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Dining Alfresco

I have to admit summer is not my favorite season. But, dining alfresco is the one thing I really look forward to when the weather starts to warm up!

Benefits of dining al fresco

  • More room to entertain
  • can be casual and easy to throw together
  • or can be elegant and refined

When you live in a small home like we do, entertaining during the cold winter months means limiting the guest list to only a few at a time.Β  While we enjoy those more intimate gatherings of family and friends, it is the summer time where things really come to life!

dining alfresco

I am excited today to be part of a week long Dining Alfresco Blog Hop featuring five days of outdoor dining inspiration at your fingertips.  You will find links to all the participants below.

You will want to visit this post, how to plan the perfect summer dinner party tablescape for easy and inexpensive tips!

dining alfresco
dining alfresco

Dining alfresco is probably my most favourite thing about summer time.  And, we do it often.  Many weekends from June until September you will find family and friends enjoying a meal, playing lively games of bocce ball (which even extend out into the park behind our home), and relaxing over hours of conversation.  

Often our backyard gatherings are spur of the moment, and are always relaxed and easy going.  They usually involved bbq of some type, and using an edible centerpiece means that we can all gather together and nibble a bit while Tim tends the grill just a few feet away.  

dining alfresco

In keeping with the relaxed and casual theme, I had Tim build me this outdoor harvest table that can easily sit ten.  It is rustic and weathered and perfectly imperfect. 

I keep things simple by using simple white plates*, inexpensive Ikea glassware,  Ikea tea towels for napkins and mismatched cutlery.   At the end of the night I simply load up the dishwasher and throw the tea towels in the wash!

 I had Tim whip up a set of miniature cutting boards.  They are perfect for little baguettes that guests can slice off a piece and pile on some cheese! 

dining alfresco miniature cutting boards

When it comes to dining alfresco, for me it is all about the gathering of people.  The tablescape helps to set to mood, and I know that summer entertaining in our family is easy and relaxed.  Life is busy and creating an inviting place to invite friends and family,  makes it that much easier to slow down and leave the rush behind.  At least for a few hours!

dining alfresco

 Having dessert close at hand means I don’t have to get up and down from the table!   

dining alfresco
alfresco proof 1

A few candles and patio lights keep things glowing when the sun starts to set.  

dining alfresco
dining alfresco

A little pot of fresh lavender not only looks pretty, but helps to repel pesky bugs. 

dining alfresco

 I am all for using what I already have.  Whatever fruit, veggies and cheese is in the fridge.  Nuts or seeds from the pantry.  Some olives and *honey too.  If you have never tried honey on blue cheese, you really need to try it.  Dessert is as easy as baking a quick loaf. It’s inexpensive and serves several!

Just a few more pictures to share and hopefully inspire you to put together an easy and relaxed tablescape, throw some cheese, nuts and fruit on a platter, invite a few friends and spend some time breaking bread!

dining alfresco
dining alfresco
dining alfresco

Now that I have shared my style, check out all the links below for even more dining alfresco inspiration. 

Since your comments make my day, leave me a comment and let me know what your dining alfresco style is!

Until next time….

Red Cottage Chronicles

*This post contains affiliate links for your convenience.  If you click an affiliate link, like what you see and make a purchase I will receive a small commission with no additional cost to you.  

alfresco tablescape blog hop

 Thank you to Chloe Crabtree from Celebrate and Decorate for putting this Blog Hop together! 

Wednesday
Red Cottage Chronicles  | The Little Yellow Corner Store | Ramblings of a Southern Girl
CoziNest  | Love of Home 

Thursday
 
Panoply|  Flourish & Knot | The Painted Apron | Dining Delight  |
Celebrate & Decorate

Friday
B. Lovely Events | Lolly Jane | A Toile Tale | Bluesky Kitchen | Rattlebridge Farm 

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59 Comments

  1. Very inviting and charming tablescape! The little wood cutting boards are just perfect for the individual breads, great touch! I can only imagine how your friends must love unwinding and fellowshipping in the beautiful space! ~Rhonda

    1. Thank you Rhonda! It is by far my favourite thing about summer. Winter comes too soon and everyone seems to go back into hibernation mode!

  2. Maureen, I don’t know where to start with all that I love about this tablescape! The edible centerpiece, the dish towels as napkins and lavender to keep the bugs away! But, oh my goodness, the miniature cutting boards with fresh baked bread?! Where is your little red cottage? I’m on my way!

