Outdoor dining is a wonderful way to socialise come the spring and summer months. With far reaching views and nature all around, or the stars overhead and twinkling lights creating an intimate atmosphere, alfresco dining can really elevate our experience. From a chilled glass of wine as the sun sets, to a Sunday feast in the hazy afternoon sun, creating a stylish and unique outdoor tablescape will take your alfresco dining experience to the next level…
Set the Scene…
The first step to creating a beautiful outdoor dining area is choosing the perfect location for your table. Lots of things come into consideration here, such as the positioning of the sun during the day and evening, the view, amount of shelter, and proximity to your kitchen or outdoor kitchen.
Ideally for daytime dining you want to choose somewhere with a bit of shade. However, if you prefer to have the option of dining in the sunshine, consider some kind of awning, or a pergola for partial shade. If you plan to dine outside in the evenings, consider placing your table somewhere that gives you a great view of the setting sun. Some kind of structure overhead can also create a more intimate setting – you could even dress a pergola with greenery and string bulbs or fairy lights to illuminate your seating area after sundown.
You will need a flat base, and you might want to consider placing your table close to your home or some other structure to offer a sheltered space. Choosing a space close to your home will also allow for easy access to the kitchen, for bringing out tableware and glassware, not to mention food and drinks.
You may also want to maximise the views that you have available. For walled gardens or courtyards, the beautiful brick and stone or your walls or home can offer a beautifully rustic setting, along with plants and lighting, whereas if you have far reaching views, it makes sense to position your table looking over the landscape.
Create a Base…
Now that you have found the perfect location for your outdoor table, along with adding any overhead structures and lighting, it’s time to dress your table. A unique tablecloth is a must, to set the tone for your outdoor tablescape.
Choose designs inspired by nature to set the tone for your scheme. Being inspired by your surroundings is a great way to ensure your table fits seamlessly into your outdoor space, complementing the immediate area instead of working against it. Opt for luxury natural fabrics such as linen to create a rustic yet high-end finish.
Try the Organic Linen Tablecloth Flying Family. Created by the renowned Stamperia Bertozzi, this beautiful tablecloth includes an interlocking stripe pattern created by hand using wooden carved blocks. The same method is used to then add butterflies, dragonflies and ladybirds. The silhouette of the insect is first stamped before shades of yellow, red and lilac are applied in various layers for depth.
This tablecloth creates a fantastic base to be built upon, with a scheme inspired by nature and a subtle colour palette. Try picking out one or two of the shades from within the tablecloth and using these in other elements for your tablescape, to create a cohesive finish.
Layer the Look…
Next it’s time to build on your nature inspired table, adding complementary napkins, dinnerware, glassware and a centrepiece, as well as candles and water jugs.
To perfectly compliment the look, try the Flying Family Organic Linen Napkins. Available in a dragonfly, butterfly and ladybird design, you can choose just one design to place at each table setting, or choose to use all three designs for a more relaxed style.
For glassware, keep the look simple and go for classic cut crystal, or layer on your nature scheme and introduce Murano Glassware in the Lavender Flowers design. Available in a Wine Goblet, Tumbler and Glass Jug, this beautiful collection includes an intricately worked by hand lavender design to one side, and will match the lilac shade within the Flying Family Tablecloth.
For your centrepiece, try a large bouquet of flowers – if possible, choose flowers from your immediate surroundings, to connect your tablescape with your environment even further. More colour can be added to your table with your dinnerware. Try the Handmade Tuscan Dinnerware Set in Yellow, to match with the yellow tones within your tablecloth.
Finally, finish the look with simple white pillar or tapered candles, which can be lit in the evening as the daylight begins to disappear.
A beautiful outdoor table can be a real asset and you will find yourself (and your guests) drawn to this space time and time again.