The Guide to Outdoor Dining

Hello everyone, Meg here-

We’re quickly approaching summer. Days are feeling warmer as the evenings get brighter, but we aren’t quite in the Summer season yet – That also doesn’t mean that spring isn’t a good reason to have fun. I’m sure you’ve heard of the term “Dining alfresco” although it’s not a direct translation from Italian, it’s often referred to as “Dining in the cool” or “Outdoor dining”. Although if you were to use the term “al fresco” in Italy, you could be asking to dine in jail – So be careful!

We’ve seen plenty of our customers use our products to create the ideal outdoor dining scene. Since Spring is the ideal season for Al fresco dining, I wanted to create a collection of examples to inspire you on the essentials for outdoor dining.

The Shelter

Of course, Al fresco dining can be done without any shade – But it’s a known health benefit to stay in the shade if you’re outside for long periods of time. Our gazebo range covers a range of styles and sizes:

Barbara Log Cabin Gazebo

Our Barbara Log Cabin Gazebo is one of the few in this style of gazebos, perfect for transforming your garden corner – The Log Cabin Gazebos are the ideal size for a corner sofa and coffee table. Perfect for the more casual dining events.

Tourist 3.4m Gazebo

For those that don’t have a lot of space in their garden – The Tourist Gazebo measures 3.4m x 3.4m and is perfect for providing shelter for you and your loved ones. Featuring a traditional apex roof design, it’s easy to see why this Gazebo is so desirable.

Our team here at Tuin can all agree that the warmth from Larch timber is very aesthetically pleasing, that’s why a fair amount of our Gazebos also have a Larch twin – For those that want to bring warmth in their garden.

Samos Larch Gazebo

This Samos Larch Gazebo has been modified with the Larch Cladding wall infills, but it’s an ideal way to add some privacy to your outdoor dining set up.

We also understand that not everyone desires the apex roof type, for a more modern garden we also have some Modern Pent Roof Gazebos.

Excellent Modern Gazebo

Get all the family around the table with the Excellent Modern Gazebo – Measuring at 5.92m in length, you can host your alfresco experience for everyone, while gaining the envy of the neighbours. This Gazebo had been modified with See Through Walls for an extra level of privacy and sun shading.

The Seating

Now that we have our shelter covered – What about the seating? We offer a range of Garden Dining Sets from rustic/shabby chic styles to wicker furniture. Here’s a select few that would look both stylish and provide comfort.

Beverly Wicker Dining Set

Beverly Wicker Dining Set is one of the four wicker options we have in this range, featuring a glass topped table – You can dine in the ultimate comfort with these cushioned reclining chairs that are included in the set.

Montgomery Aluminium Dining Set

A perfect pair with our Modern Styled Gazebos, the Montgomery Dining Set is extremely sleek in design. It also features a comfortable but powerful combination of Textilene and Quickdry foam to ensure years of use- even with the unpredictable weather.

Create Your Own Dining Set

Or, if the other styles in our range just doesn’t quite suit your taste – You can find the ideal set up with our Create Your Own Garden Dining Set. This product page allows you to pick either a modern or rustic styled table in a number of styles. As well as choosing the number and style of wicker chairs to complete the set – Ideal for when you host large dinner parties.

The Heating

Even in the summer evenings, a chill may dampen the dining atmosphere, so why not think ahead with a heating solution? We have a range of Garden Heaters that would be compatible with your gazebo, from free standing to overhead heaters.

The Decor

Now that you have the essentials for your outdoor dining space, now it’s time to decorate it. A lot of our customers stick with a theme when decorating our garden buildings and gazebos. From traditional shabby chic to Bohemian Fantasies- Here are a few of my favourite decor examples:

Samos Larch Gazebo Seating

Soft furnishings like cushions or blanket throws are an easy say to subtly sneak a theme in. For example, these customers who wanted to continue the warmth brought from the Samos Larch Gazebo with the uses of a soft yellow, green and those rich teal flower pots.

Kos Larch Gazebo

Alternatively, you could use the soft furnishings to add a pop of colour to your setup. Reds, Oranges and Blues would make a bold contrast against our wicker furniture.

Curved Lattice Gazebo

Another idea is to introduce more natural elements to blend the scene in with your garden – Like with this Curved Lattice Gazebo where the customers introduced both planters and hanging baskets for subtle, but definitely effective pops of colour.

