If your holiday plans have had to change this summer, why not make up for it by holidaying at home? In this post, Hayley Baddiley, from Denby Pottery, shares a few ideas for creating that holiday atmosphere in the comfort of your own home.
With overseas travel arrangements still somewhat uncertain, it's likely that most of us will be enjoying staycations this summer. But you don't necessarily need tropical climates, sandy beaches, or boutique hotels to holiday in style. By making a few creative changes to your home and garden, you can enjoy that vacation feeling all summer long, without any long-haul flights. In this post, I'll share a few inspiring ways to re-create that holiday atmosphere in your home and garden.
Create an al fresco dining area
From drinking coffee on the hotel balcony first thing in the morning, to dining al fresco at a quaint restaurant at night, we tend to dine outdoors a lot more when we're on holiday. So, if you’re lucky enough to have an outside space, you can make the most of it by creating a holiday-inspired al fresco dining area.
Start by giving your garden a thorough tidy up and clean any patio or decking you may have. Then, spruce it up by adding some garden furniture and accessories that are inspired by your favourite holiday destination. This could be a charming bistro set in the style of an Italian ristorante, a simple and stylish table and bench set, or a comfy rattan sofa, like one you’d find in a rooftop bar at a beautiful hotel. Finish your dining area with some fairy lights or hurricane lanterns for a soft, ambient glow, and add a few tealights to your table for a romantic flickering glow of an evening.
Be sure to add some shelter in the form of a parasol or umbrella, too. If you like to invest in your garden, you could even consider adding a pergola or awning which will add interest and immediately create a holiday inspired look.
Be inspired by global gardens
Once you’re happy with your al fresco dining space, add some plants and greenery to the area. To make it feel even more authentic, why not draw inspiration from your favourite holiday destination by choosing plants that are native to that region?
For instance, you could recreate the look of Spanish and Portuguese gardens using succulents and grasses. Or, you could create a Provence-inspired garden using fragrant flowers like lavender, wisteria, and jasmine. Not only will these make your garden look more like a holiday hotspot in the south of France, but it will also fill the air with fragrance. You could even plant your own tropical paradise using lush palm plants, vines, and ferns. And, if you add a few herbs and other edible plants — such as rosemary, thyme, and sage — you can enjoy them with your holiday-inspired dishes, too.
Replicate the fine dining experience at home
We're all hoping for some hot, sunny weather this summer but, here in Britain, you can never rule out the possibility of a few drizzly days putting your al fresco dining area out of action. Even if the rain pauses your outdoor activities, you can still recreate the feeling of dining out in a high-end restaurant indoors by creating a beautiful table setting.
Take the time to set the table using your favourite ceramics, placemats, and table linens, and be sure to light a few candles and play some music to set the mood. You could also decorate your space to help give it an even more authentic ambience such as using colourful paper garlands to get the theme of a bustling South American restaurant or taqueria.
Host an aperitivo hour
For many people, the best part of any holiday is finding an inviting bar or café and settling in for a spot of people watching over a drink. And, while that might not be possible at the moment, you can still recreate the feeling of being in a continental bar in the evening by taking the time to enjoy aperitivo hour. This is when Italians will stop off at a bar or restaurant for a drink and a light bite after work, giving them the chance to relax, socialise, and enjoy a drink before dinner.
To hold your own aperitivo hour, prepare a couple of light and tasty snacks to nibble on — cheeses, small sandwiches, and stuffed olives are all staple aperitivo foods in Italy — and serve yourself a holiday-inspired drink, like an Aperol Spritz or a negroni. For an authentic aperitivo hour, take the time to serve in style using a hostess drinks trolley, some specialist glassware and eye-catching plates and bowls.
Take these tips on board, and you should be able to get that holiday feeling at home all summer long.