29 April, 2021
Just this past weekend as we saw some of the first hot, sunny days of the year, we welcomed back friendly faces into the barn in our cosy corner of the Northamptonshire countryside. The Oh Curio shutter doors were flung open after a long Winter in lockdown, we let the glorious fresh air in, and life was suddenly just perfect again.
With warm, longer days now in sight, al fresco dining with our nearest and dearest is a welcome change and surrounded by nature - it just uplifts our spirits doesn’t it? But of course, being outside doesn’t mean just being at home in the garden. Getting out and about and spoiling ourselves with picnics, beach BBQs or just a bit of a stroll with coffee and cake in hand all has its place too - but I’ll chat about that another day.
As you know, we cant always depend on warm balmy days, so it's always good to err on the side of caution and be prepared for the cooler days and nights as you relax and embrace your outside dining experience.
One key essential is not to forget a cosy throw or two. Lovely chunky woolly ones or the cotton, quilted option will always look wonderful as you drape them over the backs of your seating. Not only do they look rather scrumptious and inviting, but they will add so much warmth once you start feeling a bit of chill. Believe me, your guests will thank you and stay even longer.
“An eye-catching piece of tableware will always be a topic of conversation.”
At the Table
I always like to offer foodie bits on wooden platters when dining outdoors - olive wood, vintage chapati boards, rustic wooden bowls. So much more eye-catching than just a plate. Although that’s not to say you cant mix it all up and have a bit of variety. An eye-catching piece of tableware will always be a topic of conversation.
Something else that we have all become accustomed to over the past year, is the dreaded hand sanitiser! But I think it’s probably here to stay which is not a bad thing really - perched on a little corner of your table, sanitiser in a rather pretty bottle is your answer for keeping things clean and safe.
We recently came across some very beautiful alternatives that we would happily have out at arm’s reach for our guests.
Exploring new Food
Last but not least, tasty wholesome food is a must-have. Personal preference, but I often think simplicity is best for an outdoor setting - but not forgetting the importance of colour in your recipes. On cooler days and evenings, why not spice things up and maybe add a bit of heat and zing to your dishes too? We are seeing some wonderful books in store at the moment with mouth-watering ideas - let’s face it, you can never have too many recipe books on your shelves, and it’s so refreshing to keep trying new ideas.
I hope I’ve whet your appetite - it goes without saying that our little tribe at Oh Curio cannot wait to get out there and enjoy some outdoor entertaining. I’m guessing you too, right?