Our Perspective

Alfresco Dining Ideas & The British Weather

British people love to get out and embrace the outdoors. If eating outside can become a regular part of our summer plans, then all the better! It has become an integral part of summer living because it is part of our nostalgic tradition of rain-soaked summer BBQs, street food vendors, and picnics in the park. When the Pimms is flowing and the sun is shining you can create some of the most memorable moments with your friends and family.

One of the most iconic parts of all of this is the British weather – it is common knowledge that UK summers are unpredictable! It will be 30˚C at lunchtime but by late afternoon it could be torrential rain. Historically we would have pleasant warm periods which were broken up by frequent rain and drizzle. However, the last few years have shown a different pattern which is more extreme with the wet periods being wetter and the hot periods being hotter.

Whilst the UK went into global lockdown in Spring 2020, we were taunted by the 5th warmest April on record. It was a great time for British gardens as most people were spending hours at a time in them as working from home also means working from your garden. As the summer progressed and the world changed evermore, we were treated to another very hot spell in August. Heathrow recorded a temperature of 37.8˚C making it the 3rd hottest day on record and we experienced an average daily temperature of 34˚C for a week according. This extra heat can be uncomfortable at times, but we are not used to it. In the South of France or any Mediterranean destination, the locals are continuing their normal lives in the heat but here in the UK, it is almost as baffling as 10 cm of snow which undoubtedly hits the headlines. Yes, this is because it is their climate, however, the UK is slowly becoming more Mediterranean so should look to live a bit more as they do?

The focal point for any Mediterranean home is its outside space. Nearly all of the best outdoor dining settings are designed and manufactured in these countries given that they are the most experienced. Using materials that can withstand consistent UV and water exposure is imperative. Also, the manufacturing techniques are just as important. To create a stylish but durable outdoor dining set you need joints and fastenings which complement the materials used and can offer the same durability. The same goes for an outdoor, all-weather motorised Pergola or awning. Using powder-coated aluminium for the frame with rubber corner gaskets ensures no water ingress is possible. Composite materials for the roof fabric or bioclimatic louvres ensure you get protection from the elements. They are built to withstand what nature will throw at them as unlike an outdoor sofa you are not going to take the cushions off and bring it inside – it is a permanent part of your garden.

When you type into Google; “townhouse outdoor garden ideas” for example there are literally hundreds of articles, blogs and photos to choose from. We found that whilst they all promote different aspects or angles, they all relate to one key theme which is creating a social space. “Ideal Home’s Top 20 of the best ideas for Townhouse Gardens” illustrates the point that whilst there are plenty of ideas, the reason behind it all is to create a space for us to entertain friends and family and enjoy ourselves. The important points to note are that you will want to create an outdoor living area that reflects your home, create a space with privacy and incorporate a lighting element. A motorised Pergola is a good way to give you an area to create an outdoor living area, retain your privacy, and incorporate lighting.

The functionality and stylish design is very similar to that of a normal room in your house but with the flexibility to allow you to embrace the outdoors fully in complete comfort.

If you are looking for inspiration, then have a look at our collection of all-weather pergolas and awnings, if that doesn’t do the trick you can always contact our design team to discuss your ideas with them.

Speak To Our Design Team