With the weather warming up and life gradually returning to normal after the coronavirus pandemic, Americans are anxious to host backyard barbeques and dinner parties once again. However, dining al fresco is not something to throw together at the last minute. Homeowners should be prepared to spend considerable time planning to get the details exactly right.
Al Fresco Dining Location and Layout
Where people choose to serve their guests matters. Preferably, the outdoor dining area should be as close to the home as possible. The benefit of opting for this location is that guests can easily access the restroom or go inside to get more food, beverages, or snacks if party hosts decide not to put everything outside.
Privacy is another concern, especially for homeowners whose neighbors tend to peek at what they are doing. Those who do not have a fenced yard may wish to consider renting a temporary privacy wall to place around the serving area.
Homeowners who are purchasing outdoor furniture for the first time will want to take careful measurements to ensure the pieces they love will fit. After determining the size of the furniture, placing masking tape on the ground where the furniture will go helps to create a visual layout of the space.
Outdoor Furniture Style
Sitting at a picnic table might be fun at a park, but dinner guests probably won’t feel the same way. Hosts should take care to make sure each piece of furniture is comfortable, provides guests with plenty of space to go in and out, and is aesthetically pleasing.
Outdoor furniture should also match whenever possible. To achieve a matching look, choose a dominant color for the largest piece, then build around it. Additionally, al fresco dining tends to be more casual and usually includes simple linens and décor.
Choose a Table Setting and Decorations
A bouquet of freshly-picked flowers makes an ideal table setting assuming none of the guests have allergies. If allergies are an issue, small candles are another popular idea for a simple centerpiece.
For backyard events that extend into the evening hours, hosts can place several lanterns around the eating area to provide ample lighting as people leave and come back to the table. After spreading a simple linen across the table, hosts should set up the centerpiece and place the dishes and silverware. Wine glasses add a fun touch, even if guests only use them to drink water.
What to Serve for Al Fresco Dining
Serving a meal with seasonal ingredients is an ideal way to celebrate the moment with family and friends. Simple food that is light and airy is typically a good choice for al fresco dining in the backyard. Taco salad, a meat and cheese platter, or a homemade pizza are just three ideas. Assuming the event is for adults only, hosts can choose a cocktail or wine they know their guests will love. Alternative beverages should always be available for those who do not drink alcohol.
In 2020, most people were living in a largest isolated form of survival mode. This year brings the opportunity to make up for lost time. Sunshine, spending time with loved ones, and great food can make anyone’s day.