Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Patio Heaters - Setting the Scene for Outdoor Entertaining

Patio Heaters - Setting the Scene for Outdoor Entertaining

Now the weather has taken a turn for the better, it’s the perfect time for some outdoor entertaining. If you want to extend the use your barbecue, right through the summer months and beyond, patio heaters are an ideal investment to make. With garden patio heaters your guests don’t have to cut their evening short when the sun goes down. An outdoor heater will keep them warm and comfortable, even when the weather turns chilly; and together with the heat from your brick built barbecue, pizza oven, or clay chiminea, you can enjoy socialising with your family and friends long into the evening.

If you are considering investing in a barbecue this season, here’s some more ideas on how to set the scene for the perfect outdoor event.

Patio Heaters - click here to view our full range of weatherproof heaters.

Barbecues – No summer party would be complete without a barbecue. With Big K there is a whole range of BBQs available from Kamado Joes, to masonry barbecues, stone barbecues, brick BBQs, metal barbecues and clay chimineas. Choose whichever one you feel is the most practical and will fit in with the style of your garden. Masonry barbecues are a popular choice because of their striking Mediterranean appearance, and they also add a summery feel to your garden. You can buy them in almost any size to suit large or small outdoor spaces; and our biggest one comes with a pizza oven too, which is sure to impress your guests!

Garden Seating – While some gardens have a built in dining area, such as a sunken eating space, most gardens either have a patio or decked area for al fresco dining. If you haven’t already purchased your patio furniture, comfort and appearance are the two things to consider when you are buying. Although solid wood or metal patio furniture are the most popular choices, there’s a whole range of contemporary outdoor furniture available including rattan tables and chairs, which offer an appealing, ethnic vibe. If you have invited a large number of guests over, you can always create extra seating by bringing your indoor tables and chairs outside for the evening. Or, if it is relaxed gathering with close family and friends, you could improvise and lay a few blankets on the grass with some cushions.

Laying the Table – Outdoor barbecues are not just about eating on paper plates and using plastic knives and forks. If you want to go all out to impress - especially if you are using your brick built or masonry barbecue for the first time and are only having a small party of guests over - consider dressing your table with fine cutlery, decorative wine or beer glasses, and beautiful bowls or crockery...and don’t forget the napkins! A centre-piece looks stunning on any dining table; if you enjoy flower arranging, pick some blooms from your garden and pop them in a vase. Alternatively, put some floating candles in a glass bowl, or group some pretty candles together as this will bring your whole table to life.

Extra Comforts – Of course patio heaters are a must on chilly evenings, and, depending on where your guests are sitting, even the heat from your masonry barbecue will make your visitors feel cosy. However, if you feel that the heat generated won’t reach all your guests, one idea is to bring some blankets outside so your friends can wrap up warm. Blankets while eating al fresco have caught on in a number of European cities, such as Budapest, where they are stamped with the name of the bar or restaurant and left out on the seats so customers can dine in comfort. Sometimes, it is the small touches that make an evening special, and it shows your guests you care.

Drinks – Always have an ice bucket handy so guests can help themselves to beverages such as beers and wine. This will also mean that you don’t have to keep popping in and out of the kitchen to get more drinks, and instead you can spend more time entertaining your friends and family.

Big K sell a number of barbecues and accessories to suit all shapes, styles and sizes of garden, and all budgets too. We also sell a range of winter fuel which, together with our outdoor living products is available for home delivery.

Meanwhile, here’s a brief run-down on some of the barbecues we sell:

Masonry Barbecues - Suit almost any style of garden and are commonly seen in the Mediterranean. They make an attractive focal point and can even double up as a garden patio heater!

Stone Barbecues - These are easy to use and are available in a range of contemporary or traditional styles to suit all type of gardens.

Brick BBQs – A top of the range barbecue with an appealing design, which blends easily with the English brick house style.

Metal Barbecues – These offer great value for money and are on casters so they can be easily moved about the garden.

