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Dining alfresco is one of life's greatest pleasures and the perfect reason to spend time in your a garden. The sun beating down, the sound of nature all around, delicious food, all made a bit better by a nice cool drink and a bite to eat. 
 
2018 is the year of eating outside. Since Easter, the UK has been enjoying some sunny weather and if the forecasters are correct we are going to be enjoying a lot more over the next few weeks. 
 
We love to spend as much time outside as possible which is probably why we are so obsessed with outside furniture and of course dining alfresco. 
 
Read our tips on how to make eating outside a success. 
 

Keep it simple and eat well it 

We feel that eating outdoors lends itself to simple tasty meals. Anything that requires a bit more flair often ends up cold or blown away. 
 
Dining alfresco is about communal eating big sharing bowls of pasta, salads, potatoes and one pot suppers that everyone can tuck into. 
 
Of course, outdoor eating is often accompanied by outdoor cooking. We love a BBQ but once again we like to keep it simple. A good piece of steak or fresh fish is more enjoyable than a hundred burned sausages. 

Find the perfect parasol 

This may seem like a contradiction but sometimes a meal can be an excuse for a bit of respite from the sun. 
 
However, eating doesn't just happen at midday when the sun is above us which it seems that many parasols are designed for. 
 
What about eating breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and dinner when the sun is moving across the sky? 
 
That is why we suggest you consider getting a parasol that is big enough for your table and can be manoeuvred to keep you and your lovingly prepared salads in the shade. 

A good table is essential for dining alfresco 

Eating outside is often associated with wonky bistro sets, faded plastic furniture or wooden patio furniture that feels like it is on the edge of collapse. 
 
Dining alfresco should be about relaxing and unwinding. We believe that outdoor furniture should be sturdy, beautiful and make you want to settle down in comfort. 
 
As outside isn’t your normal dining space you normally bring a lot to the table, literally. The correct size for your outside table is as big as you can fit. 
 
Outside furniture should last a lifetime and be as much a part of your family life as your indoor dining area. 

Good company 

Food is only half the pleasure of a good meal. If you are eating outside you also need good weather and even more importantly good company. 
 
The challenges of picking the right dinner guests is well documented and if the selection goes wrong you could be in for a terrible time. 
 
However, we believe the best outdoor dining guests are the ones that provide flowing conversation, are laid back and you don’t mind them sticking around until the sunsets. 
 
The other people that make great garden guest is your family. They may not do the washing up but they appreciate the invite. 

Do it regularly 

Eating outside doesn’t need to be a massive ordeal and should be done as often as possible. 
 
Boiled eggs, fresh coffee and the morning sun all to yourself is the perfect way to start the day. 
 
A sandwich at lunch on the grass can feel indulgent but you feel energized for the rest of the day. 
 
Tea and cake on the lawn is an English tradition that we should all keep alive even if is just a mug of PG tips and fondant fancy. 
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