Clive Christian outdoor kitche

Outdoor Kitchens: The Ultimate Al Fresco Accessory

Gardens /


Barbeque not cutting it anymore? It's time for an upgrade...

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An outdoor kitchen is the ultimate luxury garden update. We’ve rounded up some inspiration to start planning (or dreaming about) one of your own… 

In no particular order, our dream English country house includes a sprawling landscaped lawn, serene turquoise pool, well-stocked library and, of course, an outdoor kitchen. Already popular in the Mediterranean, lockdown proved to be the catalyst to make outdoor kitchens the must-have garden accessory of the summer. Here are three of the finest luxury outdoor kitchen designers, to make all of your al fresco cooking dreams come true. Plus, expert tips on how to go about designing one of your own.

The Best Outdoor Furniture Edit

Clive Christian

Clive Christian outdoor kitchen

Nothing proclaims ‘decadence’ like Clive Christian‘s Garden Kitchen. This culinary superstation is a first for the brand, already expert designers of luxury kitchens, dressing rooms, home bars, libraries and more. Translating Clive Christian’s prestigious craftsmanship and design prowess to an outdoor setting for the first time, the Garden Kitchen is the ultimate luxury poolside addition. Its design is inspired by the glamour of classic yachts, with pinstriped decking and expert marquetry detail. The perfect stop-off point between cocktails by the pool and lounging on the lawn. Martini anyone?

Clive Christian’s Top Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips:

What area of the garden is best for an outdoor kitchen?

It’s important to take into account your lifestyle, and the environment of your garden. The location of the sun setting, or an area which captures the afternoon shade whilst watching the fishing trawlers return to port could provide the inspiration for your outdoor kitchen. For an urban space, it could be a lofty position overlooking a bustling cityscape. Usually, the ideal space is the one that gets the best of the sunset, and plenty of warmth and light throughout the day.

What are the most popular materials and features for outdoor kitchens?

I always select materials which are at home in the elements. Stainless steels, purposed timbers and statement stones. You should also curate your outdoor furniture so that it can be enjoyed for generations. At the moment it’s very popular to integrate gadgets like pizza ovens, wine coolers, roasters and grills.

Design points to think about when planning your outdoor kitchen?

It’s important to think about exactly how a kitchen will be used, and consider the weather conditions. Shades, shelters, wave breaks, heat sources and cooling pools (if you’re lucky enough to live in a sunny country!) all adapt outdoor spaces to their most enjoyable state. For gourmets, gas grills, wood-fired pizza ovens and teppanyaki plates are a must. For cocktail connoisseurs – refrigeration, sunken ice buckets and backlit marble displays. clivechristianfurniture.com

The Fanciest Barbeques and Pizza Ovens

Gaze Burvill

Gaze Burvill

We could happily spend hours in this Gaze Burvill A La Carte outdoor kitchen, which comes with all the bells and whistles – from a wood-fired pizza oven to a chef’s grill and Big Green Egg barbeque.

The kitchen design is streamlined for ease, with precision-built units and plenty of storage for your best outdoor dinnerware and utensils. All of the materials have also been carefully thought through, from joinery made from sustainably-sourced oak to concealed stainless steel hinges and interior lighting. There are also a number of smart add ons you can incorporate to create your dream outdoor cooking space. Teppanyaki grills, log storage, fridges, wine coolers and warming drawers can all be built in depending on your preference (and level of culinary prowess).

Gaze Burvill also offer a 3D visuals and printed model service, so that you can get a preview of the end result before committing. gazeburvill.com

Interiors Inspiration: Home Wine Cellars

Blakes London

Blakes Outdoor kitchen

Cleverly identifying the lockdown boom in popularity for outdoor kitchens, Blakes London launched its first-ever outdoor kitchen in 2020. All of Blakes’ kitchens are beautifully design-led and stylish, and its outdoor kitchen is no exception. In addition to being durable and designed to withstand Great British downpours, the materials are just as streamlined and good looking as they are in Blakes interior kitchens (an important criteria if you’re planning to do a lot of post-lockdown entertaining).

Proving that outdoor kitchens aren’t just for blistering climates or enormous spaces, this design fits perfectly into a midsized urban garden, enhancing the landscaping and creating the perfect compartmentalized space for socialising. All it needs is a bottle of rosé on ice (luckily there’s a built in wine fridge), some artisan kebabs sizzling on the grill, and a cohort of your closest friends and family. We also love the contrasting marble countertops against the more rustic slatted Iroko wood cabinets. blakeslondon.com

Blakes London’s Top 5 Tips For Outdoor Kitchens

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Blakes outdoor kitchen

Materials

Choose materials that will withstand the climate. Hardwood timbers such as Iroko, a lower-cost alternative to teak means that you won’t be revarnishing your kitchen every season. Similarly, renders and poured concretes struggle in dam, cold northern European climates. Tiled surfaces like UV and frost-resistant Xtone are a good option for outdoor work surfaces.

Blakes London outdoor kitchen

Gas or Coal?

Not everyone has the budget or space for both gas and coal barbeques, so often there’s a choice to be made. Gas is lower fuss and convenient everyday cooking. Coal is for back-to-basics enthusiasts with more patience to build a fire (but it’s rewarding in the flavour stakes!). Alternatively, invest in a gas barbeque and have a smaller firepit that can be used with logs and a grill tray for overflow cooking. Either way, it’s important to think about what will work best for you, as this will influence the positioning and spatial planning of your kitchen.

Blakes London dining

Usage

How do you want to use your kitchen? Consider the time of day you would spend the most time in it, and where the sun will bee. Some gardens only get sun at certain times of day – in which instance, you probably want to have seating in this area. Perhaps it’s a party kitchen intended for the evenings? If so, position it at the end of the garden away from bedrooms. Another option is to  build a surrounding pergola, with ambient lighting and heating, and a wine fridge for ease. If your kitchen is closer to your main kitchen, then perhaps an outdoor wine fridge is less necessary.

Blakes London wine fridge

Budget

Be realistic with what you want and what you can afford. Work within your means, do less but do it well.

Blakes Outdoor kitchen

Storage

When space is limited, our clients sometimes chose to eschew a garden shed and use this space for a larger outdoor kitchen. This allows for more worktop space and makes the kitchen a focal point of the garden.

 

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