With the arrival of summer, we can rediscover the pleasures of alfresco dining. How should we best plan to create an outdoor dining space that is welcoming, comfortable and practical?
If your outdoor space is big enough, you might be able to have several different places to entertain, according to different times of the day. The perfect spot to gather for early evening drinks – to enjoy a view perhaps, as the sun sinks towards the horizon, might be too exposed for the dinner to follow, so perhaps a more sheltered spot may be preferred.
Shelter from evening breezes is worth planning a little – a hedge, wall return, all will help keep guests comfortable into the later evening, as will a parasol – it might seem strange, but a parasol will keep the damp of an English evening dew away, and keep your guests from feeling the cold. You can even install warm air circulation beneath your table if you wish. The ‘enveloping’ character of Broadwalk Seating around one of our Broadwalk Tables can also give your guests a little extra protection from the chill of evening.
Making a space for an outdoor kitchen will not only nurture the inner chef in all of us, but also provide ambiance, and means that the chef (is that you?) is part of the party. Hearing the sizzle from the grill, and catching delicious smells on the wafting breeze will whet the appetites, and encourage excited anticipation for the culinary delights that await.
For entertaining occasions, how many friends will you want to invite round? Do you favour small parties, or more formal lunches for large groups? Probably it will be some sort of combination of the two. But how do you choose an outdoor table for this flexible entertaining style?
If you only occasionally cater for large groups then a Mead Table arrangement might be another answer. This is a table essentially rectangular, with curved ends, but Gaze Burvill makes a special connecting piece, so if you have two small size tables, say seating six or eight each, then you can when required connect the two tables together to make one long table.
At Gaze Burvill, we see a great solution in an oval table: you can seat fourteen at our largest size of Broadwalk Oval Table, but then you can just use half of the table if you are just four or six for dinner, as no one is too far from each other at one end of the oval – it just works.
For some, the very best sort of table is always round! Our Bailey Tables offer a range of different sizes, always with a central, very strong pedestal, so no-one will have to battle with annoyingly positioned table legs to get comfortable. For a larger table to sit ten or twelve, opt for a round Broadwalk Table, a superb craftsman-made piece to impress your guests, with a rotating central ‘lazy Susan’.
For a relaxed atmosphere, your guests should be sitting comfortably. Whether your preference is dining chairs, arm chairs or bench seating, we invest a great deal of design and testing time to ensure that all the seating is superbly comfortable, even without cushions. However you might like to add cushions to create a more ‘genteel’ look, and with all the fabulous outdoor fabrics to choose from, it is no wonder that more and more people are choosing to add both seat and scatter cushions to their furniture. Our outdoor cushions can easily cope with catching the odd shower – the foam and fabrics are outdoor-specified, but they will look their best long term if taken inside when rain threatens, so if you go for cushions, then make sure you have somewhere dry to store them. We can supply cushion chests if required.
All our dining tables can be made with a parasol hole, though you might find that a centrally positioned parasol is not the best way to create shade for the table – and assessing where the strongest sun will be coming from, and positioning the parasol (or parasols) to the side accordingly will optimise the right shading. From cantilevers to cabanas, TUUCI parasols, which Gaze Burvill is the exclusive supplier in the UK for, have a range of sizes, shapes, canopy colours, as well as bases so the answer to your requirements is sure to be found.
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