Garden

Outdoor living tips

It's the festive season and a time when family and friends will spend lots of time outdoors on the patio having a truly South African braai. Tile Africa and Chef Benny, Tsogo Sun Celebrity Chef and Masterchef SA judge, share some valuable advice for upgrading your patio to host the perfect braai.

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Summer in South Africa means longer days and beautiful warm weather. For some it means walking barefoot in the garden, enjoying summer rain, or the time spent with family and friends over the holiday season. There's nothing like relaxing with family and friends on a summer's day or cool summer evening spending time outdoors on the patio.

To enjoy your outdoor spaces to the fullest when entertaining there are three things that one should take into consideration: The venue, the food and lastly, the atmosphere. All these elements contribute to a fun-filled event with those closest to you.

 

Venue:
More than just a space to sit outdoors, the traditional patio has evolved into an area that is geared towards entertaining and relaxing, serving a variety of functions that includes cooking, dining, socialising and relaxation. The design of your own patio will be styled around the activities you want it to accommodate.

With emphasis on creating a seamless flow between interior and exterior, an entertainment area deserves as much attention as your interior, and while there are a variety of flooring options to choose from, tiles remain the ideal solution, providing a flooring option that is beautiful, durable and easy to maintain.

“The most suitable tiles for outdoor areas are textured tiles as they provide grip when they get wet,” says Debra retief of Tile Africa.

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Different tile options to consider for your patio:

• Inkjet tiles are the latest trend and the ideal solution as they imitate wood, stone and decking; they’re cost effective and create a beautiful natural look at a fraction of the cost.
• Natural stone tiles provide texture, can withstand harsh weather conditions and can last a lifetime if sealed properly.
• The striking colour and pattern variations of slate turn a plain floor or wall into a design statement. Slate is also porous and less slippery, making it perfect for areas close to the pool.

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Food:

Benny Masekwameng, Tsogo Sun Celebrity Chef and Masterchef SA judge, shares top tips for the perfect braai meal in your new outdoor area.

• Plan your meal in advance – the trick to being the perfect host is planning. Before you light up those coals, make sure you’ve got all the right ingredients to make the braai that will wow your guests.
• The traditional braai is always crowned with meat. There are different kinds of meat that you can opt for such as pork, beef, chicken, lamb and wors. For a healthier option fish is also great. Buy the best quality meat you can find, and marinate overnight as this will ensure the meat becomes infused with the rich flavour of the marinade chosen for your dish.
• With so many meat options, choosing what meat to serve at your braai first will make it easier to come up with interesting side dishes to complete your menu. “Try to think about great flavour matches when you choose your side dishes,” says Chef Benny. Great side dishes for pork can range from roasted butternut with onions and apple sauce and great salads for chicken can range from the traditional potato salad to chakalaka. For a potato salad with a twist add potato, prawns, bacon, cranberries with mayonnaise and honey sauce.
• Stick to traditional recipes – the art of cooking is about not re-inventing the wheel. “Don’t try and get too fancy - go back to basics and then add that one element that will enhance your creation,” says Chef Benny.

 

Entertainment:

With the perfect venue and meal in place, the right ambience is sure to follow. Once your guests are feeling relaxed and have been fed, consider entertainment such as board games, and puzzles. Music also plays a big part in get together’ s and preparing a play list that will cater for everyone’s needs will surely get the party going. Don’t forget to take lots of photographs to mark the occasion and share them with your guests afterwards with a special thank you note for attending.

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