Alfresco dining is a great way to enjoy the outdoors with friends and family. It can be a casual or formal affair, depending on your preferences.
Here are some top tips on how to make the most of alfresco dining:
Cater for All Age Groups
If you're hosting children, it's important to create a safe and fun space for them to play. This could include setting up a play area in the garden, providing them with toys and activities, or even just making sure there's plenty of space for them to run around.
Be Organised with Your Approach to Alfresco Dining
Designate spaces for food and drinks. You don't want to be running back and forth between the kitchen and the dining area, so it's helpful to designate spaces for food and drinks. You could put everything on a buffet table in the kitchen, or set up a bar outside.
Don’t Let the Great British Weather Win
Think about the weather. Alfresco dining is only fun if the weather cooperates. If you're expecting rain or cold weather, make sure you have a backup plan. This could mean moving the party indoors, or providing guests with rain ponchos or blankets.
If you’re lucky enough to have a south-facing garden, consider sitting people in a shaded area or having a more shaded area for the children to sit in. It’s not something I ever really considered before having children but shade is a lifesaver and will help the parents relax a little knowing they don’t need to be thinking about sun stroke and re-applying suncream every hour.
Your Alfresco Dining Menu
Whether you're wanting to go all out or keep it simple, the choice is yours! However we love a simple menu of grilled food and salads when hosting outside. Whether you opt for a refined or relaxed menu, at The Host’s Pantry, we can take that stress away with our BBQ boxes, check them out!
Impress your Guests with a Great Atmosphere
Set the mood. Alfresco dining is all about enjoying the outdoors, so make sure you set the mood. This could mean lighting candles, stringing up fairy lights, or playing some music. We love to keep special bottles, especially magnums, and topping them with candles. We've got a little collection from over the years and we dot them around the table and the garden to create a romantic atmosphere.
Make your Dining Fun
Alfresco dining is a great time to break out the games. Some popular options include charades, pictionary, and giant Jenga.
With a little planning, you can easily host a successful alfresco dining party. Just remember to relax, be as prepared as you can be, set them mood and don't forget the games!
Here are some additional tips for hosting alfresco dining:
- If you have a small garden, you can create a more intimate dining experience by setting up a table under an umbrella or pergola.
- If you're not convinced the weather is going to play ball and you’re cooking outside consider putting up a pergola over or near where you’ll be cooking so at least your cooking plans don’t have to change, even if the weather does!
- Be sure to have plenty of ice on hand for drinks.
- If you're using candles, be sure to place them in a safe location away from children and pets.
- Most importantly, relax and enjoy the party!
Ultimately, alfresco dining is not much different to the inside. There are just a couple more elements to think about, predominantly to make your life as the host easier. Generally speaking, alfresco dining allows a more relaxed approach. The most important thing is that everyone is together, so try to take the pressure off by following our top tips and make sure you remember to pour yourself a drink too!