Post Lockdown Outside Entertaining
I don’t know about you but I’m counting down to 29th March, when all being well we will be able to socialise in gardens. The foray into socialising when we’ve been unable to see family and friends for almost a year is taking up so much head space right now. I’ve been pinning ideas for al fresco dining (I’m thinking pizzas, burgers, jacket potatoes, chilli, anything really that can be prepped and served in the garden to warm guests if we’re not blessed with a sunny April. One pot dishes and things I can prep in advance will minimise the time I have to spend away from my guests, because let’s face it no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen when there’s chatting to be done.
We don’t currently have a means of cooking outside, we did considered a pizza oven last year but never took the plunge, this year it’s at the top of my wish list, I can’t think of anything better than fresh pizza and a glass of fizz when the nights are warmer. I’ve had a good search online and am sharing some fabulous ones below, whilst pizza would be my choice, whilst researching pizza ovens I found that many of them are designed to cook more than the humble pizza. Below are a selection for various budgets, spaces and tastes which are on my radar.
Clockwise from top left: Morsø Forno, Fuego Brick 80, Delivita, Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven, La Hacienda Firebox BBQ Pizza Oven, Gozney Roccbox
Clearly a leader in the aesthetics stakes, Morsø’s Forno with it’s smooth black design is a delight for the eyes. Not limited to pizza cooking this model will also turn out succulent roast meats. I’ve never been a fan of having outdoor cooking equipment on show and as we have limited garage space for storage it’s really important that whatever we choose looks great as well as functioning well, to me this looks almost like a work of art.
Fuego Brick 80 – authentic terracotta brick oven
Another beauty right here if you have the space to install the Fuego Brick 80, a real centre piece. Reaching the desired temperature in just 20 minutes and retaining it’s heat for several hours without the addition of more wood. Suitable for baking bread as well as pan cooking. Something to bare in mind is that these ovens are more susceptible to absorbing moisture and therefore Fuego recommend that they are installed indoors or under a roofing structure such as a pergola. Our friends have installed something similar in a garden building and we’ve enjoyed many pleasant evenings around their oven, even on Christmas Eve, the oven heats their garden room enough for festive frivoloties.
This lightweight model, manufactured from fibreglass weighing in at just under 30kg is handmade in Yorkshire, always a champion of northern business, this is ticking the box for me. For outdoor use only this model is ready to cook the perfect pizza within 25 minutes.
Ooni Koda 16 Gas Powered Pizza Oven
A gas powered alternative for those who prefer the convenience of gas. Designed to cook up to 16-inch pizzas as well as flame cooked steaks, fish and vegetables on it’s large cordierite stone baking board and innovative L shaped flame.
La Hacineda Firebox BBQ Pizza Oven – Black
Love your BBQ and don’t have the space for a BBQ and a Pizza Oven? Enter La Hacienda Firebox BBQ Pizza Oven. This fantastic design turns your glass or charcoal barbecue into a pizza oven. A super affordable addition for those who already have a great barbecue set up but want to extend their offering for al fresco dining.
This portable pizza oven means you can enjoy pizza in your garden, on the beach or whilst camping. Dual fuel, comes with a gas burner as standard and with the option to buy a detachable wood burner as an additional accessory. The Gozney Roccbox was engineered to replicate the performance of Gozney’s professional ovens, used by leading chefs and restaurants all over the world.
I got out in the garden this weekend to survey the effects of a bad winter and a wet couple of months. I don’t know about you but our garden’s taken a real battering this winter, as we speak there are still many plants that look as though they’re yet to decide whether they want to give up or battle on, let’s hope it’s the latter.
Garden Glow up Incoming
We’re planning a garden glow up over the next couple of months and whilst I’ve been considering landscaping and planting I’ve also been planning how I’ll make the space super inviting once guests are allowed.
Clockwise from top left: Fairy Dusk Scandi Outdoor Lantern Pair (Anthracite), Sunbeam Jackie Parasols, Fairy Dusk Outdoor Festoon Lights, Gardenesque Wakehurst Outdoor Fireplace, Anthropologie Muji Ceramic Indoor/Outdoor Stool, Desser Colorado Mink Outdoor Sofa, part of their Colorado Mink Rattan Outdoor Dining Set with Glass Top Table. Cushions and throw from a selection Trouva.
Is there anything better than entertaining friends in the evening under festoon lighting, by candle light or with lanterns carefully placed? I say use as many as you can to amp up the wow factor. I love to bring the outside in, you can do this in a number of ways. I love to use indoor cushions and throws to cosy up outdoor furniture, it’s also a great way of introducing pattern and colour to your outdoor space. Ceramic stools can be brought outside in the summer and make great occasional seating. I’ve noticed an increase in outdoor wood burners in recent months, now these really do offer the perfect way of bringing the inside out, by adding a piece of sandstone or granite underneath you would create the hearth effect, you could even tile part of a garden wall and really set the scene of an outdoor fireplace. Fancy adding a basket of logs ready for use next to your stove, even better.
Day time entertaining will require some shading for guests, English summer allowing! There are lots of options available, my preference, should I have a lottery win sometime soon would be one of Sunbeam Jackie’s stunning garden parasols. Handmade in Cornwall from high end materials and vintage fabrics these are the epitome of English stylish shading.
La Mortuacienne Lemonade, Anthropologie tumblers, Nkuku Salad Servers, Anthropologie Vera Napkins, Anthropologie Skye McAlpine Cake Stand, Amazon enamel plates, Warner’s Juniper Double Dry and Pink Berry 0% Botanical Spirits.
I’m really looking forward to feasting with friends this year and am looking for ways of upgrading the outdoor dining table. As well as considering how pretty the table will look I also want to be practical. I purchased some bamboo plates from Anthropologie last year which we used a lot, I love that they are unbreakable. Another practical option is enamelware, I’ve found some brilliant designs which look like fine antique plates, most convincing. Another choice is collecting mis matched china from charity shops and carboot sales. I love to see mis matched china and if you’ve only paid pence for each piece it’s not such a big issue should a piece get broken. Enamel mugs are a great option for outside hot chocolate too.
I’m not such a fan of outdoor glasses, preferring instead to opt for sturdy glass versions, there are some great ones on the market. Pretty table linen is a must, I’m fancying a gingham cloth with patterned napkins. My birthday is in July so I’ll be on the lookout for a gorgeous cake stand to take centre stage, Skye McApline’s range for Anthropologie includes this splatter ware beauty above. Salads to accompany pizza and barbecued meats will be a must, I prefer to serve mine on vintage meat plates with substantial salad servers. Whilst there will be wine and beer a plenty don’t forget the kids and the designated drivers, French brand Le Mortuacienne produce beautiful lemonades and Warner’s Gin are now offering wonderful alcohol free alternatives, their Pink Berry and Juniper Double Dry both won gold and master awards respectively at this year’s The Low and No Masters.
Thanks for stopping by, I can’t wait to share more of our garden glow up journey with you.
Thanks for stopping by.
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