Winter may be coming, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget your outdoor space. As an extension of your home, it’s somewhere that you should find comfort in all year round. We are extremely fortunate to have very mild winters where I live and we are still able to entertain and enjoy our garden.
Often on a late Saturday afternoon we will start the fire and sometimes we will cook a simple dinner using a heavy based frying pan placed on the embers. Sausages, burgers and kebabs are always easy and a favorite all round. Of course you cannot forget something sweet and marshmallows melted on sticks is always a hit. When enjoying an evening outdoors there a few tips to make it a night to remember.
1. Fire Pit – This is fairly obvious, but depending on where you live and the space you have will dictate the type of structure you will use. You may make your own rustic fire pit or you can purchase one at your local hardware store.
If you live in a unit an brazier may be the answer.
Burning material will also depend on the type of firepit used. We are lucky enough to have our own sticks and timber to burn. If you don’t have access to such materials why not go for a drive to the country and see what you find on the side of the road. Pine cones are always great to start off the fire and these can be gathered in local forests or along country roads. You don’t even have to light a fire to create some outdoor ambience, I love this idea of using lights amongst the timber.
Remember to recycle your charcoal for your vegetable garden, your plants will love it!
2. Seating – Lots of comfortable chairs, cushions and rugs. This is a time to relax and chairs need to be ones that you can lounge in for hours. Our large Outdoor / Indoor cushions are perfect for throwing on the ground and lounging the night away! They are easy to wash if there are a few spills on the night. Remember when setting up to keep a reasonable distance from the fire for safety’s sake also have everything within arms reach so as to limit your trips indoors.
3. Food and Drinks – An esky or bucket filled with ice is perfect for keeping drinks cool. You may even wish to set up an outdoor bar cart for your guests to “self serve”. I love having an outdoor bar cart as it means you can relax as well!
There are plenty of recipes that can be used to cook for your guests (Fire Pit Recipes).
Also don’t forget the sweet tooths with marshmallows.
To keep the night simple a great antipasta and / cheese platter are always a great option.
4. Ambience & Comfort – There are a few extras that you can organise that your guests will love. When the chill sets in have a basket of throws and blankets handy for them to use. I store my throws in one of our Bungalow Living Pom Pom Belly Baskets ($35) so it is easy to grab and take outside when required. Outdoor lighting will add extra ambience and there are so many lighting solutions to choose from…. We have the solar outdoor lights which can be strung up around the fire pit space to create a sense of intimacy in a large garden.
As a music lover this is an essential. You may be lucky enough to have a musical friend you can bring along their guitar for a sing along. There is something magical about someone playing a guitar around the fire…. We have a an outdoor speaker blue tooth speaker and my favourite laid back pay lists are on play for the evening. Don’t forget the insects, when the weather is cooler the mosquitoes may be not be as prevalent, but it is always great to be prepared with insect repelant for your guests. There are a few other natural alternatives such as burning bunches of dried sage which I can imagine would smell divine.
Anyway, I am sure you will enjoy your evening and it will be a night to remember!