Creating a Cool Alfresco Eating Area

Isn’t it weird that food always tastes better when it’s eaten outdoors?

Sandwiches at home are just sandwiches, the most basic of lunchtime options. In the park, or even in your back garden, they are the base of an exciting picnic.

Slightly burned burgers from your oven are ruined; on the BBQ in the garden, they are charred delicacies. Eating outside in hot weather or in the early evening sun is fun. It’s exciting, and food genuinely does seem to taste better when it’s enjoyed in the fresh air while you are surrounded by nature, colour and other delights.

Eating outdoors is also an opportunity to socialise. In the summer, there’s little better than inviting your friends and family around for a BBQ.

Good food, refreshing drinks and excellent conversation for many of us is the highlight of summer and something that we spend the rest of the year looking forward to.

But, while you can eat on your lawn, or simply put a table and chairs outside, it might not be the most comfortable experience.

You are far more likely to enjoy your meal, as well as good company if you are comfortable, warm, and at ease.

If you do it right, creating a cool alfresco eating area means that you can enjoy eating and entertaining outdoors, even during what is typically a fairly wet British summer. Here are some tips to help you to create the perfect outdoor space to enjoy all those summer picnics and BBQs.

Install Decking

decking Decking is the perfect choice for an outside dining area. It’s durable, it looks great, it’s easy to paint, varnish and weatherproof, and it stops your chair legs sinking into the grass.

Adding a decked area also helps you to separate your dining area from the rest of your garden. Measure up and use this composite decking calculator to help you to work out how much decking you need to complete your project.

Consider a Covered Area


Let’s face it, it’s usually only dry enough to eat outdoors for a few months of the year, and even in mid-summer, frequent rainy spells force us inside. How many BBQs have you been forced to cancel due to rain?

If you are investing in creating a relaxed outdoor dining space, you want to make sure that you can use it twice a year. A covered area can be ideal.

Covering your decking, or at least an area of it means that you can sit outside even when it’s raining.

Add Outdoor Heating Options

outdoor-heaterOf course, rain isn’t the only issue. Even in the summer, evenings can be cold, and you might find yourself coming in straight after dinner, instead of enjoying a drink with friends, because it’s chilly.

Outdoor heaters can be easy to fit into your outdoor décor and make your space much more usable. If you don’t want to add heaters or want more options, blankets, cushions, and other outdoor textiles can add warmth and comfort.

Create a Peaceful Setting with Colour

If you want to enjoy sitting outside, you need a garden that is colourful, attractive, and welcoming.


Add colour with flowers, shrubs, coloured fencing, your furniture choices, and outdoor accessories.

Remember, your garden is an extension of your home. You are free to play with colours and ideas, and to show off your personality with your choices, just as you would inside.

Make Comfort a Priority

When choosing your table and chairs, it’s easy to get carried away and go for fancy options. But, first, ask yourself if they are comfortable. Take your time to find comfy seating that you can sit in for hours.

Give Yourself Options

As the sun moves around your garden, different spaces become optimal for comfortable, and warm, eating. While you might not want to have eating spaces all around the garden, you can give yourself options to move into the sun with alternative seating, which faces different directions.

You might want a comfortable outdoor sofa, facing into the morning sun where you can enjoy your first coffee of the day. Then, a table and chairs at the other end of your decking, near a heater, for relaxed dinners with friends.

Options don’t just allow you to follow the sun or the warmth. They also mean that you can use your garden for a variety of eating opportunities.

Add squashy sofas or chairs, thick blankets and cushions, a more formal table, and even hammocks or swings, and your alfresco eating area is ready for any event.

Creating a cool space like this gives you greater chances to really make the most of your garden, not just in the summer months, but all year round.

Sometimes, making a few simple changes is all it takes to turn your basic garden into an outdoor eating paradise.