5 tips for alfresco success
Balmy summer evenings are the perfect time to take your dining outdoors, but there are a few things you need to consider. Embody the relaxed summer vibes and keep things simple and fuss-free – that way you won’t be stranded in the kitchen or spend the night ferrying things outdoors while your guests mingle. Whether your preparing for a casual family affair or a serious soiree, these five tips let you just kick back and enjoy.
Introduce some casual comfort
Keeping it casual outdoors doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable. Bring out washable cushions to encourage guests to linger longer at the table, and floor cushions to create areas for more intimate post-dinner chats.
While it might have been a hot day when the party started, as the sun goes down things will cool off. Pop some blankets on the backs of chairs for guests to wrap themselves in as the temperature drops.
Bring the indoors out
If you’re low on outdoor furniture, indoor seating and side tables make a great addition to backyard dining. Recruiting an indoor rug will define and transform your outdoor area, making it look ‘finished’. Just remember to put everything back inside once the party is over.
Take bugs off the guest list
Delicious food and tempting drinks will attract more than just your guests. Keep nosy insects at bay with pretty paper umbrellas to cover your drinks and glass bowls, domes or mesh colanders to protect larger dishes. As the sun sets, there are other party crashers to worry about too – mosquitoes. A good outdoor mosquito trap will let you and your guests enjoy the evening minus those pesky biters or a sticky repellent.
Keep the menu simple
Firing up the BBQ epitomises relaxed outdoor dining. It allows the cook to mingle rather than being stuck in the kitchen and keeps the menu simple. Ask your guests to bring their favourite dish for the BBQ, add some fresh, seasonal salads and a dessert and you have your low-key menu sorted. Just include refreshing drinks!
Put some sparkle in your backyard gathering with string lighting draped from trees and fences. This will keep the party going beyond dusk and add to the atmosphere. A good playlist and outdoor speakers are also a must – just make sure you get the volume level right so it’s not overpowering.
Keep it simple, casual and comfortable
Outdoor dining lends itself to a casual vibe with the right seating, menu and ambience. Removing any factors that can put a damper on your evening, like unwanted bugs or your guests feeling the cold, will make your next soiree a success minus the stress.