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Winter dining | Don’t hibernate the BBQ

© Höfats

Who says outdoor dining can’t be done in winter? All you need is some creativity, determination, great company and (lots of) blankets. Once you get the hang of it, spending time outside will feel like a magical thing, and you’ll wonder why you didn’t start doing it sooner. Here, too, luck favours the prepared.

 

Heat

The thing that keeps people cooped up indoors in winter is undoubtedly the fact that it’s, well, freezing outside. But in reality, that’s a problem that can be helped quite easily. Just get some heating elements or radiators for your chosen winter BBQ place, whether that’s a balcony, a patio or even the garden. Gas-powered or infra heaters are easy to operate and warm any space up to toasty temperatures. For the more classic outdoors dweller, a fire pit can be an excellent choice. Don’t forget small sources of heat, either: things to keep food and drinks warm, like a thermos for tea or coffee. See? Easy!

 

© Höfats

The Ellipse by Höfats

 

Comfort

The second most important factor in keeping winter outside pleasant is comfort. Stock up on blankets, pillows, cushions, socks and slippers that keep you toasty, and winter evenings with friends beautiful. Here, it’s important to pay attention to texture and material: natural fibers are often best, since they tend to be both warmer and more comfortable than synthetic counterparts — think of throwing knits, wool or fur over that bench outside. Make sure to pick things that don’t scratch or get bothersome quickly: this is not the occasion for that felt throw pillow you love looking at.

 

Weatherproof deco & furniture

As for outdoor furniture and deco, winter weather can be pretty harsh on those. For seats and a table, you’ve got to choose weatherproof things. Luckily, that no longer means you have to sacrifice comfort: there are plenty of soft, cushioned and modern options that can withstand winter temperatures, rain and snow. As for decoration, your choices are many, but make sure you either pick things that don’t mind sitting outside all winter, or items small enough to carry in and out of the house. Vases and candleholders made of glass are fine to stay outside, while your wicker and wooden deco items should go indoors when you do.

 

© Tala

Muse Lamp by Tala

 

Light for dark nights

The right kind of light is just as important outdoors as it is in the house. Take your pick from an endless variety of rustic lanterns, pretty outdoor fairy lights, windproof candles and battery-powered lamps. Make sure to keep the light itself warm, since cool lamps make you feel colder, while a yellow glow bathes even the snowiest of surroundings in (perceived) warmth.

 

Cook the right things

Food matters when you’re dining outside. This is the time to prepare cosy, sustaining, and warming meals. Steaming casseroles in cast iron to keep it warm, meaty stews in thick pots, and desserts fresh from the oven… maybe set up a pizza oven, both for warmth and cheesy slices — double hit. And don’t forget the beverages: this is the season for mulled wine, hot chocolate and honeyed, sweet teas. Get a pretty pot with a tea light warmer, and some thick mugs to warm frosty hands — winter perfection. As for the serve-ware, things in wood look great outdoors, as do clay bowls, so leave very fine porcelain plates and thin glassware indoors.

Create your own winter wonderland in your own backyard:

 

 

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