Weather and British alfresco dining: 4 things to do

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Danni talks all things Weather and British alfresco dining: 4 things to do

Being outdoors and eating outside at events. We love it. Show me a scene of alfresco dining at an outdoor catering event and I challenge you to find someone not excited at the prospect. That is, until you propose that that the event is to be outside at the mercy of the British elements…

Outside caterer

So how should you plan to cater at outdoor events around the British weather?

1. Use the best weather prediction sites

You can’t control the weather, but you can plan based on what it’s likely to do. Luckily, coming from farming we have lots of weather tricks up our sleeve!

For the morning of the event we use www.raintoday.co.uk as a radar check on if there are any rain clouds hanging about and what they’re doing. They update the weather radar every 15 minutes, allowing you to get a really up to date look at what’s going on in the skies above Britain and what’s likely to happen where you are.

Then there’s www.yr.no for a long term forecast based on the Norwegian weather systems. What’s happening with the North Atlantic drift over there has the greatest impact on what happens here… so it’s the most reliable!

2. Have the right clothes

One of my favourite quotes, <read as: one of the quotes everyone here gets sick of me saying> comes from Oscar Wilde. That there is no such thing as bad weather, only poor clothing.  It’s not an ad verbatim quote, but it’s along those lines. The point here is that you have to work with the weather – provide blankets in case it gets cold; umbrellas if it rains; fans for if it gets too hot.

3. Have an adaptable shelter

Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Therefore, we’re going to need an adaptable shelter. Something that’s going to protect you from the rain or the sunshine. I remember at one of our earlier events, we got excited about there not being a rain cloud in site and so didn’t set up our tent. Ten minutes later, we realized we had signed ourselves up for a day spent melting in the sunshine, and hurried to put the tent up! A marquee or tipi with sides that open or a stretch tent are a great way of planning for both extremes.

4. Don’t forget the pesky insects!

So this is more to do with being outside than the weather, but so often gets over looked when planning an outdoor event that I needed to share it! If you’re eating outside you’re sharing the space with nature, and nature comes with insects. Use insect repellent herbs such as lavender, tansy or pyrethrum to keep these peskies away. Or, make things easy and use citronella candles or tea lights.

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