A lot of the time, yes, but not necessarily. While it’s true that, especially if it’s your kitchen that looks onto your garden, having your outdoor dining area next to your home is the most practical option, more important would be to consider where the sun falls (and when). So, for instance, if you know that you’ll be using your garden mainly for suppers, you’ll want to choose a spot in your garden (if possible) that benefits from a little evening sun. Likewise, if it’s your morning coffee that you want to enjoy outside, pay attention to the areas that are warmed by the sun then. Perhaps it might even be both, in which case it could be worth thinking about two eating areas: a smaller one with a two-seater set like Boscombe for solitary breakfasts, and a larger table that all the family can gather around at the end of the day.
In contrast, if it’s lunches that you’ll be taking alfresco, you may want to consider a shadier spot instead, as the summer sun at the high point of the day can be uncomfortably hot and bright. This is also where a parasol comes into its own – giving you shade around midday and letting you make the most of the gentler sunlight come evening.
The other aspect to take into account when you’re siting your eating area is the setting. It might be that the terrace around your back door feels too close to your neighbours for comfort, so a spot deeper into your garden, that’s perhaps more atmospherically concealed by shrubs and trees, would be better. There’s also something to be said for creating a sense of journey and arrival – a winding path that leads you through the garden, letting you appreciate the plants, before you reach a secluded seating area. It’ll help you make more of the whole of your garden too, even in a small town garden where the back can sometimes feel like a bit of an afterthought. Just make sure to invest in serving accessories like trays and cutlery and glass carriers. Our easily portable Terence and Ashcroft butler’s tables, with their foldable legs and tray tops, are also perfect for this sort of situation