How to Make the Most of Al Fresco Dining at Home – At this time of the year, there’s nothing better than enjoying dining outside. Whether you’re entertaining guests or just dining solo, eating outdoors is a great way to get out and enjoy nature while also feeling like you’re on holiday.
Eating outside can elevate the entire dining experience, but only if you do it right. Below, gardening and landscaping expert Fiona Jenkins from MyJobQuote.co.uk provides her tips on how to make the most of al fresco dining at home.
Everything Begins with Comfort
When it comes to enjoying your dining experience, there is nothing more important than feeling comfortable. Homeowners will always spend money on comfortable and stylish dining chairs – outdoor chairs are no different.
Avoid choosing hard metal chairs or backless stools. Wooden dining chairs with removable cushions are a great option for outdoor dining.
If you are planning on hosting an outdoor dinner party, firstly, you need to ensure you have enough chairs to go around. Secondly, you need to keep in mind that the temperature may drop as it gets later. It’s a good idea to provide some blankets so that your guests can keep warm if they start to feel a bit chilly.
Keep The Pests Away
One of the most frustrating things about dining outside is the potential for flies and wasps to come buzzing around your food. There’s nothing more unappetising than a fly landing right on your freshly made dish.
Whenever you’re not eating or drinking, keep your food and drinks covered. Citronella candles are a great option for burning in the garden as these deter insects, allowing you to have a nice relaxing meal outdoors.
Avoid bright colours when it comes to your dining area décor, as this can attract unwanted pests. Citrus scents also help to deter insects, so consider placing some citrus-scented candles around your dining table. Alternatively, you could place some orange, lemon, or lime peels around the dining space to deter insects from entering the space where you’re going to be eating.
Be Prepared for The Typical British Weather
We all know what the British weather is like. Even during the hottest months of the year, we can still get sudden showers and bursts of wind. If you have enough space, consider adding a large parasol or gazebo in your garden that will protect your dining table from rain.
To protect the table from wind, make sure you weigh your napkins down with cutlery or invest in some strong napkin rings. Make sure any pieces of paper, such as menus or place cards, are weighed down to prevent them from blowing away.
Have Fun Styling Your Table
When it comes to al fresco dining, you want to go for a casual look. Since your table is outdoors, you could try something a bit different. Think of your outdoor dining experience as an elevated picnic.
A gorgeous tablecloth will work wonders for improving the overall look of your outdoor dining table. Style your table with some rattan placemats, small live plants in pots, and display baskets to add to the overall look.
If you happen to grow herbs in your garden, consider displaying your live herbs on the table. You and your guests can use these are garnishes or for added flavour in the dishes you serve.
Choose An Easy Menu
If you’re planning on eating outdoors, you don’t want to be running in and out of the kitchen every few minutes checking on your dish. Choose a simple menu that you can prepare in advance or something that doesn’t require a lot of preparation.
Salads are ideal for outdoor dining as they are light, fresh, and easy to prepare. Consider serving your salad in a sharing dish that your guests can help themselves to. Serve your salad with something simple that can be left on a timer, such as roast chicken.
Since you’re outdoors anyway, you could fire up your barbecue to cook some meats and other barbecue favourites to serve up alongside your salad dishes.