The term alfresco dining is borrowed from our friends Mediterranean friends on the continent meaning eating out ‘in the cool’ or ‘fresh’ and so whatever the occasion, nothing says summer to us Brits quite like enjoying a meal out of doors while our shifting seasons allows us. Whether you have a terrace or small patio in town, are lucky enough to have a country garden, or simply looking for inspiration to give a picnic or party that wow factor, here are some alfresco dining ideas to transform your entertaining space with style.
Robust yet attractive, melamine tableware is the ideal choice for a picnic. These mismatched vintage style designs in pastel shades strike a jolly note.
Dining outdoors should not preclude the use of a proper dining service. Here, china, floral napkins and glass place-card holders all help lend a sense of occasion to a special garden party.
A sail awning shelters guests from the sun in this country garden. Bistro chairs, fabric runners and pots of freshly cut flowers contribute to the idyllic scene.
Strings of decorative Chinese lanterns echo the mauve, aqua and lavender colour scheme of the table setting below. A fabric runner cleverly serves as a place mat for two.
Vibrant coral, magenta and saffron yellow will help warm up even the coolest of summer days. An elaborate candelabra and large blooms, cut short, add dramatic touches.
Keep outdoors lunch a relaxed affair by allowing guests to help themselves to cutlery placed in a ceramic holder on the table. A mix of colours ensures an informal look.
Looking for more alfresco dining looks? Visit our garden channel - it's packed with hundreds of inspiring images for every style. Plus, find inspiration with our video guide to the perfect alfresco table setting.