How To Create The Perfect Al Fresco Dining Experience

Summer means glorious outdoor dining, but you don’t need a bunch of fancy amenities. Cass Telford has put together the best guide to creating a perfect Al Fresco Dining experience!

(Photo by Dave Lastovskiy on Unsplash)


Glorious sunny weather, good food, and great company — Al Fresco dining seems a given once summer rolls around. In fact, U.S. homeowners are embracing outdoor dining areas — complete with outdoor cookers, fridges, and sinks — as the next big trend, reports the Washington Post. But even if you don’t have the funds for such extra amenities, you can still have a wonderful outdoor dining experience at home. The pleasure in Al Fresco dining lies in its sheer simplicity, after all. All you need is to plan and prepare a delicious homemade menu and get your patio ready for guests. What are you waiting for?


Simple Summer Eats

Outdoor dining, aka Al Fresco dining, should be easy and enjoyable. Avoid spending hours in the kitchen preparing extravagant dishes. Opt for simple meals with minimal ingredients you can quickly put together and throw on the grill. Greek-style kebab or marinated veggies, for example, are a great crowd pleaser. As for side dishes, salads can be prepared earlier and served cold.

This roast beet and rye Panzanella salad is a delicious choice that champions fresh summer produce. Slice and roast your beets until they are caramelized and tender. Once cooled, toss them in a bowl with red onion, balsamic vinegar, and a segmented orange. Cube some rye bread and bake with olive oil until golden brown. Before serving, add bread to the bowl along with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, and fresh parsley. And for dessert? You can’t beat grilled peaches topped with coconut milk ice cream. Sprinkling on cinnamon and nutmeg will enhance the flavor. Are you getting hungry yet?


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Get Your Patio Summer-ready

A warm and welcoming patio is essential for a successful Al Fresco dining experience. Sweep away dirt and debris, hose the patio down, and wipe down dusty garden furniture. Remember to also clean and degrease your grill. After cleaning up, keep in mind that keeping your guests comfortable is a priority. An umbrella above your table will provide shade from the sweltering summer sun. If your chairs aren’t padded, use chair cushions with ties. Drape throws over the backs of the chairs to provide warmth on cooler evenings.

When temperatures drop, keep everyone warm with an outdoor fireplace. Citronella candles are also a must to keep bugs at bay. Don’t forget music! This Bluetooth speaker connects with everyone’s device so your guests can take turns playing DJ.

As for additional decor, keep it simple. Throw a tablecloth over your table, use mismatched china, and pick garden flowers for a centerpiece. Put on a mellow background playlist if you’re in mixed company. Focus on creating a fun and light atmosphere where guests can relax and enjoy themselves. That way you’ll have the recipe for a successful evening!



Additional Alfresco Dining Photo Credit: Hannah Busing on Unsplash

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