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4 cosy outdoor dining spots

Cosy doesn’t have to mean hiding away indoors. Here are some brilliantly snug places to spend chilly but beautiful autumn/winter nights outdoors.

Lancaster Arms, Desford

This cosy family-run pub over in Desford has opened up two domes in its back garden for those who like the idea of sitting outdoors but not freezing your socks off. The heated domes need to be booked in advance and the pub is only open Fri – Sun at the mo. Owner Ian told me that he is hoping to add more domes in the next few weeks so watch this space. If you don’t manage to book one, don’t worry, the lounge, restaurant and terrace will be open with roaring fires on also. When it comes to food, choose from light bites, sharing dishes or something from the a la carte menu. Tuck into the Himalayan salt aged sirloin steak or something a bit more classic like their beer battered fish and chips.

The Olive Branch, Clipsham Rutland

The brilliant Olive Branch has created a little tented village beside their pergola with 5 individually decorated gazebo. They’re all fully enclosed, double heated with overhead heater and electric ‘faux’ log burner, dressed with blankets, candles and autumn decorations. They’re romantic for two but also great for a get together with friends or family (up to 6 of course). If that wasn’t tempting enough, you’ll have your own member of the Olive Branch team looking after you and let’s not forget the food. Choose from a great seasonal variety including venison tartare, smoked and roasted carrot, ricotta, seaweed, confit yolk, nasturtium or the roast pork belly.

The Green Place, Sileby

The lovely folk at The Green Place, Sileby have created 10 outdoor ‘pods’ from recycled materials, each with a unique look and feel. Simply order food from the cafe and enjoy it in your own private pod. Choose from an Indian beach hut, a cutesy cottage pod, the bust stop, space pod and more. Deposit required. Pods bookable got 1h 45 minutes. I love the Indian Beach Hut draped with colourful fabric or the Caravan of Sound where you can relive the 70’s in their retro style caravan complete with record deck and vinyl record for you to play or maybe bring your own. Play DJ for your family and friends whilst enjoying your café food and drinks.

The Waterfront, Market Harborough

Making a comeback this year – actually, I don’t think they actually ever disappeared, but not only is it a safer way to enjoy your meal it’s also quite magical on the run up to the festive period. Snuggle up in one of two beautiful winter igloos complete with snuggly blankets and twinkling lights overlooking the canal. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch dinner, Sunday roast or even with the family on Christmas day.

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