and play anything on command.
If you don’t want listen to music you can put on background sounds such as jungle wildlife. There are so many ways you can enhance a garden dinning atmosphere using sounds. Below we have displayed some of the best on the market.
Sometimes the heat of summer can go to our heads and make us want to stay out all night. However it is common for evening temperatures to decline greatly as the evening draws in.
If not planned for this can greatly degrade the garden dining experience. Night time is one of the best times of day to enjoy the peace of the garden.
To prevent chilly guests from running to the living room why not install some garden heating?
This does not necessarily have to be a permanent or costly installation. There are many great garden heaters available today with a wide range to choose from. We have displayed some below but have an extensive article on garden heaters here.
Very much in a similar way to heating, lighting can dramatically transform an outside space. Lights can form a spatial hierarchy and create a mood enhancing environment. This is particularly the case with garden dining areas allowing you to enjoy the outside after dark.
This provides an opportunity to make the most of cooler evenings during hot summers. Garden lighting can come in a variety of ways with many different fixtures and fittings available. Hence we have put together a little selection of some typical examples below.
There is no doubt that the late afternoon is when the real garden dinning gets started. However this is also the time that biting critters love to come out. You may enjoy the idea of eating outside but not the idea of something eating you! Therefore to help keep you and your guests bite free you may need some help.
Mosquito lamps are an effective way to get rid of mosquitoes and gnats in a flash, literally. These lamps draw them in where they are quickly frazzled by the electrical current. Not only do they stop you getting bitten they actually look rather attractive at night.
After dinner entertainment
Garden dinning is a truly great way to enjoy time with friends and family. However with happy tummies full of tasty food the party can become rather sluggish.
To stop your dinner guests from falling into a deep slumber it is good to serve coffee and include some evening entertainment. The best of which is something fun which gets everyone involved. Hence we have included some exciting after dinner entertainment ideas to keep the party going.
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Paul Nicolaides is a Landscape architect and garden builder with over 30 years experience in designing, building and maintaining gardens. Contemplating just how important garden space is for nature and recreation he created 'Cool Garden Gadgets' to explore the best gadgets for enhancing outside spaces. From outdoor dining ideas to the latest garden technology we break it down for you here.