Mitch Log Cabin Gazebo Lighting

Or for our all-night events, why not experiment with some lighting? We do not offer electrics in our own installation service, but with the help of a qualified technician- You could certainly upgrade your wooden gazebo with a touch of modern technology. Imagine colour changing light bars that you could set the ambiance with?

The Menu

So now that the area has been set up, with all the finishing touches – I’m certain that your dining area looks great… But what to serve alongside it? I personally would go for this Teriyaki Salmon Noodle dish to get those taste buds in action, paired with a fruity Pinot Noir to complement the dish.

Is al fresco dining not just for you? Why not take a look at our Log Cabin Pubs inspiration post, or maybe you would prefer looking at how our products can be utilised for Hot Tub Covers.

Tuin’s Trip To Tuindeco 2018

Hello everyone, Megan here!

Some of us here at Tuin have recently taken a trip across the water to Tuindeco, who are based in Coevorden, Netherlands. The aim for my attendance to this trip was to learn more about Tuindeco and our business practices, so that I can gain insight as to what made them become one of the biggest competitors in the Log Cabin industry.

So, after the ferry trip that consisted of napping, eating Bitterballen (Highly recommended by the way) and a drive to Coevorden, we arrive at the office of Tuindeco. Where we’re met with a large showsite and friendly employees, including the owner of Tuindeco. We were soon into discussion of the actions they implemented over the winter to ensure a successful collection of cabins ready to sell, which I’ll show you in a moment.

Winter can be a rough time in this business, with the sawmills running low of wood and struggling to supply it with the demand of companies wanting to restock their Cabins ready for the busy summer period. Tuindeco came up with a process that allows them to get their supply of stock, as well as keeping the sawmills going with jobs during the hard period- This starts with them buying an area of trees to be sent over to the sawmill, and hiring them to cut them into the required logs. This may be an expensive way about doing this, but buy supplying our own wood to the sawmills we are then able to get a consistent supply of Log Cabins as well as keeping the workers in the sawmills in work during the quiet winter months. Allowing a fairly win-win situation for both parties.

During this talk, they often mentioned about how much stock they had- making me believe that they may be over exaggerating a little… But I was soon proved wrong when we were taken around their warehouses. Their warehouses are spread across the town of Coevorden, with plans for more land into consideration. The warehouses closest to the main office were filled with Log Cabins, and, well I’ll let the images I took speak for themselves.

 

There was hundreds of Log Cabins, all organised in their allocated sections and stacked as high as it was safe to. These pictures show just some of the many Log Cabins within the warehouse, as well as a large section dedicated to our Garden Furniture range – all ready for a quick dispatch to our customers.

There was also a noticeable difference with the Log Cabins this year regarding packaging, a shrink wrap has been implemented in order to protect the cabins in order for them to be stacked as high as they are, as well as reduce the chance of water leakage into the package.

Snow White Playhouse Packaged

The Snow White Playhouse looking protected in the new shrinkwrap packaging.

After looking around in amazement at these two large warehouses, we were then taken to another area of Coevorden where there was two more large warehouses- These ones were filled with our timber supplies:

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If only I could share the smell of all of the fresh timber inside those warehouses, I was also delighted to see the regulation stickers on the timber as shown below. All of our timber comes from sustainable sources, trusted and approved by the regulators such as FSC, PEFC, KOMO and Indonesian Legal Hardwood.

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Though it may appear like a lot of timber just stacked up on top of each other, there is care put into the layout of the warehouses, with fragile items such as glass carefully stored near the corresponding items that they go with (for example, glass table tops).

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After seeing all of this, as well as hearing plans for them to expand even more- I am more convinced that Tuindeco will be able to successfully supply the demand of their hundreds of retailers across Europe, including us.

To finish off the day, I drifted off from the business talk to explore their showsite- Much bigger than ours and stocked with some new products in the 2018 range. Here are just some of my favourite products I took pictures off, you may find more updated across the site to the corresponding product pages.

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At first, I wasn’t too sure when I saw the Wicker Picnic Range in the catalogue- but after seeing them in real life, they were spectacular. They’re comfy and appear to be durable for years of use – as well as being unique in their design, there aren’t many wicker/rattan picnic sets in this style on the market. Made with Aluminum framing to prevent rusting, the rattan braiding was done straight over the framing – Made from a synthetic material in order to make their maintenance pain free.

The Oakland Wicker Lounge Set

The Oakland Eight Piece Wicker Lounge Set has been tested and approved by myself for comfort levels. A great addition to any garden seating area.

