Providing options for shelter in uncertain weather
In mixed weather entertaining it's great to have a transitional space between outside and inside, and a dry or drained area underfoot. Large conservatories and outside decking are great for this, and a more affordable quick-fix option is a gazebo. It gives good cover outside and a relatively affordable way to extend your garden options.
Many pubs have gardens that are partly covered, or have undercover seating, and they can make a fine venue for an informal party or get-together meal. Going a little more upmarket, most major sporting venues offer private boxes or restaurants with great views of the action.
In summer, horse racing and motorsport are popular weekend venues for parties. Increasingly, the sporting action is followed by live music. Stadiums and racetracks can be an affordable way to see acts that would cost much more at musical venues.
On another scale, if you want to entertain a larger group at home or in a hired space, a marquee can be ideal. They can be freestanding or adjoining a building via a tunnel, so guests stay dry even in heavy rainfall.
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Whatever the weather, enjoy the last days of summer by exploring the great outdoors at some of the best National Trust places in the country. Keep the kids entertained all weekend long with a whole host of '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾' activities or learn a new skill, from archery and rock climbing to Geocaching in the countryside. Whether it's beautiful sunshine or pouring with rain, here's a taster of some National Trust places where you can get away from it all this August bank holiday.Read more
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