Though spring may still be teasing us with its on/off routine of sunshine and showers, in true Brit style it always pays to be prepared just in case there’s an unexpected run of balmy weather. So this month we have an outdoors edit, featuring the most fun and functional garden furniture and accessories to help you make the most of those precious sunny days, when, fingers crossed, they do finally appear.
A good picnic blanket is an absolute summer essential for impromptu sit-downs as well as more planned outdoor feasting, and these colourful rugs by The British Blanket Company are just the job. Not only will their jolly designs add instant cheer to your outing, be that to proms in the park or a breezy beach walk, but the durable waterproof canvas backing means that both sandwiches and bottoms are guaranteed to stay dry. The handy leather straps make them easy to roll up and carry too.
Sainsbury’s have really upped the ante this spring with their new range of serve-ware and tabletop accessories. Though they may look like they’ve been brought back from some sunny adventure abroad, these plates, bowls and salad servers from the Hinterland collection are in fact melamine, which means they are ideal for outdoor dining and completely safe to take picnicking – plus they start at an affordable £2.50. Also available are these graphic placemats and the chic copper tray, again at pocket friendly prices.
From £2.50, sainsburys.co.uk
There’s something wonderfully retro about these cute beach umbrellas from Sunnylife that reminds us of buckets and spades and fish and chips and 99 Flakes. Not just for the beach of course, the things that’s not so retro is the fact that the contemporary fabric features UPF 30 to protect from the suns harmful rays, plus they’re waterproof and come in a smart, compact carry case making them easy to transport.
Outdoor fabrics have come a long way in the last few years, with a lot more to choose from than just plain colours and boring canvas. Case in point are these outdoor cushions from West Elm, that come in a huge range of designs guaranteed to jazz up your outdoor seating and make it that bit more comfortable too. What’s more, the weather resistant pillows are made in a Fair Trade facility and also feature 100% recycled polyester filling, sustainably sourced from recycled plastic bottles.
From £34, westelm.co.uk
We are big fans of the Uuni pizza oven, who’s Finnish inventor Kristian Tapaninaho designed the first incarnation of his product back in 2011 when he wanted to buy a pizza oven but realised those already on the market were bulky, heavy and super expensive. Originally funded by Kickstarter, the company has since won multiple awards for design, innovation and business and now ships to over 60 countries around the world. This smart new Uuni 3 design takes only 10 minutes to heat up and can cook a pizza in a record breaking 60 seconds. It’s fully portable so can be taken to the park or the beach, and can be used to cook steak, fish, vegetables and breads too.
£199, uk.uuni.net or cuckooland.com
Lounge like an A-lister on this Babington sun bed by Soho Home. Part of the new range of outdoor pieces that have recently been added to the exclusive collection of furniture and accessories by international members club Soho House, it features their signature stripe toweling fabric, a sturdy white painted timber frame and dreamy deep filled cushions for the comfiest sun worshipping ever. Yes we know it’s not cheap, but it is undeniably chic, and the perfect place to sip your lychee martini in style.