Monthly Archives: August 2019
If you’ve ever been to an Award Leisure showroom, you’ve probably experienced the authentic tasty goodness that is our freshly cooked pizzas, straight from the oven.
What you may not realise is the choice in taste and texture you can get just from switching out the wood – opening up a whole world of opportunity for experimenting with creating beautifully smoky flavours!
Learn about the types of wood to try and what to avoid when cooking in your wood fired pizza oven.
Hard Wood or Soft Wood?
Generally, hard woods come from deciduous trees (that lose their leaves annually). They tend to be slower growing, hence having a denser wood. Soft woods come from evergreen trees such as conifers and have a softer wood that is less dense.
When it comes to burning wood in a wood fired oven, hardwood is generally better as it burns slower. The density of softwood is around half that of hardwood, resulting in burning twice as fast – needing twice as much!
Best Types of Wood
When selecting the type of wood you want to use, you want to look for something that has a good heat output, and doesn’t billow out smoke.
We’ve categorised these wood types by the best, worst, and types to try that may take a little extra seasoning or can only be used occasionally.
Type of Wood
How it Burns
Burns slow and steady when dry, small flame size, does not produce sparking or spitting.
Cooking effects: gives a tangy, sweet flavour to food. It goes with almost everything, but its great with pork and poultry dishes.
Produces a steady flame and good heat output. It can be burnt when green but burns best when dry.
Good traditional firewood that has a slow burn with good heat output.
Good but fast burning wood and produces best results when allowed to season.
A good burning wood that produces a good heat output in a slow burn.
Burns well with a good flame. The smaller branches are also good to use as kindling.
Good burning wood that produces a good flame and heat output.
Cooking effects: light and smoky aroma.
A good burning wood that produces a good heat output.
A good burning wood that has a slow burn and good heat output.
One of the best woods for burning. It produces a steady flame and very good heat output, while producing very little smoke.
A good burning wood that has a slow burn and very good heat output.
Worst Types of Wood
Type of Wood
How it Burns
Poor heat output does not last long.
Poor burning wood, produces a small flame and poor heat output.
A poor burning wood that produces a small flame with poor heat output. The sap also causes deposits in the flue over time.
A smoky wood with poor burn.
A very smoky wood with a poor burn.
Poor heat output and does not last very well.
Does not burn well, even when seasoned.
Other Woods to Try
Type of Wood
How it Burns
Produces a steady flame and good heat output. Does not burn well when green.
Cooking effects: Gives off an herbal aroma similar to chamomile tea. Works well with oily fish and lighter meats.
Produces good heat output but burns quickly. Can be burned unseasoned, but the sap causes deposits in the flue over time.
Cooking effects: mineral, zesty flavour that is great with aged beef, game, venison or vegetables like asparagus and courgette.
Good burning wood that produces a consistent and long heat output. It burns with a small flame but does tend to crackle and spit. The sap causes deposits in the flue over time.
Cooking effects: Seafood is commonly paired with cedar, although poultry and vegetables are an option.
Slow burning wood with a good heat output. Must be seasoned well.
Cooking effects: similarly to other fruit woods, cherry gives food a bold and earthy flavour.
Unpredictable burn patterns due to high moisture content. Should be dried for 2 years for best results. Slow to get going and it may be necessary to use a better burning wood to start it off. Splitting logs should be done early.
Fast burning wood. The sap causes deposits in the flue over time.
Fast burning wood that produces a good flame but poor heat output. Holly will burn green but is best dried for a minimum of a year.
Good for burning in stoves, it produces a good flame and heat output. Not a good wood for open fires due to spitting.
Reasonable heat output but must be well seasoned. The sap causes deposits in the flue over time.
Burns with a good flame but only reasonable heat output. Must be well seasoned.
Cooking effects: Exotic aromas that are characteristic of smoked duck.
Produces a small flame and a slow burn due to density. Best when seasoned for a minimum of two years.
Cooking effects: gives a mild, woodsy flavour with a hint of vanilla and citrus. Goes with all meats and many types of seafood.
Burns well with a good heat output but needs to be seasoned well.
Cooking effects: Slightly lighter smoke than apple, giving food a mellow, nutty dimension to food.
Burns with a good flame, but the resin sap causes deposits in the flue over time.
A good burning wood with a slow burn and good heat output. Not good for open fires due to producing an acrid and dense smoke – not a problem in stoves.
