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14 outdoor essentials

Venturing out into your garden for the first time? Here's all the cool cooking and homeware kit you need to jazz it up for summer.

The first properly warm weekend over Easter quietly got us thinking about alfresco dining and long summer evenings in the garden. Not my garden though – yikes it needs a makeover!

So it’s finally time face the over grown mess and get it ship shape for BBQ season – hooray.

I’m checking out this brilliant Gozney pizza oven (£499) for laid-back family lunches – have you tried one of these babies?

You make your own dough (super easy, honest), bung on some toppings (the kids love this bit) and your pizza is cooked in a minute flat and approximately 8,000 times more delicious than any other pizza you’ve ever eaten in your life. Dorset-based Gozney supply The Pig hotel group and the Franco Manca restaurant chain so you’re definitely in safe hands with this bit of kit. I reckon it’s the must-have outdoor living accessory of the summer – and you need a pizza it (*gets coat*).


Want more, more, more? Here are the other groovy garden additions I’m currently eyeing up…

Fancy some sausages to eat alongside your pizza? How about this sleek red ceramic Nova Kamado Pro BBQ (£849)? It cooks 21 burgers at once and has flip-out wooden prep boards – boom!

Cooking on gas? Yeah, baby! No, I mean literally – if so, go for this Everdure by Heston Blumenthal mint-green marvel (£599)

Fire pits are a huge garden trend – with our weather being so unpredictable, they make your outdoor dining area usable even if the temperatures plummet. This epic eco-stone one  above (£995 + VAT) from local company Elementi is a show-stopper, while this Farthing one is a more purse-friendly option at £179.

Swoon do seriously sexy interiors pieces and their first garden furniture range doesn’t disappoint either. I’m having naughty dreams about this chair (£329) .

Check out this fancy-pants furniture set (£699) from Made. Wowzers!

I adore this vibrant metal planter (£395) from Houseology. Now I just need to remember to actually water its contents.

I’ve written about these cool Metalbird garden artworks before (see here). This cute kingfisher is a bargain at £39.

I demand that all my gin & tonics this summer are served on this mustard printed Zara tray (£15.99)…

… and mixed with this funky cocktail spoon and jiggler (yep, that’s its real name) which you can buy from Oliver Bonas in Westgate Oxford. That’ll be all for now, Jeeves.

Make potting up a little more chic with this William Morris patterned trowel and fork set (£23) from the V&A shop. Cute!

How gorgeous is this rainbow-stripe herringbone picnic blanket (£99) from The British Blanket Company? Way too nice to waste on the kids. And it’s waterproof and has handy carrying straps.

Is it too early in the season for Pimm’s? This palm-print H&M jug (£8.99) is just the ticket and a steal, to boot.

These super-modern Ionna Vautrin for Lexon outdoor lanterns (£29) are so clever – hang ’em in a tree and enjoy their soft glow for four hours, before recharging via a USB port.

After all that intensive shopping, I think I need a lie down. Ideally on this Fatboy outdoor bean bag (£239) or amid the trees in this colourful La Siesta hammock above (£69). Afternoon nap, anyone?

Find more ideas here


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