If you have a space outside your office, or perhaps you’ve got a studio in the back garden, or maybe you’re based in a glitzy block with a balcony – then you’ve got the perfect space to create a place for summer parties – saving you expensive venue costs.
For many of us, when we say ‘summer party’ our immediate thoughts turn to the barbecue. It always seems like a great idea, until you realise the grill needs cleaning, and then there’s all the smoke, and how long it takes to get the charcoal fired up…
For these and many other reasons the traditional barbecue is feeling a bit passé. However, there are lots of attractive, elegant, innovative and affordable products available now that allow you turn even the smallest outdoor area into the perfect summer party venue.
Here are five ideas to help you wow your staff and your clients:
1. Cater for all tastes with a portable pizza oven
Portable outdoor ovens have come a long way – now you can get professional specialist quality cooking with new innovations such as the Roccbox. Created by Gozney, Roccbox is a professional standard compact stone fire pizza oven that can provide delicious stone fired pizza in little over a minute. And it doesn’t have to be pizza – the dry heat that can only be got from a stone oven can make meat, fish and vegetables even more delicious. You can choose either wood or gas burner for traditional fire or changeable heat for a range of cooking techniques
2. Dine in style with an outdoor kitchen space
An outdoor kitchen area is another convenient and enjoyable way to cook and dine al fresco.
Depending on your space and budget you can go for a complete kitchen installed in a sheltered seating area. Alternatively, many outdoor living companies sell modular kitchen units for more flexibility to build your own custom space – sinks, fitted barbecue cookers, and even outdoor fridges can create an ideal inside-out gathering spot.
3. Stay warm with a gas fire pit
Fire pits, units and chimineas aren’t exactly new, but they are developing into new more innovative and creative designs. Gas powered fire pits are becoming increasingly popular as a more convenient and cleaner alternative to the standard wood or coal heating solutions.
A gas fire can be built-in or purchased as a standalone unit to add warmth and style to your seating area. Gas Fire Pit tables are sleek, high-end designs, but there are options out there to suit any budget. It is recommended that you always get a professional to install your fire
4. Create a holiday vibe with a Tiki Bar
If you like to whip up exotic cocktails for your guests, an outdoor bar is a must. You could complete the experience with a tiki bar: Tiki culture started in California in the 1930s with idealised exotically decorated bars and restaurants catering to an escapist longing for travel to tropical regions.
You can create your own holiday-at-work vibe over Mai Tais and Singapore Slings. John Lewis sells a fantastically authentic looking rattan bar and stool set that will set the tone for some bar theatrics worthy of a South Pacific island beach party.
5. Stay cosy in an Arctic Cabin
If you have a large enough space – and a decent budget – then why not go a step further with an arctic cabin, complete with inbuilt barbecue? An arctic cabin can provide a moment of escape on chilly morning, is ideal for private meetings, and perfect for small parties – anytime of year.
Arctic Cabins Ltd are the only manufacturer and supplier of the traditional sloping wall cabin design in the UK – a typical cabin seats around 15 people (and can sleep three).
Once you’ve decided on what new features to add, here are a few final tips to enhance your summer get-together:
Get the lighting right – If you are entertaining late into the evening, or have sheltered and shadowy spaces for sitting, make use of small solar lights to brighten the mood and create an ambience worthy of your favourite city pub garden.
Plan the playlist – A little background music can make a real difference, so choose music that sets the tone for the evening. And keep speakers and volume to a minimum – both your guests and your neighbours will not appreciate being sound blasted!
Safety First – The last and most important point is when using cooking equipment, fires and electrical lighting, ensure that everything is installed and used according to manufacturer instructions. Check for any trip hazards relating to wires (hang or tape them out of harm’s way) and encourage caution around heat sources.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Laura Gozney is co-founder of Gozney, makers of commercial and residential stone fire pizza ovens. Gozney’s latest innovation is Roccbox – the only professional standard portable wood and gas stone oven that can cook a pizza in under 90 seconds.