Produces a good flame, but only moderate heat output. Should only be burned once well-seasoned.
Burns okay when well-seasoned but does tend to spit a lot – not suitable for open fires.
When you begin to experiment with the types of wood you’re cooking with, you open your food up to creating an endless combination of flavours and smokiness.
Want to get into cooking with a Wood Fired Oven? View our full range available to buy online now along with all the accessories you need to become a pro wood fired oven chef!
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Chromatherapy has been around for centuries – stained glass windows were invented for churches as they were believed to heal the sick! Harness this age-old therapy in your Hot Tub to upgrade your wellness experience.
How Does Chromatherapy Work?
Colours radiate light energy through vibrations, with different colours having different vibrations. Chromatherapy works on the belief that these vibrations can influence our emotions, moods and overall well-being.
Chromatherapy is getting more popular for many bathing activities, with adjustable LED lights being added to bathtubs, shower heads and of course, Hot Tubs!
What Do the Different Colours Mean?
Each colour vibrates a different way and has a different effect on our disposition. Learn when you should use each colour below:
Stimulates, rejuvenates, and excites. Best used in the morning when you’re getting ready for a big event!
Associated with growth and balance. Calms the mind so you can have a little me-time to regroup and set goals.
Offers balance and relief from discomfort caused by inflammation.
Promotes a sense of tranquillity, reduces anxiety and is great for winding down in the evening before bed.
A calming colour that reduces stress.
Similar to red, orange is a warm and optimistic colour. It increases energy and rejuvenates the body.
Refreshing, clean colour that has a cleansing effect, leaving you feeling fresh and new. Brings purity and peace, as well as bringing great relief for headaches.
Coast Spas Chromazone Technology
Coast Spas have developed Chromazone Technology for their Hot Tubs, which gives the same light benefits alongside the many advantages to regular hydrotherapy massage.
Hot Tubs have been proven to have phenomenal health and wellness benefits and Chromatherapy helps to take this to the next level. Customise your session to your desired mood and leave your Hot Tub feeling refreshed and ready to take on your day, or get a great nights sleep!
We all know we should be exercising a few times a week, but truthfully, how many of us can say we consistently make time for it? With a Swim Spa, you can easily fit a workout in around your schedule, meaning you can get back to your other commitments faster!
Reason #1: Swim Spas Take up Less Time
Forget commuting to the gym, finding a parking spot, and fighting for a locker; just walk out to your garden, switch on the jets and get to working out. There’s no waiting for a swimming lane to become free either; there’s one lane and it’s always reserved for you. By taking up less time, you’re more likely to stick to your fitness goals and maintain your health and wellness!
Reason #2: You’re in control
Ever turned up to the fitness centre to find the pool is closed for maintenance, or the group swimming times have unexpectedly changed? Have you ever gone on to find another fitness centre for your workout or did you just turn round and go back home?
Swim Spas will still require maintenance from time to time, but you’re in control of when that is. Plan for maintenance to occur on a rest day, so you never miss a workout.
Reason #3: Everything You Need is in One Place
It is recommended that adults undertake moderate intensity aerobic exercise weekly, but that you should also be strength training alongside that. Swim Spas allow you to do both!
Get your aerobic exercise in with a swimming session, and then use the resistance of the water to build you strength with compatible equipment such as row bars, resistance bands or even dumbbells.
Once you’ve done with your workout, you can cool down in the dedicated hydrotherapy section of your swim spa. These are also great for your recovery days, as the hydrotherapy massage jets sooth repairing muscles and give you a great endorphin boost.
Reason #4: They’re accessible to anyone
Forget needing a 2-acre estate to fit a swim spa in, there are a lot of compact swim spa models to choose from that you can fit into most gardens!
If you have an unforgiving schedule but still want to make time for your health and well-being, Swim Spas are the perfect investment. We have a range of 15 different Swim Spa models starting from £13,795 in varying sizes so you can be sure we have the perfect model for you. Check out the full range online or Download your Free Brochure!
