Embrace the summer with outdoor dining

Gloriously sunny days and balmy summer nights make for the perfect conditions for a summer dinner party. To have a great al fresco dining experience, all you really need is great food, great friends and a wonderful flow of conversation! But to make it even more enjoyable, here are a few simple tips to make every dinner party a memorable one.

 

Keeping it casual for summer lunches

out door table

 

(Credit: Delicious Magazine)

 Summer lunches don’t have to be a complicated affair. Just mix up a vibrant, leafy salad, toss pasta with fresh herbs, or grill fresh fish or veggies for a wonderful, succulent flavour, or create a fun picnic vibe by preparing burgers or paninis, served up wrapped in greaseproof paper and twine. Complement the laidback dining experience with a comfy and casual setting – a simple centrepiece of vintage milk bottles filled with a bright posy of flowers gives a charming, earthy feel to the dining table, or a fragrant herb pot. Ditch plastic table covers for a large piece of hessian cloth instead – to instantly create an organic, natural vibe.

Set the mood for a summer romance

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(Credit: Jo’s Home Design)

Whether you’re enjoying a full blown dinner or just sharing a bottle of wine, there can be few things more romantic than dining beneath the stars on a mild summer night, so if you’ve got a special date planned, make the extra effort to make it even more memorable! Set the tone with the magical glow of candlelight – fill a glass bowl with decadent roses, and frame the table and surrounding area with lanterns and candles. Natural wax scented candles are perfect for gently perfuming the area with a light fragrance – now all you need is the playlist to match the mood!

Party beneath the sun

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(Credit: English Traditions)

Long summer holidays are the ideal time for getting friends and family together to celebrate a special occasion – whether it’s a birthday, engagement, exam results – or just because! If you’ve got a large garden area, make the most of it by creating a communal dining space to bring everyone together, by joining up smaller tables into a long bench or square. If you’re short on space, maximise your room by going buffet-style, and focus on the décor instead. Keep it bright to enhance the celebratory mood – fill up stylish florist’s buckets with bouquets of colourful flowers and string up some pretty DIY bunting with felt pom-poms or mismatched fabric patches. And if the party goes on to the evening, keep the fun going with lots of vintage style lanterns to light up the night.