Today outdoor dining can mean different things to different people depending on your location in the world. In Britain, outdoor dining means picnics in the park and afternoon tea in the garden, whereas in South Africa it involves firing up a braai every Sunday ready for a feast of meats.
The history of outdoor dining goes back to medieval times, when cooked meats and pastries would be eaten before setting off on a hunt, this is almost certainly how the modern day picnic originated. A picnic hasn’t always been a formal way of eating and it is defined as any occasion when a packed meal is eaten outdoors, particularly during an outing to the countryside.
In the 18th century, Americans created pleasure gardens. These private spaces were created for families to take a stroll, play outdoor games and enjoy the beautiful surroundings whilst enjoying a small outdoor meal. These pleasure gardens soon became a trend in German beer gardens and distinctly in tea gardens when prohibition banned all public drinking.
The advances of the motor car and public transport created a boom in picnics in America in the 20th century as families, school children and work groups suddenly had the freedom to travel farther afield to the countryside for a day of outdoor games and picnicking. Picnic hampers also became a popular accessory around this time turning a casual original outdoor snack into a formal but fun outdoor meal.
The phrase al fresco is borrowed from Italian for “in the cool [air]”, however today it has been adapted to mean dining ‘in the open air’. Al fresco dining has been a tradition in European countries for hundreds of years and in the mid 20th century America adapted al fresco dining into rooftop restaurants and pavements in cosmopolitan cities such as New York.
Today tourists flock to European cities in the warmer seasons to enjoy the incredible outdoor dining and cafe culture. Most cities now offer a choice of either indoor or outdoor dining, and in Australia and England, almost every pub has a beer garden, where meals can be enjoyed outdoors (weather dependant!).
There’s a saying that food tastes better when enjoyed outdoors and we couldn’t agree more.
Join us at our Brecon restaurant this summer for our Sunday Slow Grill and enjoy delicious slow cooked Breconshire pork with caramelised apples or a mouth-watering shoulder of Welsh lamb, both with all the trimmings, for just £35 for adults and £14.50 for children 10 and under. Find out more here and you could make a night of it as we have a special offer combining the Sunday Grill and an overnight stay.
The dates for 2017 are Sunday 21st May, Sunday 18th June, Sunday 23rd July and Sunday 13th August.
Book now to avoid disappointment. Call us on 01874 730 371 to make your reservation. Buon appetito!
We are still unsure as to when we can re-open. I think it will be around the 24th May.
Gliffaes will not be open for outdoor dining only – I am afraid the numbers don’t stack up for us.
Mark Drakeford, The Welsh First Minister has given no definitive date for the opening of indoor hospitality in Wales.
This matter is further confused by the local elections on the 6th May. If Labour is returned to power he tells us that he will be minded to consider the opening of indoor hospitality on the 17th May and I guess he will give us about a week’s notice taking us to the 24th May.
Online booking is available and reception will be staffed from 9am to midday from Monday to Saturday, so please do call us.
Thank you for all your support and we hope to see you in May and beyond.
James & Susie Suter and all the team at Gliffaes.