Commando Joes – These are versatile grills and their unique design means that they can be used as a slow cooker, or to heat food to high temperatures.

Masonry Barbecues - Click here to browse our range of products for the perfect summer barbecue.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Masonry Barbecues - Beautify Your Garden this Spring with an Outdoor Cooking Area

Masonry Barbecues - Beautify Your Garden this Spring with an Outdoor Cooking Area

Masonry barbecues and concrete barbecues provide a great excuse to invite family and friends round for a social event and make the most of your outdoor space! These barbecues are a fantastic addition to the aesthetics of your garden, and will give it a Masonry barbecueswonderful Mediterranean feel. The amazing thing about masonry barbecues and concrete barbecues is that they look good combined with any style of home and garden, including older and more modern properties.
At Big K, as well as masonry barbecues and concrete barbecues, we also sell a wide range of other barbecues including stone barbecues, Kamado Joe, brick stone barbecues and metal barbecues.
Masonry Barbecues - click here to view our range of products.

Outdoor Eating Areas – Top Looks for Your Garden

If you have a sociable household, with lots of extended friends and family, you might well want to create an outdoor eating area. In this article, we will look at some of the looks you can go for that work well with a Mediterranean style barbecue.

The Sunken Eating Area

Sunken gardens create a unique and exciting look to your outdoor space as they are contemporary with a slightly ethnic feel. Strategically placed chairs and benches, with few large cushions placed on the floor or seating area, will maximise your space so you can fit in plenty of guests.
To increase intimacy further, you can light this area with outdoor candles and solar powered lights. Another way to make the most of this space is to add a gas fire bowl which will make a wonderful centre piece. The walls, walkway, tables, and steps leading down to the dining area, can be tiled to enhance the Mediterranean look and this looks fantastic with this style of barbecue.
It's important to get an expert to construct your sunken garden for you to ensure that you achieve a professional look. However, this style of eating area is probably not suitable if your property is situated in an area that's prone to flooding.

Raised Garden Dining Space

Alternatively, you can opt for a dining area with a raised patio or decking, or simply designate this space to an elevated part of your garden. This is a great look for an outdoor eating area, especially if you have nice views of the countryside or a stream.
If you have a terraced lawn, you could go for a traditional rustic look, with distressed garden furniture, a shaded area, and climbing roses; for a more contemporary look, choose garden furniture made of glass, metal or black painted wood; or for something completely different, marble furniture looks fantastic in this space.
Having a raised outdoor eating area - such as decking or a patio - may well add to the value of your home. One point of note, however, is that if you do opt for decking, it’s probably best to keep the barbecue separate for safety reasons.

Patio Area for Family Dining

Outdoor eating areas traditionally consist of a patio area that is immediately outside the house. They will often connect to the house through glass patio doors, and this is still a popular option.
< p>However, you could make more of a feature of this space and surround the patio with raised flower beds and low, stone walls. One of the most common types of patio furniture is wooden, or wicker furniture.
When it comes to furnishing this space, the accessories add the all important finishing touches and can be bought to match. For example, you could have a matching umbrella, table cloth, cushions, place mats and crockery, or you might want to go for a more eclectic look with mismatched plates and glasses.
Once you and your guests have finished eating, the barbecue doubles as a heater so you can keep warm as you chat well into the evening!

About Big K

At Big K, we have a wide selection of barbecues, including masonry barbecues and stone barbecues.
The main body of the masonry barbecue is made from reinforced concrete and the table is made from reconstituted coloured stone. It is designed for cost effective cooking and uses charcoal, to give food its authentic barbecue taste.
All our barbecues are easily assembled by two people. However, one point of note when you take delivery of the barbecue is that it needs to be painted with Artex paint 24 hours after it has been put together; this is supplied with the barbecue.
Our stone barbecues are made from marble grain and do not require paint. These barbecues can be fired by wood or by charcoal.
Once assembled, it’s easy to maintain your barbecue and they are designed for use all year round. However, during cold or frosty periods it’s always advisable to keep your barbecue covered up, to ensure that it's protected.
Concrete Barbecues – click here to view our range of products.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Concrete Barbeques - How You Can Benefit from Cooking Outdoors

Concrete Barbeques - How You Can Benefit from Cooking Outdoors

An outdoor eating area with a concrete barbeque livens up an outdoor space and gives it an attractive, Mediterranean feel. It makes the perfect garden accessory as it’s not only gorgeous to look at, but when the weather warms up from spring onwards, a barbeque will bring the whole family together.

