Now is the perfect time to fling open the doors to outdoor terraces, soak up the sunshine and embrace the season ahead.
Whether you are enjoying the sun solo or hosting for others, take inspiration from these three hotel terraces and add some ambience and comfort to your outdoor space.
From lunch with a girlfriend on a shaded pergola to a chilled glass of rosé on a balmy summer evening amid plants and flowers, one of the nicest things to do on a summer’s day is eat and drink outside. Many hotels are firmly sold on this too, and al fresco bar and restaurant offerings are no longer a design afterthought. Why not up the ante at home and give your outdoor space, whatever the size, a touch-up? Here, we focus on three chic outdoor spaces from different hotels and suggest ways to achieve a similar look.
Saint James Paris, Relais & Châteaux
Open from May to September, the garden terrace at the newly renovated Saint James Paris has an impressive pergola with fabric covered gazebo, painted trellises, leafy green plants, rattan furniture and comfortable upholstery. It’s an elegant and intimate spot to enjoy nature in the beating heart of the French city.
Rattan and bamboo furniture are guaranteed to add warmth and texture to your outdoor space with their warm yellow hues blending nicely amid plantings. Paint any trellis and planting structures in a natural green hue to make your garden feel bigger, and introduce patterns in the form of fabric cushions to add interest – and comfort. There are so many weather-resistant fabrics on the market, the choice for decorative outdoor cushions is endless.
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Use Farrow & Ball ‘Calke Green’ or ‘Yeabridge Green’ paint for a similar shade. Their exterior eggshell is suitable for use on wood and metal and has a tough finish that will withstand the outdoor weather.
Four Seasons Hotel Milan
A converted 15th-century convent, the Four Seasons in Milan boasts a manicured green oasis within an inner courtyard. Filled with contemporary lounge seating from Cassina, it’s an idyllic spot to kick back and relax with a sundowner after a day of sightseeing and shopping in the nearby fashion boutiques.
If you have the space, invest in some generously-sized lounge seating so you can relax with a coffee and the newspaper at the weekend. Place a chic portable lamp such as the Muse from Tala on an outdoor table for an evening cocktail, and use a decorative cushion in suitable outdoor fabric to add some pattern and colour to your furniture. Soho Home and Rebecca Udall both have some pretty Negroni glasses and Matilda Goad has a great cocktail shaker.
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For a dose of quintessential British charm, head to the country house hotel, Thyme, in the heart of the picturesque Cotswold’s countryside. In the summer months their ‘Ox Barn’ terrace comes alive with seasonal planting including sweet-smelling roses, lavender, agapanthus and horn beam arches. Shaded seating areas are a nice place to perch with a coffee and a book, and elegant metal outdoor dining tables are shaded by white canvas umbrellas.
The Boscombe chair from Neptune has a similar light and elegant design to those at Thyme with a few romantic curls in the frame as a nod to Victorian patio pieces. Add a cushion pad in a bespoke fabric for comfort and to inject some pattern, colour and interest. Not much beats sitting in the shade of a beautiful parasol. Not just an escape from the sun, they are a garden essential too, as they lend elegance to spaces of all shapes and sizes.
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When planting, consider having different heights, textures and shapes of foliage to provide focal interest and depth. The varieties of plants will encourage pollinators and wildlife. Cameron Gardens can design, install and advise on planting for any size of outdoor space. A rambling rose, such as Francis E. Lester which has a delicious scent, will climb over a trellis or the end of the house. An evergreen such as Sarcococca provides interest all year round, and a large pot filled with herbs is always useful, particularly if it is within easy reach of the kitchen and can be used for cooking.
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