Food. Life. Travel

The Perfect Al Fresco Dinner Party: Tips & Menu

Now that the weather is warming up (finally), what better way to celebrate than by dining al fresco. Eating outdoors is one of my favourite things to do during the summertime. With the change in weather also comes a change in time, allowing many of us to have more daylight hours! You don’t have to worry about making sure dinner starts early when the sun hardly sets till 9:00 pm or later.

In celebration of the commencement of springtime, I have teamed up with Wayfair.Ca to share with you my tips and tricks for the perfect Al Fresco Dinner Party. This post is not sponsoredhowever, I am sharing some links to outdoor dining accessories from Wayfair that allow you to create the perfect outdoor dinnerscape in your own backyard. As a quick disclaimer: these links are not affiliate links and I do not get paid anything. I am simply sharing items that I want for my own backyard!

Below I share some tips and advice for creating the perfect outdoor dinner party, including links to accessories and items I think would add that extra oomph to al fresco dining. Since planning a dinner party can be time-consuming, I’m making it easier for you by sharing my dinner party menu for outdoor dining inspired by my latest trip to Cuba! The dinner brings together some tropical vibes and different flavours that are sure to surprise and please guests.

PLANNING THE DINNERSCAPE

Outdoor dining doesn’t have to be fancy. That’s what makes dining al fresco so appealing. There is an air of casualness behind the creation of outdoor dinner parties. When dining outdoors, a lot of the more formal rules go out the window! Instead, I believe you can take a lot of creative liberties and emphasize a more laid-back vibe.

First and foremost, a good dinner party includes cute and colourful dinnerware. For my dinner party, I wanted to experiment with different textures and colours. While matching dinner and flatware can be a good thing, I am primarily drawn to items that are mismatched. For my dinnerscape set up, I wanted the standout feature to be the dinner plates. I purchased my plates here, however, I have also included a few links to dinnerplates on Wayfair that have a similar vibe.

Along that same line of different textures, I wanted to say away from traditional serveware and use items in my house that had a multipurpose use. You don’t need a vase for your flowers when you can easily use a drinking glass. You can use small salad plates or even a mini skillet to hold condiments and food, encouraging guests to use their hands and assemble the meals themselves. Speaking of plates, you don’t necessarily need big dinner plates. In fact, I prefer to use salad plates for parties combined with small dessert plates.

Again, outdoor dining is supposed to be casual! So forget all the fine china and expensive ceramics. Go ahead and opt to purchase melamine and plastic dinnerware. Although I prefer my ceramic plates, outdoor dining parties should be hassle-free. Plastic is great because it won’t break, and these days there are so many cute designs! And forget about the fancy cloth napkins (even though in the photo I do use them). Instead, opt for disposable items like napkins and flatware (like the ones in the Wayfair links). These are easier options and at the end of the night, you can recycle them!

Finally, when it comes to setting up the table, I recommend choosing one piece of dinnerware that you want the focus to be on. In my case, I wanted my plates to be the center of attention. Alternatively, focusing on glassware is a great idea especially if your meal is going to focus on drinks. As for accessories, I chose to include links to lights and cute bistro-style tables. Lighting is important for ambiance (and for seeing), and bistro tables are less formal and they take up less space! Encourage guests to find other places to sit, like on the grass picnic style!

Ultimately, al fresco dining is all about enjoying the environment, the fresh air, the food and the guests. You don’t need to focus too much on the small details and instead allow everything to come together organically. At the end of the night, the most important thing is that you got to enjoy a tasty meal with people you love.

GET THE LOOK

 

I’ve rounded out some of my favourite items from Wayfair.ca for you to get some inspiration for your next dinnerscape. If you want to see more, just click on the name of the item and it will take you to the page. Wayfair offers free shipping on orders of $75 or more! Because wh0 wants to pay shipping fees anyways. A lot of these items feature textures, colours and patterns that are fun and festive, allowing you to have the perfect outdoor dinner party! Hooray!

GLASSWARE + FLATWARE PLATES LIGHTING + TABLE

 

CUBA INSPIRED DINNER PARTY MENU

My menu is inspired by the tastes and sounds of Cuba. I wanted to create a meal that was easy to put together, that did not require a lot of time in the kitchen. This menu is great because it provides your guests with drinks, the main meal and finally dessert (the best part). For this dinner menu I am sharing recipes for my Classic Mojito, Chili Lime Chicken Tacos, and No-Churn Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream.

Who said dinner parties have to be hard? These recipes are so easy that you can make them the very same day. Yes! That includes the ice cream as well. I know insane right? Now you don’t need to make the meal the same day, you can easily prepare a lot in advance (like the ice cream). But if you’re up for the challenge then go for it!

Al Fresco Dinner Menu

Click on the links below for the recipes! Doesn’t this dinner party look divine?

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SEE? WHO SAID HOSTING A DINNER PARTY HAD TO BE DIFFICULT? DINING OUTDOORS SHOULD BE CASUAL AND LAID BACK. MY MENU WILL TAKE GUESTS ON CULINARY EXPEDITION WITH TROPICAL AND FRUITY FLAVOURS. AND THE TIPS WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE MUCH EASIER. HOW DO YOU GUYS PLAN FOR DINNER PARTIES? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THE MOST FOR SPRING AND SUMMER?

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