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There is something about eating outdoors that is elemental. Maybe the aroma of cooking on the breeze stirs something up inside us. Whatever it is, it works. Al Fresco dining is as good as it gets. It whets our appetites and makes us more social. Outside there are no distractions. We focus on the food and the company and let’s face it, life does not get any better than that. But rolling the BBQ out of the garage does not quite give us the ambience we need. How can you plan your garden around your outdoor kitchen and really make the most of your alfresco dining experience?

To an extent the site of your outdoor kitchen and eating area will depend upon your house. The simplest idea would be to select an area close to your existing kitchen. In that way you have the backup and ease of being able to pass things out and through. There will be a lot less running around. In these scenarios, your cooking area would most likely be situated on your deck or patio,

Another slightly more adventurous scenario would be to create a purpose built area in another part of the garden, and maybe even getting a ready-to-assemble outdoor kitchen (if that sounds like something you’re interested in, you can learn more at rtaoutdoorliving.com). This might need to be protected to some degree from prevailing winds and breezes. But this might be a lovely idea especially if you have a place in the country. It could also be a way to take advantage of a special view, or a place to eat while you watched the sunset.

Wherever you decide work, you’ll be able to focus on a dedicated area. In doing that you can take advantage of the experience of a company such as TDL who are experts in landscaping. You’ll need a base and have to think about your flooring options. Something solid with character that is easy to keep clean would be ideal. It’s great to have at least one wall or half wall to place your oven or BBQ area up against.

Here you can think about other attractions such as a fire pit or even an outdoor fireplace to keep you nice and warm. This could make even dining out on cooler nights a heartwarming option. If this is a kitchen away from a kitchen, it can be a good idea to think about food preparation areas, as well as having running water and a sink. This will be useful in terms of preparing food.

There are a wide range of screens and ways of protecting yourself from not just cooler breezes but also insects on warmer nights. Have a think too about the kind of feel that you would like. Outdoor furniture is an important aspect of your whole experience. You could focus on a table and chairs or draw in a few loungers for more relaxing options.

The outdoors cook might like to take advantage of the living garden. What could be fresher and more nutritious than being able to bring your own salad and vegetables to the table? A herb garden is a handy and aromatic choice to have close by. Companion planting with lavender helps keep the bugs at bay. All you need now is for the sun to go down and a few lights to come on. As the soft glow of the candles work their magic, it is easy to anticipate the feast ahead.


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