By Adrian Justins
Winter may be on its way in the northern hemisphere but that does not have to mean an end to outdoor entertaining at home. With a few of the latest gadgets in place, evenings in the garden can be as enjoyable as on warmer days.
This modern four-bedroom house, on sale for €1.45m, is in Hendrik-Ido-Ambacht, 20km south-east of Rotterdam, the Netherlands. It has folding glass doors that lead from the open plan living room and kitchen to a part-covered terrace with views of the mature garden. The new owners might want to consider investing in the following tech so they can use the outdoor space throughout the colder months.
Herschel patio heater, £319
Your priority will be keeping warm. Infrared patio heaters are ideal for areas that are uninsulated and open but sheltered. Unlike gas and wood-powered versions, the heat effect is immediate as they do not need to warm up, nor do they heat the surrounding air, only the surface that the radiation hits.
The Herschel California heater uses carbon lights, which last up to 10,000 hours and provide 2kW of even heat over an area up to 9 square metres. It has two power settings and a remote control with a 1-24hr timer. Made from rust-resistant aluminium for year-round use, the lamp is available in gold, silver and black finishes and can be mounted on an optional stand or on a wall.
Delivita pizza oven, £1,295
This wood-fired pizza oven, handmade in Yorkshire and designed for outdoor dining, can be bought with a digital infrared thermometer (£29.50) that uses a laser to check the temperature of your food. It takes 25 minutes for the oven, which can reach 500C, to heat up, and each pizza takes roughly 90 seconds to cook. An insulated heatproof base and handles mean the oven, available in seven colours, can be placed on any surface sturdy enough to safely bear its 30kg weight.
Cozee Surge heated blanket, $349.99
California-based Paul and Carolynne LaRue’s daughter Brianna has cerebral palsy and used to struggle to keep warm while using a wheelchair outdoors. After discovering that no other similar product existed, the couple invented a battery-powered heated blanket. The result is the Cozee Surge, which is rain-resistant with a microfleece lining and is insulated using Mylar, a material used on spacecraft. It takes about five minutes to heat the machine-washable blanket, which will stay warm for roughly five hours. The rechargeable power pack has two USB sockets, which could be used for charging devices such as a phone.
Jacuzzi smart hot tub, £20,999
The Dutch property may already have a hot tub, at the end of a wooden deck, but for the ultimate relaxing evening in the garden, the seven-person Jacuzzi J-585 can be set wirelessly with an app or voice control including Alexa and Google Assistant while you are in the tub or remotely so it is the right temperature for your arrival home. The hot tub, which also has built-in touchscreen controls, features multicoloured internal lights behind dual waterfalls, one of which combines with large rotational back jets for a focused massage. At hip level, a seat includes a large directional jet.
Innr smart lights, £124.99
Show the way to your hot tub with three dimmable pedestal lights, available from Amazon. Each contains seven white and seven RGB (red, green, blue) LED lamps. The lights are waterproof and can be set via an app or Amazon Echo voice control to any of 16m colour options as well as pure white. Operating on the Zigbee platform, a wireless network, the lights are compatible with Philips Hue technology and Samsung SmartThings. The set includes the 4.5W lights, a soil pin, cables, control box and adapter.
Photography: Christie's International Real Estate