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Outdoor Dining Ideas

Alfresco- ‘outdoor dining’, a word that conjures great memories, sitting on a blanket under the shade of huge oak trees, in a lazy frame of mind, concentrating on the food and the wine-oh the wine, the integral part of any alfresco meal. Breaking a piece of bread, buttering it and laughing as your partner points out the sunset. Sounds magical, doesn’t it? Alas, for a picture as perfect as that you would have to go to the rustic climes of Italy, you could hardly hope to recreate it in Central Park. Nevertheless, outdoor Dining remains a popular part of our
culture, come spring and you have all the pavement restaurants opening shop, advertising new deals and generally attracting large crowds.

If you are lucky enough to have a reasonably sized patio or a small garden, there’s very little you need to organize an alfresco party. The key is simplicity. You don’t need to purchase any new or special furniture. Place two tables out in the backyard and fill them with food and drinks respectively, place chairs around smaller tables if you have any, or just simply scatter chairs around the garden. Make sure there’s soft music playing in the background, pull out those tiny Christmas lights and use them to illuminate your garden. Try not to serve your guests in plastic cups or glasses. It just appears shabby. You don’t have to use your delicate China but use some sturdy glass. Don’t be worried about cleaning up, because invariably people stay back to help with that and also we all have machines for the dishes and laundry.

Outdoor Dining Equipment

If you wish to equip yourself with tools for a perfect alfresco meal, here are a couple of things you may want to look into-:

  • A permanent setup or a portable grill that can be moved around your deck during summer and positioned close to the back door for winter cooking.

  • Garden furniture is not exactly comfortable so you may want to invest in furniture that can be kept outdoors, something sturdy, yet comfortable. Use bright colored cushions to make your furniture more comfortable, cushions also tend to give the lounge effect so your guests would be comfortable enough to ‘tuck in their legs’ if they like.

  • An outdoor heater, for when the weather gets a little cooler but you have an urge to go alfresco.

  • Sturdy yet elegant cutlery, strictly for use in the garden. If you are entertaining a group of say 10-12 people there’s bound to be at least one person who’s going to drop a plate or a glass so make sure you don’t bring out your heirloom china.

    The Key is Simplicity. If you think you can carry it off, dispense with all of the above I say and just spread a blanket on the grass, get together with the girlfriends and relive the memories of the past!

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