Outdoor kitchens aren’t just for summer… we want to encourage people to embrace outdoor cooking in winter too!

In our last blog we mentioned how the lockdown in spring changed how people viewed their homes and gardens, driving a flurry of DIY and garden transformations. After a summer of outdoor socialising and bubbles, we’re now inching ever closer towards the darker, colder weather of late autumn and winter. Aside from some clever data modelers who might hold some answers, none of us yet know exactly what our lives will be like as a second wave of Covid-19 looms.

If we do see the return of lockdown-style restrictions, then our homes and gardens will once again become key spaces in our relaxation and social time. But with several key differences… Instead of the ever-lengthening days of spring, this time it will be colder and darker with every day that passes. In spring the natural world (including our gardens!) is awakening and new life is pushing through the soil all around us. In autumn, the stunning colours of the trees heralds the start of hibernation and the eventual bleak monochrome of winter.

But is it time to retreat indoors until the light and warmth returns to the outside world? If you look at those living in Scandinavian countries, where dark and cold is semi-permanent for the winter months, the answer is clear. Absolutely not! Instead of hiding indoors for months on end, why not take the light and warmth outside? Bar those very British winter days when the rain seems almost endless, with a little bit of planning and preparation you can still head outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to have a firepit, chiminea or somewhere for a campfire then get some wood seasoned and ready. The beauty of real flames and the smell of wood smoke is oh-so evocative in the cold. A canopy, shelter or gazebo is worth every penny. You’ll also find them useful for a little shade and shelter on the hottest summer days. Add plenty of layers, warm blankets and a thick sheepskin rug over two to pop over your outdoor furniture and you’re away!

Hot drinks are a must for any winter day spent in the great outdoors. There are myriad fun concoctions to make from a classic hot chocolate to mulled ciders and winter Pimms. A BBQ, pizza oven or outdoor kitchen is essential for warming snacks or a full-blown winter dinner party! Add fairy lights to light up the winter gloom and lanterns filled with real candles and tea lights. It might sound like a lot to prepare, but it won’t take long, and you’ll be so pleased of the finishing touches.

So, if we’re told once again to remain at home this winter then don’t retreat indoors. If you’re lucky enough to have outdoor space to make into a wonderful living area, take the time to do so. There’s never been a more important time to invest in your home and garden. It’s looking likely that we will need to fall in love with them again before the winter is out.

Here’s a little image inspiration from Pinterest to get you channelling a Scandi outdoor living vibe!