**Post contains gifted items**
One of the things I love most about summer has to be outdoor dining, it was actually one of the requirements when we moved that our forever house would have plenty of space to entertain outside, whether it was for a fancy dinner, a fun barbecue or just the two of us eating outside enjoying the sunshine, I just love it when the weather is nice enough to eat alfresco.
I think planning your space is the key to outdoor dining, it has to be somewhere big enough for your table, with room to breathe, somewhere that can allow a parasol, no one wants heat stroke, as well as somewhere that’s kind of sheltered, but also a space that fits the occasion, which is probably why I love having a table that can be easily moved around the garden dependant on what kind of outdoor dining we are going for. I have lots of cute spots, on the patio, middle of the lawn, as well as under our favourite tree where you can see the most amazing sunsets.
My Top Tips for Outdoor Dining
Think about seating: Not only do you have enough space and chairs, but are you and your guests as comfortable as possible. For me, that means lots of cushions and blankets, as well as seat pads, which are essential especially with metal chairs.
Add some shade: While sunshine is a plus, keeping out of direct sunlight while eating is also a good idea, and I’m obsessed with this banana parasol I was gifted from VonHaus for adding a little shade to my outdoor dining spot. Not only can you adjust the height and positioning angle of the cantilever parasol design, it also offers UV30+ protection. Just don’t forget to buy banana parasol bases, two sets are required to weight the parasol evenly, to secure your umbrella.
Staying warm: So you don’t have to rush indoors when the sun sets, invest in a fire pit or chimenea, we actually have both, our fire pit doubles as a table, which is handy, and if there is more than 4 of us it definitely offers more warmth than the chimenea. Having a fire pit can also mean you can make your own smores, which always adds fun to any outdoor dining experience.
Enhance your outdoor dining space: For me, I love colour, from the table setting to the cushions, and even the flowers planted in the pots around the table. Not only do pretty flowers distract from the crazy paving that we have for a patio, which is so far down on the priority list for the house renovations I just have to live with, but it also makes for a great view, brings butterflies and adds a wonderful fragrance to the space. I would also suggest a water feature and adding lighting, which will really add to the ambience during the day and after the sun has set.
Beat the bugs: One of the downsides to outdoor dining has to be bugs buzzing or crawling around while you eat, but there is an easy fix burn essential oils such as lemon, orange, clove, peppermint or mint in an oil burner, or make a citronella candle the centrepiece to your table.
Setting the table: Here’s where you can have a little fun, I do love buying cute table cloths and crockery sets, and while I do have outdoor dining bamboo plates, which are great when you are having a lot of people over, I do prefer proper crockery and I have numerous sets that we generally just use outdoors, so I don’t get upset if one accidental gets broken. Saying that I do recommend plastic glasses, just opt for something a little colourful.
When it comes to dinnerware and glassware, where you’re not after full sets, just a couple of plates, bowls and a few glasses, I love Dunelm, TK Maxx and The Range as they have great affordable and colourful designs that really work well outdoors.
The biggest tip I can give you though is to be to just have fun, why not have an impromptu outdoor dinner party this weekend, there is something so perfect about a weekend just relaxing in the garden.