Hot Tub WAS NOW More Information Coast Spas Manhattan N/A £6,000 Sold as seen (pre-owned) Coast Spas Elite Omega 56 £11,820 £8,495 Ex-display Coast Spas Luxury Mirage 82 £23,300 £15,995 Ex-display Award Suite 2500L £8,610 £5,890 NEW - As featured on ITV This Morning Award Suite 2500S £8,610 £5,890 NEW - As featured on ITV This Morning Coast Spas Journey Curve N/A £6,000 Sold as seen (pre-owned) Coast Spas Elite Apex 56 £14,490 £12,495 Sold as seen (display) Award Evolution SC8 £11,890 £7,495 One left in stock Coast Spas Elite Cascade 47 £16,170 £14,495 Limited availability (ex-display)
We also have ex-display deals available on Saunas and Gazebos!
While I’m sitting in standstill traffic in rush hour on a Monday morning, usually the only thing I can think of is how great it would be to work from home. When your commute will be from your house to the garden, the longest delay you’ll experience is waiting for the kettle to boil for your morning coffee! Sounds like a dream doesn’t it? We’ve put together the key benefits for working from home and how we can help bring that dream to life!
Benefit #1: Shorter Commute Times
In the UK, the average commute time is just shy of an hour – that’s two hours per day, just spent stuck travelling to work. By working from home, you can cut your commute time right down, leaving you more time working on tasks that will bring in money, or spend more time with your family.
Benefit #2: Cut Costs
While investing in an office cabin is a cost to consider, it will more than pay for itself in saved costs. By commuting less, you will spend less in car fuel and costly maintenance repairs – or if you use public transport, you’ll save on ticket costs!
By not having to rent an office space, you can save on costly overheads of running a business by working out of your Log Cabin office.
Benefit #3: Reduce Home Costs
If you’re running a business primarily from your home, you can deduct a percentage of your home expenses against your business income, reducing the costs of running your home!
Benefit #4: Achieve Work/Life Balance
While it may seem like nothing more than a pipe dream for many people, working from home gives you all the power.
Get your tasks done for the day and then go attend the Sports Day or Doctors appointment without feeling guilty or upsetting your boss!
Benefit #5: Make It Your Own
By keeping your office space separate to your home, you can create a personal space that you feel comfortable and relaxed enough to be productive.
Cabins come in all shapes and sizes, so you can tailor your office to suit you. Choose the number of windows, doors, roof lights – pretty much any feature you can think of is customisable!
We have a huge range of Valkea cabins available that are perfect as home offices! Check out the full range available online or get in touch with us to discuss your garden, landscaping and cabin requirements with our expert team.
Have you ever thought about buying a log cabin, shed, or wooden garden outbuilding for your home? They can be a great addition to provide extra space or make more use of your garden! Read on for how to choose the right cabin for you.
Let’s start with one of the most burning questions – do log cabins increase the value of your home?
If you’re going to create more living space outdoors and do this with thought and style that complements your home – absolutely!
Where should I put it?
There’s a lot to think about within this question alone, so we’ve broken it down below:
- You’ll need to get around the outside to clean and treat the sides.
- There’s no point paying for windows if there is no view or you can’t open them.
- It would be thoughtful not to place the cabin too close to your neighbour’s property so that rain water pours off the roof onto their patio and into their garden. No one wants to become an episode of Nightmare Neighbours.
- Try to place the cabin in a position that doesn’t block any natural light into yours or your neighbour’s home
- Situate your cabin to better use your garden. If you have enough space, place it in an area that you don’t use as much, rather than taking up space where you play with the kids, tend to a vegetable patch or sit and look out at the views. Think of a cabin as an extension of your living space!
PHOTO COPYRIGHT MIKE BIRDY
Do you need planning permission?
Generally, no – but there are exceptions! It is always best to check with your local council. As long as your cabin:
- Is no higher than 2.5 metres.
- Is at least 1 metre away from your boundary.
- Doesn’t take up over 30% of your garden.
- Is not placed in a conservation area.
Pro Tip: You can build a cabin up to 4 metres high, if it is 2 metres away from your boundary line!
Should you pressure treat your log cabin?
Pressure treatment comes at a price, but cabins which come pre-treated are better than those that are not. So, if your budget allows, go ahead and buy a pre-treated cabin. If the floor has a damp-proof membrane between the joists and the floorboards and the floorboards are stained, then the wood will generally last longer, getting more value from your cabin purchase.
It is worth considering that eventually the cabin will fade, weather and discolour over time. The only way to retain the cabin’s natural beauty and longevity, regardless of any pre-treatment, is to coat and treat the wood. There are so many wood stains and paints in gorgeous colours – ranging from a natural wood finish to a bright, shocking pink! Any of these applied correctly are more effective than any other type of treatment.
