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A Stylish Outdoor Entertaining Space

There’s nothing better than having a dinner al fresco with friends on a balmy summer evening and an outdoor entertaining space is one of the biggest home trends this year, creating the perfect ambiance for entertaining guests is a must. 






As people extend their lives to their outdoor spaces, the line between inside the home and out are blurring, says Alen Ribic, Co-founder of SweepSouth. This summer, stylish patio entertainment areas are set to echo the style and colours of the lounge, while outdoor kitchen areas will boast appliances that make it easy to whip up delicious meals and drinks, he says.









Wood-fired pizza ovens, gas cooking stations, and meat smokers have taken outdoor cooking and evolved it into an art, while ice machines, beer dispensers and beverage coolers make hosting friends and family outdoors a sheer pleasure.



Home owners who aren’t keen to venture out yet want safe, open-air entertainment areas at home that are private, beautiful and functional, says Alen. Think comfy seating where guests can lounge, long tables for dining under the stars and stylish outdoor bars. Fire pits, outdoor heaters for chilly evenings, all-weather Bluetooth speakers and twinkly solar lighting help to further set the mood.





Hire Rather Than Buy?

For those who are looking for items to spruce up their outdoor entertainment area without breaking the bank, consider using a subscription-model purchase instead of buying on your credit card. For instance, with Teljoy, you can get all the equipment you need on a rent-to-own basis, which means that you pay a small amount each month. You’ll be able to find everything from four-burner gas braais to Rolux Magnum lawn mowers. The best part about Teljoy is that you have the option to take ownership of all the equipment after the predetermined rental period.







A Wise Investment?

Having a beautiful entertainment area can boost the financial value of your property, along with the value of how you enjoy your surroundings, says Carl Coetzee, CEO of BetterBond. “Setting up a comfortable outdoor are that immediately becomes and appealing feature, will help you make a return on the investment should you one day sell your home.



“It’s worth thinking about how to make such a space as functional as possible so that it’s usable all year round,” says Carl. Ways to do this include a fire pit for chilly evenings, adequate shade from the sun, a roof as shelter from the rain, and screens for protection against the wind.



Creating a magnificent entertainment area next to a lush garden or sparkling pool is easier than if you have limited space but, with a bit of imagination, even a small outdoor space can be turned into a relaxing retreat. Create the feel of a secret garden with leafy, living walls or fragrant climbers in pots and string up lights.



Plants such as Strelitzia nicolai are reasonably fast-growing and achieve lofty heights with little maintenance and give any garden a tropical feel.



Multi-functional furniture, like a cube, can double up as a side table or extra seating if needed, and a space-saving bistro table will provide a cosy dining nook. Roll a slim bar cart from indoors to outdoors with drinks, or load it with appetizers. A large mirror mounted on the wall will also help brighten the area and make it feel more spacious.



If your outdoor area has a dull concrete floor, transform it with paint. In fact, says Alen, customising concrete slabs with your own designs is one of the biggest flooring trends this season. Make a statement by hand painting the floor in bold geometric black and white shapes to mimic a Moroccan feel, or try stencilling and adding texture. To help you improve your space, try SweepSouth’s Connect app, which makes it easy to find reliable builders, painters and electricians in your area.







Every chef needs a well-lighted area to work his or her magic in an outdoor kitchen, so make sure to include this in your design.



When planning an outdoor kitchen look at all your options for one that is kitted out with everything you could need for outdoor entertaining.



If there’s only one thing you do towards creating a stylish outdoor kitchen space this summer, make it a dedicated braai area, advises Mam Xoliswa Ndoyiya, Chef De Tournant at the Insights Restaurant @ Sanctuary Mandela. "As South Africans, we love our braais - putting meat on the braai and serving that with a rice salad, garlic bread and a fresh garden salad."

When designing a braai area, the chef’s needs are important. Make sure there is adequate lighting for after-dark cooking, shelter against the elements, and table-top space to put braai tongs and dishes on. Consider, too, where the braai area is positioned, says Mam Xoliswa. “Traffic flow is important, don’t isolate the cook from the rest of the party.”


To add a refreshing, yet sophisticated twist to an evening outdoors, barman Ben Ikanyi at Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront has a delicious cocktail recipe of his own invention.



50 ml Skyy Passion Fruit

15 g mint

50 ml pineapple juice

25 ml Passion Fruit pulp

12.5 ml Passion Fruit cordial

25 ml coconut syrup




Add the ingredients together in a cocktail shaker, stir up and serve in a tall glass. Garnish with fresh mint in a passion fruit shell.





There are many reasons that having a meal outdoors with friends is such an attractive prospect. Being outdoors refreshes the senses and makes food taste better and, if the surroundings are pretty, it pleases the eye, further enhancing a pleasurable meal. Perhaps most important of all is the conviviality that occurs when people are eating, laughing and having fun together. As the saying goes: “Good friends, good food, good times.” Roll on summer!






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