  3. Maureen, your table is calling my name! The presentation is beyond fabulous! It has the feel of an afternoon in Tuscancy or Provence! Who would not love to sit down and enjoy the bounty? Just stunning! Pam @ Everyday Living

  4. Maureen, truly an Alfresco table to adore and enjoy. So very Tuscan inspired with the lavender, fresh breads, cheese plate and more. A beautiful setting for your guests to enjoy. I would be happy to be one of your guests.

  5. What a beautiful table. This is exactly where I would want to sit down and spend an evening with friends. I love the casual easygoing feel of your table. Your alfresco table and wonderful food is just dreamy! Thank you so much for being party of the Alfresco Summer Tablescape Blog Hop.

    1. Thanks so much Chloe, for your kind comment and for putting this blog hop together. I have had such fun and found such inspiration from all these talented bloggers πŸ™‚

  6. Maureen, yours is the exact way I would want to most comfortably dine alfresco, whether I’m the host or guest. I love your casual style, and that overhead photo of dessert and lemonade literally made my mouth water. Love the string of lights and how it elevates the cozy factor. Lights anytime, anywhere are festive!
    Rita C at Panoply

  7. Now this is summer living at its best! I can totally picture the type of gathering you would have around this fabulous table – casual, relaxed…and delicious! I so enjoyed seeing all the details in how you presented the “food centrepiece” and added pretty accents to the table. It is funny but this is the way we do “winter living” here as the bread, meats and cheeses are our go-to for aprΓ¨s ski gatherings…though they are inside in front of our fireplace and definitely not alfresco πŸ™‚ I’m so enjoying this Alfresco Tablescape Blog Hop and the different takes on dining outside – yours is so inspiring!

  8. Oh this looks like such fun! I love the individual boards and breads πŸ™‚ What a perfect way to have a gathering, a bountiful beautiful table of fresh foods and friends alfresco! Your husband is so talented, the table is gorgeous!

  9. Maureen, your table is just gorgeous. As a cooking instructor, I just love your antipasti platter and all the beautiful food arrangements. So appetizing. Would love to join you at your table.

    1. Thank you Carol! I would love to have a cooking instructor join me for dinner. Although I think you would be tired of my questions by the end of the evening πŸ™‚

  10. Your table and food are gorgeous…I’m ready to come over and feast on your gorgeous cheeses. Thanks so much for sharing in the blog hop- I’m so glad to have discovered your blog!

  11. OH MY! What a beautiful and scrumptious table! You have combined everything beautifully. It looks like it was a beautiful day for you as well. So nice to meet you.
    Maria

  12. Maureen, I love your table! Your husband did a great job on the table and bread boards. Everything looks so inviting. I can taste the blue cheese with honey and the fresh baked bread! Great presentation of the food and table settings. Such a nice ambience.
    Your cake and lemonade look fabulous. It has been enjoyable reading your blog post.
    It has been fun visiting around with the blog hop!

    1. Thank you Bonnie! I have gleaned so many great ideas from my fellow blog hop participants and am so inspired by their creativity πŸ™‚

  13. Oh my…..how inviting. I love the setting and I love the fact you included such wonderful delicious food in your tablescape. My tummy started growling after I seen the wonderful bread and cheeses. And the gorgeous sweet bread. Your use of plants and outdoor lighting really is so warm and inviting. It makes me want to sit right down and enjoy! It is a table guests will want to sit and stay for hours.

  14. Maureen, I have been enjoying your blog for a while, but this post really caught my eye. Nice to see young people enjoying entertaining outside. Living in NE Pa, we spend every eveniΓ±g possible dining outside. Your post inspired me to make smaller loafs of crusty bread in my pizza oven this weekend and have elderly family for dinner this weekend. I enjoy your posts and will look to you and your friends for great ideas. Keep up the great work! Enjoy your summer πŸ˜‰ Kim

  15. A gorgeous, inviting, inspirational table. Your setting is enchanting, and your tabletop looks like a magazine cover. So beautiful!

  16. What an inviting table and gathering! I love so many of your ideas – the tea towels as napkins, the personal bread boards, the lavender- love all of it!! So fun hopping with this week!

  17. Hi Maureen, while thinking happy spring thoughts I decided to search for pics of Alfresco dining. I was delighted to come across these beautiful photos which also brought memories of the tablescape blog hops I participated in. I hope all is well in your corner of the world and I wish you a joyous spring. β™₯