Mid summer dining is something I love! In our temperate climate, we await the summer al fresco dining season with impatience, and this weekend , after a grey and rainy week we saw our window of opportunity!
The table was laid, with everyone giving a helping hand. We lit the barbecue fire for the heat and the prettiness but didn’t actually cook here. The meal was delicious and generous (I can say that because my husband was the cook 🙂 ) and we lingered around the table until the early hours, laughing, talking and putting the world to rights.
We are lucky here not to be bothered by bugs, which would otherwise make al fresco dining more complicated. Here are my tips for successful summer dining:
the food – keep it delicious, simple and using fresh, seasonal ingredients
the wine – we enjoy an aperitif of champagne or white wine before we eat, followed by a choice of wines with the meal. And of course there are glasses for water too.
the table – in this spot in the garden, we are close to the fire, and sheltered beside the barn wall. I always offer shawls to the girls, and I like to use cushions on the wooden benches. Of course there are flowers down the center of the table, here I used a dozen dahlias popped into jam jars.
lighting – candle light whenever possible. Here I used some antique terracotta pots as candle holders, plus other smaller candles for spots of light. On the stone wall behind us , there are also candles in our pretty beaded candle holders, that sparkle through the evening.
the company – what is a good dinner without great company?! Friends and family mixed together, lots of laughter, tenderness and the will to savour the moment.
How about you? Is alfresco dining a big thing where you live, or is too hot? I’d love to hear.