The Recipe For The Perfect Outdoor Dining Experience
An Alfresco Affair
With summer upon us we are all starting to plan some alfresco dining. Even the smallest court yard garden can host a fantastic garden party, it’s not the size of the space you are using it’s more to do with the ambiance, food, and the people. Consider a having theme for your party and carry this through from the invites, table decorations, table ware to the food.
Planning how to use your outdoor space is where you should start. Ideally you should have a flat area big enough to hold a table and chairs or for a more informal setting use large garden bean bags for people to chill out on. When buying furniture for the garden if you intend to leave it out ensure it is totally weather proof the British weather can be rather punishing. Try and choose an area that is sheltered from both the sun and the wind. Ensuring the space is large enough to entertain a large group of people comfortably (not essential but a nice touch). Ideally the dining space should be near the kitchen or at least have easy access via a path; this will make it easier to bring out the food and drinks. Garden lighting can be anything from string of lantern lights hanging from a patio canopy to solar lights down the path way, all lighting will add ambience when the sun has gone down and they can be left out and used all year round. Adding tea lights or candles onto the table also works well. Burn citronella candles or oil to keep the insects at bay! Remember this is the UK and the nights get a bit chilly, provide your guests with some heat via a patio heater, chiminea or fire pit. Setting the table can be as grand or as simple as you want. You should remember though whatever you bring out will need to be cleared away at the end of the evening. Using a variety of clear bottles you can create an arrangement of flowers as your centre piece, due to the fact the bottles are clear the guests will still be able to socialise and see each other across the table.
The tableware can be a mix and match of different styles everything doesn’t have to coordinate. Consider using specialised outdoor glasses though as broken glass can be a hazard; there are plenty of quality pretty glasses with matching jugs to choose from. Food and drinks will be down to you, but a BBQ is always the most popular choice when it comes to out-door dining. Provide jugs of Pimms and non-alcoholic drinks this will help keep the troops happy and can be easily refilled when necessary. Stack bottles and cans in large buckets full of ice so your guests can help themselves. Create a different playlists of music for the evening; be considerate about the noise levels especially after 10am you may be partying but your neighbours may be trying to get some sleep! Invite your guests!
Here is our recipe for the perfect alfresco experience.
Ingredients: • Planning – Invites & Theme • Garden Lights • Heat • Table Decorations • Outdoor Tableware • Food and Wine • Music • Friends!!