Despite the London climate, people are looking at outdoor space, not just to look nice, but to make it part of their life and lifestyle making it the perfect time of year for Jo Thompson's outdoor kitchens.
This year alone, Jo Thompson has created four different outdoor kitchens, one of which included a rather nifty, bespoke cantilevered Barbeque. With space at a premium, particularly in urban areas, gardens increasingly need to be functional as well as beautiful. Functional meaning not just offering storage for one’s garden tools but a real usable space to enjoy, to entertain, where one can cook, and be warm on a cold evening.
With the recent heat wave in mind, and especially in the inner cities, it is nice to be outside when the temperatures are high, the garden, even if small, can accommodate outdoor kitchens, with just a few simple guidelines.
Choice of a cooker can be somewhat daunting as the options are endless. Selection will depend on one’s cooking requirements, but think too that the cooker in question could offer multiple options. A pizza oven for example, is not just for pizza, but can also be used to roast, stew or bake. At the same time, the pizza oven offers an effective heat source, which can also be used in inner cities as they are wood burning.
Consider the preparation area, which should be accessible from the kitchen and close to the cooker of choice. One of the outdoor kitchen gardens Jo Thompson is working on includes a sink. Practically speaking most of the washing up will still happen indoors, but cleaning one’s barbeque equipment outside can be useful, so too is prepping one’s home grown vegetables.
The design should be usable throughout the year, even if the weather’s not so good. Take into account the landscaping of the area around the cooker for all season use, as grass wears down in winter, and can get incredibly muddy. If the cooker can double up as a heater, space is spared and seasonal use guaranteed. Otherwise, consider a fire pit, or an attractive brazier of some kind.
Ensure the space is comfortable and practical. Choose comfortable seating, which should be easily accessible from the kitchen and for added ease, incorporate storage into the design so that cushions are close to hand.
Use the space wisely. Apart from the strong desire to build it, the cantilevered barbeque for the Knightsbridge outdoor kitchen was designed as such to prevent it from blocking the view of the garden. The ultimate space-saving, outdoor kitchen-garden-gadget one could consider, and often part of Jo Thompson’s design portfolio is a rill as they look attractive, provide that soothing sound of running water, but if built to the right spec, are simply the best wine coolers.