Archive for May, 2016

How to Throw the Perfect Summer BBQ

Posted by admin on May 19, 2016 under Backyard, Buying Furniture

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Summer is just around the corner and – come rain or shine – dusting off your old BBQ at the first site of blossom is an old British tradition.

But before you don your ‘Grill Master’ chef’s hat and novelty apron, there’s a lot to consider. Throwing a killer BBQ is an art – and since you’re likely to be in competition with half your friends and neighbours as to who can throw the best grilled meat fiesta, we’ve put together a handy guide outlining everything from prime cuts and mouth-watering marinades to culinary condiments and delectable drinks that will ensure you BBQ goes off with a bang.

The Main Event

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It goes without saying that a BBQ isn’t a BBQ without ounces and ounces of prime cut meat to get your teeth into – and the possibilities are endless. Although burgers and sausages are the classic BBQ party choice; chicken, steak, lamb chops, ribs and most types of fish work just as well, if not even better on the grill.

For a crowd pleasing meaty marinate try placing soy sauce, olive oil, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, basil, parsley, and pepper in a blender. Add hot pepper sauce and freshly chopped garlic cloves, if desired. Then simply blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed and slather all over your meat of choice before chucking it onto the barbie.

Alternatively/additionally why not try something a bit different and opt for fish; BBQ grilled salmon teriyaki is a great combination, or tilapia coated in a simple salt, pepper, lemon and olive oil marinade is an easy yet seriously tasty option.

The Side-kicks

bbqsalads

After all, what’s Batman without Robin? Your delicious meats need some equally delicious sides/salads to keep them company on your plate. Fresh salads topped with cold lentils, chickpeas or butter beans and a dressing of lemon and olive oil go well with every type of meat and are light and summery, hence perfect for a BBQ party.

Secondly, condiments are key! Ketchup, mustard, brown sauce, hot sauce, mayonnaise… to name but a few. Remember everyone has a different favourite, so try and get as many of the classics as possible, and if you want to be really great host include some low fat/sugar options for health conscious guests.

If you want to go above and beyond the call of hosting duty, why not try making your own homemade ketchup?

Simply purée tomatoes with juice in a blender until smooth. Cook onion and garlic in oil with 1/4 teaspoon salt in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has gone golden (this should take about 8 minutes) Add paprika, chilli, allspice, a pinch of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of black pepper and cook for one minute, stirring frequently, Add the tomato purée, tomato paste, brown sugar, and vinegar and simmer until very thick (should take around 45 to 55 minutes).

Finally purée the ketchup in a blender until smooth and put in the fridge to chill for at least 2 hours. And there you have it, a deliciously little crowd pleaser that is sure to set your BBQ apart from the rest!

The Refreshments

bbqcocktails

There’s nothing better than a chilled beer or glass of prosecco on a warm day – and a BBQ is the perfect opportunity to combine food, drink and great company. As aforementioned, beer and wine are always popular options (especially summery beers such as ‘Sol’ with a wedge of lime for good measure).

For a more sophisticated take on drinks though, cocktails are always a good idea (we don’t know a single person who doesn’t like cocktails).

Popular spirits such as vodka and gin work well with almost anything – we suggest lemon juice, sugar, mint leaves and crushed ice for a tasty and refreshing summery beverage which is easy to make and even easier to drink!

The Furniture

bbqteaktable

Not much can beat sitting around the table in the great outdoors with great food, drink and your closest friends; and a good quality table and set of garden chairs are the best place to start!

Teak furniture is well known as the best possible garden furniture you can get – not only does it look stunning, but it’s quality and hard-wearing nature mean you can leave it out for the entire period of winter with no damage.

Here at Faraway furniture we have a variety of different styles and sizes to suit any family.

So there you have it – our guide has all the tools to guarantee a BBQ party to end all BBQ parties (except the weather… unfortunately that one’s out of our control)

Making the most of small garden space

Posted by admin on May 18, 2016 under Backyard

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A lack of garden space should never equate to a lack of style. Creating a tranquil and picturesque garden retreat, whilst still optimising the available space, initially, may appear relatively challenging. However, with some careful planning, and the addition of a few simple garden accessories, designing your dream garden could not be easier!

What your garden means to you…

Typically, a garden serves a multitude of purposes. For some, the garden is a retreat used to escape from the hustle and bustle of the modern world. For others, it may be a social space in which summer BBQs are hosted and children can play. Generally, a garden is often used for both purposes whilst also acting as a visual stimulant for your eyes; something that you can take pleasure in viewing from your lounge, kitchen or bedroom window. A garden should never detract from your home, and should never be branded as lost cause. Even the smallest of spaces can be made into your very own idyllic space.

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Indulging your senses

A garden should marry sounds and sights, textures and fragrances. When designing your garden, you should attempt to incorporate accessories that do not invade your garden, but enhance it. For example, bird feeders are small and compact. They can be easily hung from trees and will encourage wildlife into your garden. Birdsong is an audible treat and helps to promote relaxation. Many families also enjoy spotting robins, finches and other such birds that may frequent the feeder.
Your garden should be an inviting area in which you can relax at any time of day or night. By including solar lights, fairy lights, lanterns or candles, you can transform a gloomy, cold and sparse garden area into one that is appealing, warm and charming.

Relaxation

Promoting Relaxation

Your garden accessories and wooden outdoor furniture perform an important function, in that they promote total relaxation. Whilst lying in a hammock, listening to the gentle melodies of wind chimes, or the tranquil sound of a garden fountain; the stresses of modern life are drastically reduced. To achieve that desired idyllic ambience, it is important that your garden is kept well-maintained, as the aesthetics of a garden largely impact upon relaxation levels. Smaller gardens can potentially require less in the way of maintenance, which is beneficial.

Wind chimes

Optimising Space

A garden should stimulate your senses through a range of textures, colours, fragrances and more. With a smaller than average garden, this can still be achieved however, certain substitutions may be made so that the area does not become cluttered. For example, an elaborate flowerbed would intrude upon the space that could otherwise be used for seating or BBQs. It would appear to visually reduce the room in your garden. Instead, opt for pot-plants, with bold, bright and colourful plants. This provides the desired greenery to the area without impinging upon the rest of the garden.

Tip: Look to incorporate plants that encourage butterflies, birds and other forms of wildlife.

Fairy lights

Enjoying your garden

Gardens are often made a social space. Barbecues in particular are popular throughout the summer months. If you have a smaller garden space, you may not have the room for a large BBQ set however, provided that you have ample seating outdoors, the food can be prepared indoors before being taken outside to enjoy. Large beanbags can be a colourful and fun alternative to larger garden furniture sets. You can therefore choose a smaller set and extend the seating area with the beanbags. This idea is usually surprisingly well received by visitors, who often choose to seat themselves on the beanbags, leaving the traditional hard wood seating for those less mobile. The relaxed nature that is associated with the beanbags often encourages a good social ambience.

To Sum Up…

• Keep things simple – too much, and your garden could end up looking cluttered.

• Encourage wildlife with plants, bird feeders and fountains.

• Make your garden accessible by night with fairy lights, candles, lanterns and solar lights.

• Provide ample rest areas so that you can sit and unwind.

• Keep your garden well-maintained and tidy.

• Treat your senses with chimes, aromatic plants and different textures.