Al Fresco Dining Inspiration

Al Fresco Dining Inspiration

We love this time of year, when the extra light at the beginning and end of the day gives us the chance to eat and entertain outside, whether or not you have any outdoor space of your own. For those of us with access to a garden, start thinking about it as an outdoor room, and get kitting it out. Even if the weather isn’t looking great today, if you have everything ready you can seize the moment as soon as the clouds clear.

Dress the table

Create a permanent set up in a sheltered corner of the garden with a table and benches. Peg down a table cloth and leave it out in all weathers if you are feeling extravagant- you will be surprised how quickly it will dry, and a patterned cloth is just so inviting. Have a stack of cushions ready and waiting to turn hard benches into something kinder on the bottom, and have throws at the ready to warm shoulders.

Linen Tablecloths, Placemats & Napkins

A lovely feast of good things. Add our table cloths and linen to perk up & protect your table. Shop Linen Tablecloths, Placemats & Napkins

Mix-and-Match Cushions & Wool Throws

Cushions and throws you can mix and match, sparking up a conversation with guests. Shop Mix-and-Match Cushions & Wool Throws

Paper & Linen Napkins

Our delightful napkins add that finishing touch to bring joy to any table. Shop Paper & Linen Napkins

Think about lighting: even though evenings are long and light, eventually the day will fade into night and you will not be able to see your plate, let alone your guests. Do the fairy lights have fresh batteries? Are all the bulbs working on the festoons? Make sure you have a good supply of candles and storm lanterns. And matches.

Serving Up 

If you are entertaining, take inspiration from the garden and the vegetable patch when you set the table, mixing and matching the fresh bold colours and shapes of seasonal produce. There is nothing formal about eating outside: think about producing big sharing plates of food- generous salads, bowls of new potatoes topped with parsley and chives, platters of cured meat and fish. Serve artichokes, fresh from the garden, on a generous, brightly patterned platter, or just-picked tomatoes, stems attached, from (oh, the joy!) a tomato-patterned bowl.

Using our wooden chopping boards as a serving dish is an easy way to curate a laid-back carefree outdoor dining experience. Fresh veg, slices of continental cheeses, olives and a sharp chutney will create a cheerful charcuterie that will have everyone talking - throw in some Black Toast pieces and nobody will be lost for words!

Key to eating and entertaining outside is the ease with which you can set up, and clear up your table, so the last (and probably most important) thing we would suggest you have in your arsenal is a very strong and sturdy tray, robust enough to carry out a stack of plates and a couple of bottles of Prosecco when the party starts, and steady enough to carry the empties back in when the party is over.