Outdoor or al fresco dining has become more popular over the recent years as people have found a way to remove the stuffiness and formality of their dining rituals and replace them with casual fun. One of the pleasures of al fresco dining is that it’s a chance to entertain friends with low maintenance dinnerware and decorative ‘upscale’ picnic-ware and share an outdoor experience that is enjoyed by all.
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Here are a few tips to prepare your home for al fresco dining whether the occasion is last minute or planned weeks ahead:
Deck out your dining area with guest-friendly items
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When preparing to entertain friends and family set out outdoor dining accessories available for all. This could be having coolers and metal washtubs filled with ice-cold drinks, or stocking an adjacent porch area with plenty of unbreakable dishes, acrylic drinking glasses and paper picnic products. Having these items to hand will keep you from stressing out during entertaining and it will help your guests feel like they are welcomed and ‘at home’. Opt for mismatched chairs, re-purposed tables and versatile outdoor display furniture to serve food and beverages from.
Help keep everyone comfortable and happy
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Dining outdoors can often have its challenges, ranging from excessive heat to dealing with pesky insects who want to join the meal. Plan ahead by ensuring your dining area is away from standing water. Consider using fans, water misters, and trickling fountains in areas where water is still. This will help ward off insects as well as keep your guests feeling cool and relaxed.
When using mismatched chairs, consider bringing rustic touches to your seating area with decorative pillows for comfortable seating, as well as no-fuss tablecloths made from craft paper or large swatches of colorful fabrics. Whatever your decorative style, keep your guests feeling comfortable and happy with containers of natural foliage, fruit-filled centerpieces and baskets full of fresh breads and snacks.
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Your al fresco entertaining experience can be a memorable time for all. If you have a patio or backyard area consider bringing music, and perhaps lanterns for dusk or evening dinners. Setting the stage for al fresco dining is all about enjoying nature, friends and family, amidst the ambiance of the outdoors during a balmy summer. Before long, you may even start making al fresco dining your norm, as opposed to only on special occasions!
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