Larch DIY Veranda

This Larch DIY Veranda was on our list for quality checking before preparing to list it for the UK market. With a polycarbonate roof available as well as the sliding glass panel – It certainly impressed us and hope to impress our customers too. Keep an eye out for when this will be listed in the near future!

Pardon the rain in the next two photos, but the newly added entrance verandas, found in Shepherd Hut Accessories, also looked very impressive to the eye – A great way to personalise your Shepherd Hut and make a more inviting entrance to your Garden Office or Summerhouse!

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And these are just to list a few of what’s within their showsite – Overall, I can confirm that this was an impressive tip, from looking at the new catalogue products as well as gaining more insight of Tuindeco’s business practices- I hope this was insightful to you as well!

If you’re still curious about Tuin and Tuindeco, you can read more about how we operate from our Tuin About Page as well as the Tuin and Tuindeco in Pictures blog.

Chloe Log Cabin Review

One of our lovely customers, who I will refer to as Mrs A has sent us a review of their experience of building their Chloe Log Cabin which would be used for a garden gym! As well as their service that they had received from our team here at Tuin.


Mrs A writes as follows:

At the bottom of my garden sat an 8x9ft Summer House, not a very old one around 18 months old which I purchased on-line the quality sadly reflected the price I paid from the on-line supplier. It was purchased for use as a gym by for my son, but it was soggy and damp and not fit for purpose as the walls were so thin and badly manufactured. We took it down and sadly it was so damp to the tip it went as I don’t think we would have been able to burn and sing around it as it went up in flames cursing the on-line supplier who’s rating on Trustpilot seems to have more red stars than I have ever seen.

We decided it was time to spend our savings on something bigger and much better quality that we could divide and use half as his gym and the other half as a nice relaxing space. I started the search, so many places to buy but as I had made such a bad purchase the first time around I didn’t want to make the same mistake again. My friend at work had been talking about a large summer house her friend had brought from a company called Tuin which she helped to build and couldn’t fault the company or the quality. So off to the Tuin website I went and started to look, the range of products was fantastic so many choices of all sizes, my imagination went wild and before I could stop myself was looking at the biggest ones I could get and imagining what I could put in side! However reality hit me that evening when I got home and measured the space I could use and although I was going to build a giant palace the biggest I could purchase was a 4x3m. I then found Chloe, she was the right size and looked perfect and even better in budget.

I contacted Tuin and after fantastic service from Richard, who I say goes over and beyond for customer satisfaction I placed the order in late February. As we had yet to build the base I picked the furthest delivery slot I could to allow us to build a concrete base where Chloe was going to take residence. Building the base seemed to take forever due to bad weather and finally it was done. Left it for a couple of weeks to dry off and then Chloe arrived and we were ready to build – have to say I enjoy DIY work but both me and my husband were really looking forward to the build it’s like giant Lego for adults and you get to use big mallets!

Now, onto the process of building Chloe…

When we ordered we selected a required delivery week and the Sunday before I received an email for payment, once this was complete I received a call from a very nice lady from the delivery company to arrange a delivery date.

We knew from looking on the Tuin website how the cabin would be packaged and the size of the packaging. I would recommend you take a look at the site so you have an idea how large your delivery will be so you can work out where you want it to be put. We knew that it would be a couple of weeks before we would be able to start the build so by having it placed in the garden next to the driveway would mean that we didn’t have to worry about not being able to use the driveway for the next couple of weeks.

She arrived on the advised date as promised, no sitting around for a delivery that doesn’t turn up when advised and we have all done that. I received call from driver that morning advising us roughly what time he would arrive, my husband was at home and was watching for the lorry, then down the road came a forklift with the cabin. The driver had had to park up the road and drive the forklift into our close as once he had the lorry in he would not have been able to get back out again. My husband asked if he could drop it other side of the drive which he did with no problems. A couple of my concrete edging blocks were slightly damaged and the driver was very apologetic but it’s wasn’t a problem, he had nearly a ton of cabin plus whatever his forklift weights driving over them which we asked him to do you cannot make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. He was unable to stop for a well-deserved cuppa as his very large lorry was parked up the road and didn’t want to upset anyone so he had to move it quickly. Chloe then sat in the front garden for a couple of weeks until we were ready to start the build.

