Despite the fact that the conditions of the weather have been rather against it of late years, there has been a growing fondness shown for out-of-door meals. Breakfast, for instance, with the sun shining, and the dew still on the grass is delicious if the fresh morning scents and the soft air are not shut out by walls and windows, so that a breakfast-house has come to be a feature of some domiciles.
It can either be an integral part of the structure, as in the case of a loggia, or it can be built out in the form of a verandah. It can be also one of the newest forms of summer-house, made on a revolving base, so that it can be turned to avoid or catch the sun's rays.
To consider, first of all, the loggia, or, as it is frequently called, the " stoup," a Taal, or Boer word, for verandah. This is a feature of almost every house in South Africa, with its corrugated iron roof and brick or earthen floor. Here every casual visitor is invited to take a cup of coffee, no matter what the time of day may be.
Strictly speaking, it is supposed that the difference between a "loggia" and a "verandah" is that the former is built against a blank wall, and the latter in front of some of the windows of the house. A loggia is much better in this country than a verandah, as we cannot afford to exclude much sun or light from our rooms.
Some architects never build a house, either in the country or the suburbs, without a loggia, which is certainly a great attraction, as there are so many days when it is impossible to take meals out in the garden on account of draughts, whereas when sheltered from them it is pleasant to do so. Another consideration is that the feet are protected from the damp by a brick flooring. Indeed, however small the loggia may be, it will serve as an extra room during the summer, when the need of change is so often felt.
There are several points worth remembering by those who are fortunate enough to be doing their own house-building, the first being that the height of a loggia roof should not exceed six or seven feet, so as to allow the sun's rays to pass underneath. If it is too deep, it will be sunless and cold.
The paving in front may be carried as far as desired, so that on a dry day a breakfast party may be seated partly under shelter and partly in the open. Should the shelter be too narrow, there will not be sufficient covering to shade from the sun at certain times of day.
John p. White, The Pyghileworks
The best position for a loggia is against the kitchen wall, in which a small serving hatch can be fixed, which saves the servants a considerable amount of work at mealtimes. It is best that a hatch should never open directly on to a room from the kitchen, as the odour of cooking and the noise of crockery are apt to become troublesome; but it will be found that this is not so noticeable when sitting practically out of doors.
At one side there should be a cupboard in which the chairs that are in use can be stored; and where also a rug to lay on the floor can be kept. The paving is generally of red tiles or bricks, and requires a covering to make it sufficiently warm for the feet.
Those who prefer it may have a breakfast-house built on the lines of a verandah. A greenhouse can sometimes be adapted as such, the glass roof remaining, and the sides left open, with a rail a few feet in height put round. The price of this will, of course, vary according to the size and the amount of work put into it.
Some very charming and picturesque breakfast-houses have been built from time to time from old ship timber, and there is a firm that makes a speciality of these. One with a refectory table in it, also made from ship's teak-wood, is a delightful spot in which to take the first meal of the day. It would, however, be somewhat costly for those with small incomes, so that they will perhaps feel compelled to fall back on the newer version of the old summer-house.
Of late there has been a great improvement in these ideas. For instance, the portable summer-house, with bolts and screws, which can be taken to pieces and put together again, makes an easilv moved fixture.
Garden shelters made on these lines can be bought in small sizes, measuring 5 feet 3 inches across the inside of the front, for £3 2s. 6d. They can be considerably enlarged by having an awning of Willesden cloth attached to the front and supported on a couple of stanchions. A revolving house of the same type is more expensive, one measuring six feet across costing about ten guineas.
Very delightful basket-work shelters can also be bought, covered with waterproofed tick, and fitted with a front awning. These make very inexpensive and comfortable breakfast-rooms. They are fitted with a seat on either side, which forms part of the structure, and have a convenient newspaper-rack woven at the back.
Another invention that is perhaps worth mentioning, and which is quite a novelty, is a portable garden-house built in Japanese style. Its appearance is most picturesque in the garden, if placed against a background of trees, and it can easily and quickly be moved from one place to another.
It has an extended roof of English sailcloth, and allows for free ventilation underneath. The supports are of pitch pine, and Japanese bamboo blinds, which draw up and down, hang round the sides and back of the house. They keep out most of the sun and exclude draughts, while they admit air freely; but if it is desired to shut out the sun entirely, canvas curtains can be supplied for the sides only. Some people prefer to hang an Oriental curtain round the inside, which gives a very comfortable appearance.
A revolving summer-house, by means or which either sunshine 01 shade can be secured all day
Messrs. Harrods, Ltd.
The floor is a platform of wood, made in three sections on cross pieces, to keep out the damp. This division is in order that the whole house may be stored away in the smallest possible room. When pulled down, it will occupy a space measur-ing about two feet square, and the length according to the size of the house. It can be taken to pieces in less than ten minutes, and can be put up in about twenty minutes.
It is not, however, necessary to place it within doors during the winter months. The writer knows of a similar house
A portable breakfast-house in Japanese style, easily moved from place to place. The extended roof is of sailcloth, the supports of pitch pine, and the blinds at the sides and back of Japanese bamboo. The floor is a wooden platform, in sections and on cross pieces to keep out damp that has been left out in the open all the year round for four years, with excellent results. Indeed, the colour of the pitch pine supports has improved by exposure.
The prices of these houses vary according to the size; the smallest size, measuring six feet square, costs about £5 10s. Other sizes can be bought, the largest, measuring 12 feet by 9 feet, costing £12 1Os.
Cane furniture is used as a rule in breakfast-houses of any kind, as well as the ordinary garden furniture. The man-o'-war teak - wood tables and chairs are also delightful for the purpose, especially a table with a set of four chairs that fit underneath it when not in use, the price of which is ten guineas complete.
Such a table would also be found charming for meals taken al fresco within the friendly shade of the trees, and this is the breakfast-house that some people prefer to anything that can be built at any cost.