a man and women in a outdoor dining

If you want to host a special evening for your friends, why not opt for an al fresco dinner party?

The term al fresco comes from Italy and translates to dining in the fresh air. Al fresco dining is more than just a picnic outside, it typically involves a more luxurious way to dine, with a professional setup involving a table and chairs, set in a beautiful landscape, such as your garden, and offers a more party-like vibe to the experience. It is a great option for those who want to do something different and host a great evening for their friends.

If you are new to al fresco dining and you are not sure where to get started, here are some top tips to help you set up the perfect outdoor dining space for you and your friends. 

#1 Create a dedicated outdoor space 

The first thing an al fresco dining setup needs is a dedicated outdoor space for you to use. This can be anything from the decking in your garden, to a patio or balcony. You will need to make sure you have enough space for your table and chairs and for everyone to comfortably move around the area. The last thing you want is a space that is too cramped. 

#2 Set a theme for the evening

This can be anything from casual or luxury, to boho or Hawaiian. The theme is important, as this will dictate how you decorate the space, what food you choose, and what attire you ask your friends to wear. 

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#3 Create a welcoming setup 

Your al fresco setup should be welcoming and set up with intention. Using your chosen theme, you should layer the appropriate items onto your tables, such as a table runner, table cloth, and placemats. These are a great way to add texture to your table, make it appear more sophisticated, bring your theme to life, and show your friends the effort you put in for the evening you are hosting. 

#4 Choose your food 

The food is going to be the main event, so you must think about what food would be best served to please your friends, and match your theme. Make sure you obtain any dietary requirements from your friends before creating a menu. There are plenty of food options to choose from. You could cook outside on the BBQ, or you could opt for a meal that you know is going to please your friends, for example, this pepper steak recipe. Steak is something that always goes down well, and provides your dining experience with a hint of elegance. 

Make sure you choose beverages that go well with your chosen meals. 

#5 Have a backup place

Wherever you are in the world, the weather can be unpredictable at times, so you must have a backup plan in place. This could be an indoor dining setup, going for a meal out and postponing your hosting duties, or you can ensure you have an outdoor cover and heater ready to go. 

Al fresco dining is a great way to spend time with your friends and create a different experience. 

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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