The great outdoors
The great outdoors

Extend your outdoor experience by making the most of an Indian Summer!

Al Fresco living conjures up images of warm, balmy evenings sipping Prosecco and watching the sun go down; camping with the kids, days out at the beach and BBQ’s.

Over the last few years, the height of warm weather has been in June and July. August has had some sun but has been largely unpredictable and very autumnal. However, now even October brings with it the hope of an Indian Summer. So Women UK have looked at how to extend our outdoor living to make the most of a mild autumn. And really you need go no further than your own back garden.


Camping when it’s gloriously hot is easy. But why limit it to the height of summer? Camping is great fun and something that shouldn’t be restricted to a couple of months per year. Granted, when the weather is cooler, more consideration should be given to what equipment is needed to still have an enjoyable trip.

We’ve teamed up with Vango to give you the essentials for a comfortable and pleasurable autumnal camping expedition.

The Vango Capri 500 6-man tent
The Vango Capri 500 6-man tent

We took the new Vango Capri 500 6-man tent. Part of the Airbeam range. Our first time using an inflatable tent. There are a few pros and cons: The main advantage is the time it takes to inflate and deflate (about 15 minutes each way!), it is very light, easy to carry and pack away. The disappointing feature on the Vango was that for £450 worth of tent, it felt you didn’t get a lot. Space is tight – more suited to a couple with a child rather than six people – and it lacked a few of the essentials such as fly sheets on the main door and storage pockets (there are some in the main sleeping compartments but if you’ve got a double air bed in there, then there’s no room for anything else).

Our stay was made much more pleasurable though with some of the great accessories that the team at Vango sent us to try out. The Vango Serenity Double Sleeping Bag is perfect for the cooler evenings – coupled with their Hi-Rise double air bed, it’s almost as good as being at home!

Our children particularly liked their sleeping bags – the Vango Starwalker is great for children aged four to 10 years. It has holes for their arms, a hood and a detatchable end meaning that if needed, they can unzip the bottom of the bag and walk around. Great for chilly nights. Other luxuries which helped to make our camping experience even more pleasurable included the Vango Kraken chairs at £50 each and the Vango Bistro DLX – a kitchen shelf unit perfect for camping stoves. Last but not least, and more for convenience, the Vango 8 Person Non Stick Cook Kit – all the saucepans and cups that you will need, all packaged together in a handy holdall bag!

If camping doesn’t float your boat but you still want to enjoy the great outdoors during the autumn months, then a solid gazebo goes a long way towards extending al fresco living. A good gazebo, high quality garden chairs, ambient lighting and a fire pit can make autumn nights in the garden pretty blissful.

The Corea Masonry BBQ
The Corea Masonry BBQ

We’ve also come across the ideal autumn BBQ station, the Corea Masonry BBQ from Alfresia. This is a permanent structure that not only adds a great focal point with its Mediterranean style, it’s a fantastic way to bring warmth to your garden or patio. Easy to assemble (remember to make sure you are happy with the location before assembling because it’s there to stay), easy to use and easy to clean.

Manufactured from refractory concrete, this is a garden focal point will definitely enhance your al fresco experience in the garden.

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