Make The Most Of Alfresco Dining This Summer

Welcome to the ultimate guide to making the most of alfresco dining this summer!

With the arrival of sunnier days, we are all eagerly embracing the British weather whether that’s a scorching weekend, or a slightly cloudy one – we are embracing them all. Naturally our thoughts turn to making the most of our outdoor spaces during this time.

It's time to start hosting delicious breakfasts on the patio, afternoon BBQ’s soaking up the sun, pizza nights that turn into sunset soirees and alfresco suppers with loved ones. And with just a touch of care and attention, these casual gatherings can be transformed into truly memorable occasions. 

Here are some top tips to make the most of alfresco dining:

1. Don’t let the British weather win!

Alfresco dining is only fun if the weather cooperates. If you’re expecting rain or cold weather, make sure you have a backup plan. This could mean moving the party indoors, setting up umbrellas or providing guests with blankets. 

2. Mix and Match

Alfresco dining encourages an effortless and laid-back approach, so don't be afraid to mix and match your tableware, using all the pieces you love most without worrying if they go together or not. Try to experiment with different patterns, textures, and colours to create a unique and vibrant look that exudes personality and encourages conversation. Reimagine the contents of your cupboard and get creative with it. Bring out your favourite dinner plates, side plates, pasta bowls, serve platters, table linens and glassware (depending on your choice of dining) and have a play around with the positioning on the table.

Typically serve platters , nibble bowls and salad bowls are placed in the middle along with a carafe of water, especially on those sunny days. It’s always a beautiful sight watching your loved one’s chat and laugh around the table reaching over one another, passing around plates of food.

For a colourful dining table you can mix and match the pieces in our exclusive collection created for Sur La Table – the Colour Me Happy range is perfect for summer dining and you can created a look that is unique to you by creating your own bespoke set from across the collection.

3. Cater for all age groups

If you're hosting families and children, it's important to create a safe and fun space for them to play. This could include setting up a play area in the garden, providing them with toys and activities, or even just making sure there's plenty of space for them to run around away from the table.

4. Create a great atmosphere & Set the Scene with Nature

The beauty of alfresco dining lies in its playful and relaxed nature, opening up a plethora of options for creative tablescaping. For table décor, why not try these simple and inexpensive ideas to create a more sustainable centrepiece for your table.

  • Forage for foliage from your garden or nearby fields, gathering wildflowers as you go.
  • Arrange them for display in mismatched glass jars upcycled from old jam jars and other preservatives, or even empty bottles from your favourite spirits (We love the look fresh sprigs in a Hendricks Gin bottle, giving a classy vintage feel).
  • Jam jars can also be used for tea lights or citronella candles to keep bugs away.

The vibrant colours and fragrant aromas of fresh foliage will instantly breathe life into your outdoor space, adding a touch of freshness and charm. Incorporating natural elements into your alfresco tablescaping enhances the organic beauty of eating outdoors, connecting with the surrounding environment.

5. Comfort is Key

In our fast-paced lives filled with constant hustle, it's crucial to find moments to slow down and unwind. We could all benefit from carving out more time to relax and recharge with friends and family. Alfresco dining invites us to savour the present moment, relishing in the company of loved ones and the pleasure of indulging in delicious food. To ensure you and your guests are relaxed, make sure to create a comfy and chilled environment. Whether you are having an alfresco dinner turned garden party or a chilled bite to eat in the sun, you want your guests feel utterly at ease.

Providing some soft cushions to sit on can make all the difference or for those cooler evenings offer up some cosy blankets to keep snug and warm. While it’s still bright and hot out, think about sunshades such as umbrellas and keep that ice bucket in easy reach. You don’t need to go out and buy lots of new furniture, just think about what you already have in the house and bring it outside! 

Alfresco dining is a delightful way to celebrate the beauty of nature while enjoying good food and even better company in a vibrant and open-air setting. With a little creativity and attention to detail, you can transform your outdoor space into a magical haven for unforgettable gatherings. 

Embrace the simple pleasures of the season and unpredictable British weather and let your alfresco dining adventures unfold in style. So, gather your loved ones, set a beautiful table, and indulge in the joys of alfresco dining like never before. Bon appétit!

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