Picture the scene, a beautiful table setting, birdsong in the background, the sun setting and delicious food laid out on the table surrounded by the smiling and happy faces of friends and family.
As we start to have more freedoms, there are more opportunities to create evenings like this. If Covid-19 has taught us anything it is the importance of fresh air, and eating al fresco is a wonderful way of doing this, and it’s a much safer environment to meet with family and friends.
Although our weather can be inclement, impromptu al fresco eating either in the evening, or at lunch, can be created relatively quickly. You don’t even need to fire up a barbecue, just gather together combinations of salads, pizza bases piled high with toppings of choice and cooked in your own oven, different breads, cheese, olives, dips and sauces gathered from your local artisan producers. Home made fruit cocktails and juices and simple desserts complete the meal, allowing you to just sit and relax and enjoy each other’s company.
It can also help to keep the younger members entertained too, don’t rely on technology; instead create a box of colouring books, or print out templates of birds, butterflies, ladybirds, or observation lists of birds, flowers, insects etc. plus pencils, and puzzles distributed at various stages to keep them occupied. Do extras for all the adults who may also find it relaxing to join in too. At the end, if there is enough space, give out bubble makers, where everyone can join in, you’re never too old to blow bubbles and make wishes!
As our working and home lives intertwine, there is more opportunity to spend time both working and relaxing outside. You may not want to work outside, but getting up from your home desk and walking and relaxing in your own space can bring the opportunity for valuable thinking time, a resource often lost in busy offices. Again the fresh air is good for your health and can provide a welcome break from being hunched over a table or desk.
Building in regular breaks is particularly important if you are working from home, as one of the challenges when trying to take a break from work, is being distracted with household chores. It’s far more healthy to take a break outside which can both clear your mind and improve your breathing.
As restrictions are lifted many people will want to go away for a holiday, but perhaps think about taking more mini-breaks throughout the year and also create a haven at home. That way you can combine the best of both worlds, and you can enjoy many of the elements of a relaxing holiday by investing in comfortable garden furniture, beautiful flowers, olive tress, grasses and water features. But recognising how quickly our weather can change you may also want to think about investing in some outside heaters, a fire-pit, sturdy outside umbrellas, or even a porch meaning that you can enjoy al fresco living all year round.
Al Fresco furniture images courtesy of Go Modern https://www.gomodern.co.uk