Concrete barbeques are regularly used during the hot summer months in Mediterranean countries such as Italy, France and Spain, where it is more appealing to cook outside in the evenings when it’s cooler. They also make popular cooking facilities in Euro-Asian countries, such as Turkey and Cyprus, where concrete barbeques are generally positioned either up against the exterior wall of a house, on a flat roof terrace or balcony, or by a pool area.

In the UK, a concrete barbeque recreates this holiday feel. Barbeques are mainly used in the spring and summer months, although they can even be used on mild evenings in autumn as average daytime temperatures hover around 17C in September, but have been known to climb as high as 28C. To make the most of the chillier evenings, you may want to invest in a patio heater as these emit enough heat for a small party to feel cosy and comfortable - even in the great outdoors.

Big K's stone barbecues are made of crushed marble opposed to reinforced concrete and therefore very hard-wearing.

Concrete Barbeques - click here to view our range of products.

How Concrete Barbeques Can Liven Up Your Summer

Concrete barbeques, also known as chimney, stone or masonry barbecues, make great garden accessories and will enhance your outdoor space. Here are some of the benefits they can bring to your home:

Adds Beauty to Your Garden - A stone barbeque makes an attractive focal point. As they are available in a wide range of appealing designs, you will find one to suit any style of home, from new builds to period properties. These include: chimney barbeques with pizza ovens, barbeques with different coloured table tops (terracotta, brown, salt and pepper or peach), concrete barbeques with an extended table top and barbeques with terracotta side tables. So for whatever type of property you have, or style of garden, there will be a barbeque to suit you.

Brings the Inside Outdoors - A stone barbeque means you can make full use of your garden for at least five months of the year. An outdoor eating space can serve as an extension to your property - with the right seating, and possibly the addition of a cosy patio heater, it virtually creates an extra room. Depending on your garden layout there are lots of options for an outdoor eating space. One is to create a sunken stone seating area (with comfy cushions to sit on) or, if your chimney barbeque is closer to the house, the most popular option in the UK is a concrete patio with wooden or wicker garden furniture. The right use of lighting – such as lighting concealed among the plants - will create a fantastic ambiance and bring this whole space to life.

Prevents Cooking Smells Permeating Your Home - Another reason why cooking outside is popular in the hotter European countries is that it stops the cooking smells drifting through the house. There is no fear of this happening if you cook outside as all the usual cooking smells remain outdoors. However, there is certainly something very appealing about the smell of cooked food on a barbeque, and your neighbours will be keen to join in the fun, or want their very own barbeque.

A Sociable Way of Cooking – Grilling food on the barbeque is a very lively and romantic way of cooking as it conjures up the idea of big family meals, such as those in Italy, France and Turkey, where whole families gather round a large table to eat outside. While you may not have large grounds to accommodate this, you can invite a select group of friends and family round to sit at a small patio table, or invite a bigger party to stand and eat buffet style. Keep a filled ice bucket ready so your guests can help themselves to cold drinks, beers and wine, and make an entire night of it.

Why not bring a Mediterranean or holiday feel to your garden and take full advantage of the warmer months by investing in a masonry barbeque this summer? Big K sell a variety of high quality barbeques that are suitable for all types of garden and our range includes concrete or chimney barbeques, Kamado Joes, stone barbeques, brick stone barbeques and metal barbeques in all sizes.

Concrete Barbeques - click here to view our range of products.