Alfresco Advice


The hotter weather across the UK has inspired families up and down the country to put their outdoor culinary skills to the test.As we move deeper into the Summer Season Abode2 gets the hottest tips on the Outdoor Kitchen trend as after a winter of lockdowns and restrictions, embracing the great outdoors is likely to feel even better than usual.

Spending summer in the garden brings with it several considerations and something that boutique property company Nomad Developments understands well, which luxury London homes such as Chartfield House. The property’s rear garden was meticulously designed to maximise outdoor use in the warmer months, with features including a heated swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and Tiki bar area.

Chartfield House is a prime example of current outdoor entertaining trends, according to Nomad Developments’ Jack Simpson. Cooking and eating outside took on much greater significance during 2020, with so much uncertainty and the extension of restrictions, that’s set to continue during the Summer of 2021.

A true luxury outdoor dining setup involves more than simply buying a table and chair set. As Jack Simpson, Managing Director, Nomad Developments explains ‘For those looking to create the ultimate outdoor entertaining space, there are a number of must haves. Electrical and plumbing capabilities enable you to have outdoor sinks, fridges and ice machines. Carefully considered lighting is also important; think about how the space will be used in the evening and what impact any light pollution might have on neighbouring gardens or properties.”

With anything outdoors, there is always the weather and its affects to consider, especially in the unpredictable and varied weather in Britain.  Throughout any given year, an outdoor dining area will have to cope with wind, rain, hail, sleet and snow, as well as temperatures of up to 30°C or more in the summer. It’s something that has to be factored in when planning an outdoor entertaining space.

Jack suggests that “Choosing your materials wisely is key and the British weather must be considered. Opting for hard-wearing materials, is my suggestion, to withstand the colder winter months. For example, a polished concrete in an outdoor kitchen area is particularly hardy.”

Maintenance and surroundings are also factoring that need to be consider carefully. One of the wonderful things about cooking and eating outside is how close to nature you can be while you do it. At Chartfield House and at Nomad Developments’ two new homes at Richmond Riverside, where the rear gardens back on to their own private mooring on the Thames, the emphasis is on easy-to-maintain setups that look superb year-round. That means touches such as artificial grass and low-maintenance shrubs and trees. The result is an urban garden that is packed with greenery but that is also easy to care for.

Finally, when it comes to preparing for getting the best out of BBQ season, there are practical matters to consider. Storage is critical, as Jack points out “You don’t want to be running back and forth to the house for essential items, so ensuring adequate storage for crockery, cutlery, food and drink is key.”


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