I’ve never liked change. I don’t like changing the layout of my home, the routine to my day, and I don't even like having to shift from hot to cold weather. So, as we move from summer to autumn each and every year, I resist the transition as much as possible, even though I know it is inevitable. After several months of enjoying picnics with friends, stopping off for a drink at the pub after work and relishing in the warm days spent at the stables, I’m always determined to cling onto the long days of lounging around outside for just a little bit longer. By the time winter arrives, however, I always find myself fully immersed in hibernation mode. Long gone are the days of staying out late into the night. Instead, my evening plans consist of cooking a hearty meal, lighting the fire and settling down to watch a movie or read a book.
Fast forward a few months and, surprise surprise, as we move from winter into spring, I often find myself in the resistance stage yet again, having become rather accustomed to my cosy evenings spent warming my feet in front of the log burner.
And while I do always end up settling back into a new routine fairly quickly, I do occasionally find myself longing for a cosy evening of some sort, even in the heart of summer. But, after spending winter cooped up indoors, it seems a shame to sit inside again when the weather is actually pleasant enough to be outside. And it’s a waste to even consider lighting the log burner.
So, when I get a craving to have a cosy night during the spring and summer months, I look outwards for what I can do. Afterall, who says that a cosy night must be limited to the confines of four walls? Why not have one out under the stars instead?
Because, in reality, the components of a cosy night simply consist of blankets, a fire, a hot drink and some snacks. And there is nothing stopping you from bringing all of those items outside...
And, when I think about it, I think that I might actually enjoy my cosy evenings spent out in the countryside a bit more than I do the ones spent indoors. Nothing beats an evening spent toasting marshmallows over a crackling firepit, with the stars glistening above your head after all…
My tips for enjoying a cosy night outside:
- Layer up
Pull on your warmest layers and grab a selection of blankets to drape over your knees. It might sound like an old lady move but, trust me, it will keep the chill at bay and you won’t find yourself having to retreat inside as soon as the sun disappears for the day.
- Don’t sit on the ground
There is nothing worse than sitting on the ground. You’ll find yourself feeling damp and cold as soon as the sun starts to set and there’s nothing cosy about sitting on the floor as the day draws to an end. Pull your outdoor furniture out of their storage units and put them to good use with an evening spent outside with your friends.
- Have a meal before you go outside
Having a big, hearty meal before heading outside will ensure your body is adequately prepared to keep you warm for the hours ahead.
- Make the most of lighting
My bedroom is covered in candles and fairy-lights. Why? Because the soft lighting makes it feel cosy and inviting. So, when I’m planning an evening outside, I drag out my spare lights and drape them across the area we will be sitting in. You will be surprised by how quickly the sparkle of some fairy lights can transform an outdoor space.
- Invite your friends over
While cosy nights in are often all about me-time, I always try to invite friends over for my cosy night ‘out’. I invite over a select few, enough to huddle around the fire without feeling cramped, and we spend the evening talking over the flames, sharing classic outdoor snacks.
- Add a heat source
I try to spend as much time outdoors as possible, all year round, but there is no denying the fact that, as I live in England, whether we are in the depths of winter or the heart of summer, as soon as the sun goes in the temperature drops. Getting a heat source going before this happens means that neither you nor your guests will be as likely to notice the outside air change. Personally, I like to opt for an open fire as I love the way that it adds to the atmosphere. And there is nothing cosier than a crackling fire by your feet, whether you're indoors or outdoors.
However, if, like me, you’re a big fan of a traditional fire but you’re not so keen on having to attempt lighting one for yourself, then you need to speak to Ashby Logs. They are a Buckinghamshire based firewood company and they are the ones that provided me with the logs that fuelled my most recent cosy countryside evening. Their kiln dried logs and easy to light kindling made the entire evening so pain-free, as they transformed what can normally be a 20-minute attempt to get the fire going into a quick and simple five minute one. And we only had to throw on two more logs across the course of the evening to keep the fire going for several hours, well after the sun had gone down.