If you’re fed up of squeezing into pubs and spending your last few pounds on a pint, skip going out and catch the last of this summer heatwave at home. For a more long-term investment, learn how you can transform your garden into the perfect summer chill-out zone. 😎
Well, Duh! The easiest and cheapest way you can bring summer meals to your home is to install a BBQ. For those who have OD’d on burgers, getting a Fire Magic BBQ (like the one Aralia installed at Rosier House below), allows you to get creative and diverse with what you cook outside. This Outdoor Kitchen features a tandoor oven, warming drawers and even cooks a mean pizza; meaning you can still enjoy tasty meals outside, but save some pounds – and maybe even brush up on your cooking skills! 😋🍕 This is not just an option for people with sprawling country estates though, these outdoor kitchens also sit perfectly in smaller more contemporary urban gardens and roof terraces. Even in a smaller garden you’ll probably have more space to dine than a crowded London roof terrace bar, so make the most of your space with a slinky built in BBQ (like the one Aralia installed here in Searles Road and Kensington Park).
From Left to Right: RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Gaze Buvill Tradestand, Rosier House, Kensington Park London, Searles Road
Another reason to dine at home is a beautiful green wall. These are perfect for when entertaining, as you can impress your friends by picking your own herbs fresh from the green wall to put into their cocktails! 🌿 They’re also perfect for accessorizing freshly cooked meals for the family, allowing you to add some fresh organic produce grown by your own fair hands. These herb walls can also be useful for keeping the kids entertained, meaning you can skip the boiling hot playgrounds, and instead give them the exciting & very important task of gathering the herbs. For those of you who are going to cafes for their caffeine fix why not try a detox approach, and install a green wall that’s a ‘Herbal Tea Bar’ as Aralia featured in our 2012 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden and pick your tea leaves straight from the wall into your mug.🌲☕️ Finally, these green walls make a great backdrop for that perfect summer Instagram pic, so stay in and get snapping! 📸
Waiting in a queue for 20 minutes and then returning with a lukewarm drink that’s mainly made of melted ice? We’ve all been there. Instead, find yourself sipping on ice cold drinks in the comfort of your own home by installing an outdoor fridge.🍸🍹 Invite your friends over and skip the overpriced drinks and expensive rounds. You can chill at home with your friends & family with all the drinks within reach, allowing you to stop having to nip off to the bar and enjoy the day more! 🎉
From Left to Right: RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2009 ‘Freshly Prepped’, Ganton Street London, RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2012 ‘Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow’, Ganton Street London.
For those who love standing around chatting at the bar, go the extra mile and install an outdoor bar into your own garden. Aralia installed this simple but sophisticated outdoor bar, and whilst we admit it was for a Cambridge cocktail bar and restaurant, there’s no reason why you can’t recreate the look at home. Saving time on travel, it’s easier, fun and more relaxed than venturing out. If you’re really struggling for space, you can do your own mini version like a small wooden freestanding bar (see the one we’ve included at NOVI) or place bar stools under a kitchen window & perhaps just adding in a shelf as a bar top. This makes entertaining at home easy and affordable, but also doubles up as the perfect spot for having a coffee al fresco. ☕️
FINE DINING AL FRESCO
On those wonderful summer days when the sun is shining, beat the crowds, by staying in and dressing up your outdoor dining table. You can make it look as sophisticated as the local brasserie, or if not better! 🍝🍷 Buy a large dining table like the one Aralia used for the Gaze Burvill, RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden, perfect for entertaining family and friends over summer. If you’re a sucker for sophisticated summer dinners out, recreate your favourite romantic restaurant at home. No bookings necessary and no more waiting for weeks to get a table at the hottest place. Include a bespoke outdoor sofa, coffee table and outdoor fireplace🔥to make your garden terrace exude the elegance of your favourite eatery. You can also add a pergola and luxurious throws so that you can stay outside on chillier nights, save the stress and have that perfect date night at home!
From Left to Right: NOVI Cambridge Bar & Resteraunt, NOVI, RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2017 Gaze Burvill Tradestand, Chelsea Creek London Roof Terraces
ON THE BIG SCREEN
Murray’s playing the final at Wimbledon? Chelsea are playing Arsenal? No need to crowd in the nearest pub to watch the game, instead, invite your friends over and host a social garden viewing on your Outdoor TV. By adding a TV Screen in your garden (like the one we used here at RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2012) you can keep your guests from nipping inside to watch the match throughout the BBQ, and constantly checking their phone for the latest scores at dinner parties. Impress your friends and host your very own movie night in your garden, much better than a dingy cinema on a summers day! 📽 🎞
Are you fine with staying in for dinner but splashing the cash every weekend on brunches? Well turn to home instead. With a herb wall, fresh strawberries in hanging baskets and a small vegetable bed, you can make amazing smoothies and juices in your own kitchen. 🍊 🍋🍓 These will likely be far more organic than the juices you buy out, and definitely contain a lot less sugar!! Impress your friends and invite them round for your very own bottomless brunch, serving them Bucks Fizz straight from your outdoor fridge, with a slice of orange from your very own orange trees.🍾 For flexible entertaining make the most of your garden space with an expanding table and chair set that can be used from dawn to dusk for a wide range of entertaining(ref Chelsea Creek).
From Left to Right: RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2012 ‘Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow’, Chelsea Creek London Roof Terrace, ‘Rooftop Workplace of Tomorrow’, RHS Chelsea Flower Show Garden 2009 ‘Freshly Prepped’
Why squeeze 8 people onto one pub bench when you can create your own summer escape in your back garden? If you want the relaxed simple style of a bench, then you can either source some off the shelf benches, or have some perfectly proportioned benches designed to maximise every inch of your terrace, similar to those Aralia designs for clients at Rutland Gate. Vamp up the benches with plush pillows and throws for a bit more exuberance & colour, allowing you to flop comfortably after a few too many canapes, something you’re sadly not allowed to do at restaurants! 😴
Finally, the best advantage, sit back and enjoy!
From Left to Right: Rutland Gate Knightsbridge Roof Terrace, Chelsea Creek London Roof Terrace, Knightsbridge Roof Terrace, RHS Chelsea Flower Show ‘Freshly Prepped’