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Outdoor Kitchens

Although it is coming towards the end of the high summer, there are still many long warm sunny days ahead and this is a great time to put an outdoor kitchen in your garden to make the most of this time of year.

It is one of the great things about owning a Bulgarian property - the opportunity to still spend time outdoors after the real heat of summer has calmed. Be you on holiday or living in Bulgaria, most people find that they spend a huge amount of time outdoors. For total heaven, nothing is better than outdoor dining!

During September, October and even early November the weather is often warm enough to eat outside. Dealing with a wonky bbq, going back and forth from the house with heavy crockery and glasses, can be a real pain.


To make eating outside a real pleasure, the answer is to put in an outdoor kitchen, comprising an eating and cooking area, at little cost.

Where?

This will all depend upon your garden but the best tip is that if you have space next to the kitchen, then put it there.

However, those who have a swimming pool, will usually want it close to the pool. Once you've chosen the spot, then this is the time to make a plan.

First consideration is whether the chosen site is flat. If it is not, then we recommend you consider an alternative location if you can as levelling the ground will add to the cost. If it's the perfect place, then maybe it is worth this additional expense.

Once you've settled this question, then other considerations need to be factored in, such as, how far away are the water and electric supplies, is there shade....

The actual kitchen itself can be as simple as a bbq with a worktop at the side for prep and some simple storage. It can also be a complete kitchen with all the things you would expect inside your home. Only you can decide, depending upon your family needs, budget and how much use you will make of your outdoor kitchen.

Shade

When we mentioned shade above, this is essential to think about. Some type of cover or shade is essential for outdoor eating. When the sun is beating down you will need to protect yourself and your family from the rays; similarly if it looks as if you might get a shower you'll need to be under cover.

Style

One of the other factors is to have a think about how your outdoor kitchen will link in with the style of your house and your garden. The outdoor kitchen needs to look as if it 'belongs' with what is around it, so choose a style which looks good with your property.

In a perfect world, your kitchen would contain everything you will need, allowing for ample storage, a good size preparation area, cooking appliances (bbq and oven/hob), fridge plus sink for washing up. This really allows you to set up your outdoor kitchen exactly as you would your indoor one, complete with all crockery, glasses, cutlery, etc.

Whilst on the subject of crockery and glasses, it is worthwhile considering the unbreakable variety, particularly if there are a lot of children around. Places such as Mr Bricolage and Kaufland have a good choice and there are often promotional deals on such items towards the end of the season.

Furniture

Furniture for the dining area should again complement your property. For old properties there is a great opportunity to visit second hand shops and dig out some fantastic items.

Old benches, tables and chairs can be stripped down and revarnished or, for a more up to date look, repainted. Again, for a rustic look you can easily find old timber which can make a decent sized worktop for preparation. Metal rails can be used to hang pans or hanging tea towels and oven gloves.

For the actual cooking, there is a plethora of choice. Many people choose to have a gas, wood or charcoal bbq but adding a hot plate, individual gas ring and / oven adds much more flexibility, allowing more adventurous cooking possibilities! By the way, if you are using a wood or charcoal bbq, don't forget to add in a small space for storage near the bbq itself.



This is a great time of year to start on your outdoor kitchen. Once it's up and running you'll find outdoor dining is a real pleasure and will add not only to the value of your Bulgarian property but also to your own enjoyment of it.