Staying in is the new going out! Recreate your favourite nights out…at home

These brilliant ideas will make you feel like you’re out and about, even though you’re at home during isolation this winter.

Sure, isolation means spending more time at home. But this winter, a few easy heating hacks and ideas will turn your humble house into the hottest destination in town.

Dining In is the New Dining Out (with only a natural gas BBQ)
Grab yourself a BBQ and turn your hand to a whole range of dishes to replace some of your favourite experiences from pre-isolation life.

Missing those sunsoaked picnics in the park? Skip the public spaces and throw a private picnic at your place. A gourmet spread on a rug in your garden, featuring chargrilled vegetables and a fresh seafood buffet of prawns and seared fish is a surefire winner. Don’t forget there’s also the option for romantic outdoor dinners for two under the stars, huddled under a blanket and with a hot chocolate to finish, plus a S’mores snack toasted to perfection. Saturdays, of course, fire up the grill for a snag fest to rival those Bunnings bangers, served on a paper plate with onions and sauce in your backyard. Plus, a Sunday brunch fry-up of eggs and bacon on the BBQ is a must-do for weekends this winter!

Our tip? Make it easy on yourself and opt for a Natural Gas BBQ - they’re quick to reach a high heat, offer great control for the chef, and there’s a huge range of sizes that will suit everything from tiny patios to bigger backyard spaces. Gas outdoor heating is a great way to extend outdoor living and enjoy a BBQ year round, so don’t have gas, now’s the time to sort yourself out so you can start your winter off with a series of chef-style meals at any time of day (or well into the night, if midnight feasts are your thing).

Hotel at your House! Try recreating a romantic resort
If you’re sharing isolation life with your partner, add a little romance by turning your house into a hotel for the night. Make a deal to take a night off Netflix. Instead, plan a gourmet menu together, or one of you can take charge of dishing up a decadent evening meal. Make sure you organise a cracking kitchen setup now so by mid-winter you’ll be plating up three-course meals that will more than replace going out to eat.

Installing a feature like a natural gas cooktop will allow you to cook with confidence…nothing says ‘MasterChef’ like a gorgeous charred finish on your fave foods, plus the reliability of heat and warmth in quarantine is vital. Or, maybe it’s time to splash out on some impressive dishware or elegant cutlery, because after all, they’re utensils you’ll have for years to come. Or the prep might be as simple as a long-overdue deep clean for the kitchen. Whatever your situation, there’s a big or small way to give your other half a special experience (without leaving the house)!

Serve the courses as part of an experience, which might include a written wine list, wearing a waiter’s uniform, or a room number affixed to your bedroom door, plus a turndown service, of course! Little details like a chocolate on the pillow, or shared wine by the glow of a gas log fire, or a swim in a gas heated pool (if you have one), will make sure you deliver that ‘holiday…but at home’ experience for your partner.

Happy campers! Pitch up in your garden (and have a winter swim)
This winter, camp under the stars that shine…over your house. Families with young kids can live it up camping out of tents pitched in their own backyards, and making the most of gas BBQs, firepits or outdoor heating, which can all maximise your options for socialising outside, even after winter’s set in. Pack the sleeping bags, and make a night of it with some old-fashioned bonding. Plan on a classic card game with the family, a dinner of charred cinnamon pineapple and hot buttered corn on the cob over the BBQ, then a firepit singalong followed by a pot of billy tea. (A gas fire pit or wall mounted gas heater means even the coldest nights won't stop your outdoor camping!)

Oh, and if you have a pool, make sure you nab a prime campsite by the water for that unbeatable view and a refreshing morning swim! Too cold? Enjoying poolside living can be a year-round joy if you install gas pool heating. You’ll have access to a dip even now, without visiting a public pool and when the beaches are closed. But in years to come, you’ll be able to swim through every season, even in the years after isolation when the tent’s been packed away.