Wednesday, June 8, 2011

alfresco dining

Simply stated . . . Alfresco dining means eating outside.

This time of year, there are plenty of reasons to throw open your doors and gather family and friends for an outdoor party. Outdoor entertaining is, by definition, a casual affair, so don’t stand on ceremony when it comes to planning your next summer party. It’s less about the formality of matching plates and table linens and more about enjoying a great backyard barbecue with family and friends. 

There are so many beautiful ways 
to entertain outdoors.  

Create a summer home for dishes. Station an armoire on a covered patio or clear a few shelves in the garage to hold items devoted to alfresco dining. Affordable, unbreakable, brightly hued tableware, mix-and-match acrylic glassware and sturdy flea market finds are all good ideas to have on hand for a planned or impromptu gathering. 

Multiple beverage stations help ensure that guests can get a refill without waiting. Galvanized tubs, colorful enamel buckets  and planters work perfectly. With ribbon, tether an opener to a handle of each bin; drape a dish towel nearby to take care of condensation. 

If  it’s an especially warm day, keep plenty of fruit or citrus-infused water on hand for your guests. A drink dispenser will allow them to refill their glasses at the table with ease.

Accommodating a large group for a sit-down meal outside can be accomplished easily and elegantly by topping a few folding tables with a rustic flat-panel door or a single piece of plywood covered with cloth. 

Setting a stunning table can be surprisingly simple with a little creativity. Don’t be afraid to play with patterns, add bursts of bright color, and mix the old with the new. 

Create centerpieces using foliage from the yard. Flowering or fruiting branches look elegant atop a table, as do fern fronds and leaves arranged in jars.



Happy Summer Entertaining!

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