Are they suitable for use all year-round?
(should you insulate them?) Chosen and built purposefully, any log cabin can be used all year round. Naturally, if you want to use your log cabin as a comfortable area in the darkest depths of a UK Winter, it’s probably a good idea to get the cabin insulated.
Insulating a cabin costs approximately around 15% of the actual cabin purchase price. If there is insulation material fixed to the underside of the roof boards and then disguised by ceiling panelling, there are 2 major benefits:
- It keeps the cabin warmer in the winter (the cold cannot penetrate the cabin so easily and any internal heating can’t escape).
- It keeps the cabin significantly cooler in the summer by restricting the heat from the sun penetrating through the roof.
In short, if you want to use your cabin all year round, it’s a good idea to consider insulation to keep the space as comfortable as possible, regardless of the weather.
What will the cabin be used for?
This consideration is very important, but as you’re thinking about buying a log cabin, you probably already have an idea of what you want to use it for! But that isn’t the end of it…
Are you buying a cabin for a children’s playhouse? That’s awesome, some of my happiest childhood memories were from playing in my playhouse. What happens when they grow up and no longer use it? To avoid the playhouse being neglected (or in our case, becoming a second house for our cat – seriously, he had a bed in there and everything), have you considered buying a larger cabin that can be repurposed once the kids no longer use it?
Pro Tip: Log Cabins are so versatile, they literally are a low-cost extension on your home! We’ve included some ideas below for what you can use a log cabin for:
- A home office
- A covered garden seating area
- A party bar area
- A changing room for your sauna or hot tub
- A private covered retreat for your sauna or hot tub
- A gymnasium
- A hobby and craft room
- A children’s play area
- Simply storage
- A garage
- A Pinterest-worthy garden design project
- Just because you can – if you have the space, do you really need to justify it?!
We’ve scratched the surface of what to consider when investing in a log cabin, but it should definitely be enough to make a great start on your journey to a perfect log cabin for your home. Got any questions? We would be surprised if you didn’t! Get in touch with us at Award Leisure for all the information you could possibly want, and get your Free copies of our Log Cabin Brochures and Buyers Guides!
Recent research from scientists at the University of Texas at Austin has found that soaking in hot water 90 minutes before going to bed helps you get a better night’s sleep. So, what’s the science behind this?
By soaking in a Hot Tub 90 minutes before bed, you perfectly align what’s called your Circadian rhythm. This means that your body will be cooling down at exactly the time that you will be getting into bed, helping you to relax and fall into a deeper sleep. According to the researchers, “The temperature cycle leads the sleep cycle and is an essential factor in achieving rapid sleep onset and high efficiency sleep.”
How important is Good-Quality Sleep?
I’m sure that everyone clutching a cup of coffee at 9am every morning will already know how important a good night’s sleep is, but it’s also so much more than that!
Improve Attention & concentration
Getting enough high-quality sleep will keep your mind focused and sharp – being vitally important for big decisions, driving, or operating heavy machinery.
You need sleep to rest and rebuild your mind as well as your body. While you sleep, your brain will organise and process all the information you have taken on over the day, converting them into long-term memories.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Before you wake up, your body will increase your blood pressure to prepare you. If you’re kept awake too often, your body cannot compensate for this rise in blood pressure, so it may remain higher than usual – increasing your risk for stroke and coronary heart disease.
How do Hot Tubs improve sleep?
We all know that Hot Tubs are literally tubs of hot water, being perfectly equipped to align your circadian rhythm for better sleep. That’s not the only way Hot Tubs can help you get a better kip!
With strategically placed water jets, our Hot Tubs are designed with the ultimate massage in mind. By receiving regular hydrotherapy massage, you relieve muscular tension to keep you comfortable while you sleep.
Having been used for centuries, aromatherapy has many reported physical & mental health benefits. Lavender has long been known for calming your mind and relieving stress, as well as Chamomile. By clearing your mind before you go to bed, you will drift off into a better night’s sleep.
Relax in a lounger
Before you drift off to dreamland, spend your evening soak in a Hot Tub lounger for maximum relaxation!
To find the right lounger for you, make sure you wet test your preferred model. Loungers come in all shapes and sizes so it’s important to find the right fit for your body type, so you don’t float out of the seat.
Sleep is vital to proper mental and physical function – ensure you get the best possible night’s sleep with a regular evening Hot Tub soak 90 minutes before bed!