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Creating an Outdoor Winter Area in the UK

During the summer months, pubs, bars and restaurants have crowds of people outside in beer gardens, soaking up the sunny weather and enjoying good food and drinks. In the winter months, many of these beer gardens are barren as customers rush inside to escape the cold, neglecting the place they once sat to enjoy a cold pint.

You may be thinking, “Well of course they would, it’s freezing in winter!” However, we believe this to be a terrible waste of outdoor space and a missed opportunity for more custom. You could welcome even more people to your pub or restaurant during the winter months by simply creating a cosy outdoor seating area.

Before going right ahead and sticking some plastic chairs and tables under an umbrella outside, you should consider the following:


When creating an outdoor winter area in the UK, the first thing to consider is how you’re going to shield your customers from the harsh British weather conditions, including wind, rain and, on the rare occasions, sunshine.

Our awnings, retractable canopies, louvered verandas, external screens and glass systems can help you shelter your outdoor seating area, allowing you to utilise it all year round.

With the British weather being particularly diverse, you’ll be pleased to know that our retractable canopies can withstand wind speeds of up to Beaufort 10 (63mph). Depending on which system you choose, rainwater can be guided down the sides, or diverted through concealed guttering within the structure as well. 

This further enhances your ability to use your outdoor area for as much of the year as possible. In fact, with your outdoor installation handled by Aspiration Blinds, your customers will be able to enjoy your beer garden in all but the very worst of conditions.


The type of furniture you choose for your outdoor seating area is very important and contributes to factors such as how many customers you can fit within the space, how easy they are for staff to move and stack and whether they can withstand rain and strong winds.

Ideally, your furniture should be smaller in size to enable more customers to enjoy the outdoor area and lightweight enough to be moved together for bigger groups. However, they mustn’t be too lightweight so they don’t blow over on windy days. Despite the benefit of retractable canopies, your furniture will still be exposed to some rain, so ensure they are made of waterproof materials.

With all of these factors in mind, you must also consider the appearance and comfort of your seating. The furniture should match the rest of the decor, so don’t opt for rattan seats with cushions if you have an industrial theme throughout the rest of the outdoor area.


Outdoor patio heaters are perfect for keeping your outdoor seating area warm once the sun has set in summer and on even the chilliest of nights in the winter. Gas flame heaters can look impressive and make the space look cosier, though infrared commercial outdoor heaters are less expensive to run and provide just as much warmth. 

It is important to run safety checks and ensure you comply with all the safety regulations, such as installing cabling in a way that prevents trip hazards.


The way your outdoor seating area is lit can have a massive impact on the way it appeals to customers. For example, a beer garden that is lit with warm fairy lights and lanterns creates a cosy and romantic ambience that looks more inviting to customers, whereas a beer garden lit with harsh cold toned lights can feel frosty and univintitng.

In a survey conducted by MEGAMAN, 72% of respondents had left a venue earlier than planned because it was too brightly or poorly lit, whilst 74 % of respondents had stayed longer than planned because the lighting made them feel relaxed and welcome.


As with lighting, the decor can play a big part in whether people will choose to eat or drink in your outdoor seating area. Not only will it look more inviting, but there will be more opportunities for people to take pictures to post to social media- which is a form of free advertising.

If your customers have chosen to sit outside instead of inside, they’re likely not wanting to sit somewhere that looks exactly the same as it does indoors. Creating a garden atmosphere doesn’t mean just throwing some mud and worms on the ground, but using attractive foliage such as pot plants or growing climbers to achieve an evergreen look. 

A study by Flying Flowers revealed that vibrant coloured flowers represent happiness, so it may be worth introducing some pink, orange and yellow flowers into your outdoor space during spring and summer to create a happier and more positive atmosphere.
Our outdoor shelter and shading products have a range of applications across many different types of businesses such as cafes, bars, hotels, leisure facilities and golf clubs. Please call us to discuss how your business can benefit from awnings or retractable canopies.

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