by Niki Brantmark / My Scandinavian Home
7 Winter Warm Essentials For Outdoor Gatherings
I love to be comfortable and warm, how about you? So, when someone suggests a meet-up in their garden and the temperatures hover around the minus Celsius, the idea rarely fills me with joy! But such is life right now. And do you know what? The more I meet with Swedish friends alfresco, the more I realise it can be a cosy and warm affair. So, what's the trick? Read on to find out how our Scandi friends are keeping warm outside this winter!
As with all things Scandi, nothing sets the tone quite like lighting. Forget harsh, bright outdoor lighting - it's all about creating a warm and inviting glow. These outdoor ReUse string lights are handmade in the Pernille Bülow workshop on the Danish island of Bornholm. I'm such a big fan since each mouth-blown bubble is made from waste from the pharmaceutical industry. If you've got a larger space, several chains can be linked together (like in my back garden) - for an enchanting, warm and inviting touch after sunset.
Our ancestors have been gathering around a hearth to stay warm, cook and socialise since time began. It's in our genes. And I'm sure you'll agree, nothing beats the hyggeligt feeling of dancing flames, and the warm glow of a camp ire. Fortunately, times have moved on since Boy Scouts and Brownies (I never did manage to light that fire from two sticks, did you?) and there's a huge selection of fire pits available for every size garden! The 'fire basket' in my dear friend Ullis' garden is from Swedish brand Röshult.
Light up every corner of your garden with pretty lanterns. I love the warm glow from the candles, and they emit a little heat too.
During my first winter in Sweden many moons ago, I was mesmerised by the sheepskin - it was everywhere, draped over the back of chairs and even used to lined children's pushchairs and prams. The reason? Wool is amazing - it's non-allergic, dirt repellent and an incredible insulator - helping to keep you cool in summer and warm in winter. A perfect addition to the winter garden!
Roll out the cushions for extra comfy seating - they'll help to keep you warm and cosy too! I particularly love linen since it's a natural, breathable fabric.
Another cosy essential: the blanket! I find wool or fleece the best alternatives. Invest in a batch or ask everyone to bring their own - and wrap up warm!
- Hot water bottle
For me, this is the real clincher that will make a big difference to your enjoyment of the night: the trusty hot water bottle! Fill it with warm water, tuck it under your coat and you'll be as toasty as can be. Mine (seen here) was a present from my mother over 25 years ago and still going strong. I also love this full size knit one** and these best-selling funky lambs wool ones** (all from small businesses!).
Thank you for a toasty evening in your little back garden Ullis! I'll be back with my blanket and hot water bottle before you know it!
Find out more about Danish ReUse string lighting from Pernille Bülow here (delivery and shipping info here).
And feel free to add your own tips on keeping warm outside this winter in the comment section below, I'd love to hear them!
Here's to winter evenings alfresco!