Style/ Beauty

Planning to entertain outdoors post-lockdown? An outdoor heater is essential but they’re selling fast – here’s where you can still buy one

In case you haven’t been counting down the days, there are precisely 2 left (less than 48 hours!) of Lockdown 2.0. And there’s a lot to look forward to – eating in restaurants again, being able to sort out your lockdown hair, and getting Christmas shopping done in person.

Depending on which tier you fall into, you’re also likely eagerly anticipating meeting up with family and friends outside of your household again – but if you fall into Tier 2, like London, Liverpool, and many other parts of the country, all your much-awaited get-togethers will have to take place outside. In December. In the UK. In single-digit temperatures. So whether you’re having a friend over to try out your cocktails you’ve perfected making in isolation, or opting to have Christmas outside this year to protect your parents and nan, we suggest investing in one of the best outdoor heaters we’ve found.

Unlike the heady months of summer following the end of the first lockdown, picnics in the park and all day long barbecues aren’t that appealing when it’s more than just a tad nippy out. Yes, we’ve missed in person DMCs with our friends, but not at the risk of pneumonia. Whilst a trendy puffer jacket (and a beer jacket obvs) will go some way to ward off the chill, an outdoor heater or firepit will make post-lockdown get-togethers infinitely more enjoyable. But it seems we’re not the only ones to have realised the necessity of outdoor heating – a quick google and you’ll realise that any and all garden heaters are selling like *hot cakes*. So we’ve checked in with some of favourite home retailers and searched high and low to find the best outdoor heaters that you can actually still buy.

Although options may be slightly limited currently, rest assured that all of our picks are as stylish as your abode; what you’ll need to decide is whether you want to spring for a gas heater, or a a firepit. Of course, both require a bit of work – either refilling gas bottles or making sure you don’t run out of a stock of firewood – but your effort will quickly rewarded when you find yourself sitting surrounded by 5 of your nearest, sipping a glass of red. If you opt for a gas heater, this QVC freestanding heater is perfect for an al fresco night in, plus you can control it with a remote so there’s no interruption to your overdue catch-up. For a bigger space (and budget) this Wayfair patio heater looks like it belongs at a chic hotel – we’re pretty sure once you have one, your friends lining up for their open-air invite, no matter the temps.

However sleek a gas heater may be, the allure of a wood-burning fire is pretty magical on a chilly winter’s eve. To get the warm, relaxed atmosphere only an open fire can create this cast iron bowl fire pit or this black brazier are buys that will get a whole load of use this winter. And let’s be honest, with our notorious bad weather, probably into the spring and some of the summer too.

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