The Chloe Log Cabin Unpackages

The unpackaged components to the Chloe Log Cabin

Picture taken after we had started to move the parts into the back garden (sorry I forgot to take a picture of the wrapped package). If you don’t start your build straight away don’t worry the cabin is so well wrapped it will be fine, and will wait until you are ready.

As you move parts sort them as you go putting all the parts into piles according to size, you can then use the checklist provided to check you have all the parts. I did expect parts to be numbered which would make it easier but none of them were, however as you start to check off the larger parts then it does become easier.
When we finished checking parts I noticed that one of the parts had a large crack, we wanted to start build over the weekend so I emailed Tuin out of hours service to see if we were able to use the part or needed a replacement (it was 9pm on a Friday night) and I received a response within 15 mins. I sent over pictures of the damage and was advised it was fine to use or if I wasn’t happy they could send a replacement. We opted to use it but receiving a response on a Friday night was great service. Really I wanted peace of mind it was ok to use, last thing we wanted to do was use it only to find out we should have waited for a replacement.

Day 1, the build started at… 10am…

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I am helping, but someone has to take pictures ☺ however to get to this stage has taken 30 mins and most of that time it was checking that everything was square. The whole cabin is slotting together very nicely.

By the last image we were ready to put in the doorframe, a quick email to Tuin as from the instructions we were not 100% sure on orientation of the frame. Saturday morning and quick response received from Tuin clarifying our question and we are good to go again. Tuin’s contact team can go back to watching Saturday morning Kitchen ☺

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To be honest, the build is so much quicker than we expected!

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It’s now around 5pm and the cabin is built! We are calling it a day as it seems the neighbours have had enough of us banging in the garden all day. Despite me not being in any of the pictures it has taken just 2 of us to build this in one day. The build went very well, only one slight problem with the door not shutting correctly, this was a job for the next day.

Day 2, time to put on the roof tiles… Not so many pictures of this as we were both on the roof. One slight problem nothing to do with the cabin but the ladder being on very uneven ground meant that it slipped when we were up on the roof and neither of us could get down. The cabin might not look very high from the ground but it is high when you want to get down. After a few min’s of us laughing about how we were going to get down and me trying to step onto damaged shed roof our neighbour noticed and asked if we wanted her to come round and hold the ladder. We arrived on the ground safely which was a bit of a relief as after too many cups of tea before starting on a cold day nature was calling.

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The shingles do take a long time to put on, most of the day to be honest but once you get the hang of putting them on it is very easy. Yes it would be quicker and easier with felt but once you take a step back and look at the result well I think it says it all!

So Chloe is now completed and looking great. The base around Chloe does look a bit of a mess but that job is for next weekend.

The finished image of the Chloe Log Cabin

The following weekend; decking, steps and raised platform fitted.

Chloe is finished!

The quality of the product is excellent, the cabin is well designed and slots together so well, we are very pleased and Chloe is now the pride of our garden.

The whole Tuin team are a pleasure to deal with, they are all very knowledgeable they know the product inside out and I would have no problem in recommending them.

You may be wondering why none of the pictures show the inside of the cabin, well I intend to write another review once the floor is down, as we blew our budget on the cabin we have been saving for the floor, also at the moment a few bits of furniture and a weight bench sitting on a concrete floor does not really show her off. We intended to put down a plywood base sitting on some 2×2 with laminate floor on top, but after sitting inside and looking at the walls and roof this would not do her justice. The floor would look so much better with ‘real’ wood so we have just placed an order for the wooden floor pack which we feel will look so much better. Once this is down then I will take some more pictures of the inside.

Well think I have just about covered it, thank you Tuin!

 


Thank you to Mrs A for your article, reading how our customer service helped ease your confusion on building was great to hear. Your Chloe log cabin looks stunning! We’ll be looking forward to see images on how you modify the inside of your log cabin to make your gym/relaxation area!

Other customer experiences, build articles and ideas can be found here: Pictorial Tuin Reviews

Re-design

Redesign of the Tuin Website

We’ve been working hard of late on a completely new build of our website. Products are still being added and updated and this will continue for some while. We’ve enabled e-commerce on the site which previously was not available due to customers not finding our full ranges in one place.

Our retailers are spread evenly across the UK and can help you offering expert advice and service. Try our new “Retailer Locator” at the top of the page.

New features on our website include:
Complete re-design
Retailer Locator
Wordpress Blog
E-commerce integration
Newsletter subscription
Brochure which can be viewed online.

Lots more features and products coming soon as well as regular blog posts regarding our products and services.