Al Fresco Dining Essentials

Al Fresco Dining Essentials

The season of outdoor dining has arrived: There's nothing quite like soaking up the sun (or the shade, to each his own) while enjoying a crisp and cold beverage on the patio or organizing an al freso dinner (quick tip if you're going to Italy this summer: "eating al fresco" means "eating in prison"  in Italian, so think twice before asking to "mangiare al fresco").

Spring's sunshine and tree leaf buds have arrived and are here to stay, which to some might signal the time to put coats away and shop for sundresses or cargo shorts, while others will first and foremost think of all the meals they'll soon be enjoying outdoors. Make sure to browse our curated selection of al fresco essentials for fuss-free springtime hosting: Out with fondues by the fire and in with the zesty cocktails and refreshing salads!

 

Le Jacquard Francais, Hacienda Coated Tablecloth - Blue

Le Jacquard Français, Hacienda Coated Tablecloth - Blue

Everyone knows tablecloths are a crucial decorative element to any outdoor or indoor feast since they set the tone for the rest of the tablescape. This blue Hacienda coated tablecloth by Le Jacquard Français comes in a palette of light blue, navy blue and grey which results in a muted version of the classic nappe provençale (tablecloth from the French region of Provence). This 69" X 126" tablecloth is made out of 100% Oeko-Tex certified cotton, a material that'll complement your outside dining room. Its acrylic coating makes it easy to clean: All you need to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth. 

 

Le Jacquard Français, Jardin d'Orient Placemat - Blue

If you want to show off your outside dining table made from cypress, cedar or vivid tiles, or want to create a contrast between your table and its embellishing linens, opt for these royal blue, 100% linen placemats. Named after the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum's Jardin Majorelle in Marrakech, they are a testimony to the beloved French designer's life. Saint-Laurent drew inspiration from the Art Deco and Moorish design details from the gardens and eventually became their owner and lived there for some time. Celebrate the renown couturier with a placemat he would have surely adored and used to enjoy Meskouta orange cake, a Moroccan delicacy, on his terrace. It's also available in light green

 

Some fountains at the Jardin Majorelle are painted in a very similar shade of blue. 

Bernardaud, Borneo Votivelight

Soft candlelight is crucial to any outdoor meal because it illuminates your table, allows guests to observe the contents of plates and dishes (unless you're going for a DIY O.Noir experience) and allows everyone to enjoy a flattering glow. These delicate Bernardaud Votivelights are exquisitely elegant and will provide a soft radiance for up to six hours. Their intricate pattern of parrots, leaves and flowers is inspired by the island in the Malay Archipelago they're named after. Pair them with a couple of citronella candles to make sure all of your guests will enjoy their evening without being bothered by mosquito bites. 

Ester + Erik, Box of 6 Pillar Candles - 20 cm - Nude

Nude pillar candles are a great addition to any tablescape since they'll complement any aesthetic, colors, and patterns. Because of their larger diameter, pillar candles have a longer burn time than taper candles, which makes them an ideal illuminating accessory for long meals outside as the sun sets and the night settles in. This Ester + Erik style is a great choice because it can be customized with a few flowers or green sprigs placed at the base. You can also place them in footed glass jars if you're worried about wax dripping onto your tablecloth. 

 

ASA Germany, Plat à gâteau à pied

ASA Germany, Footed Cake Stand - White

Display your raspberry-lemon cupcakes, crunchy meringues, bruschetta toasts or miniature cheeseburger sliders on ASA Germany's sleek and chic footed cake stand. Made out of lustrous glazed stoneware, its timeless look will elevate any kind of table setting. Thanks to its nine-centimeter foot, it'll help your appetizers and desserts stand out without towering over the table, blocking guests' view from one another. It's unmistakably a must-have item, whether you're hosting a sit-down dinner or a garden party with a buffet.

Tina Frey, Platter - Large - White

Live from her studio in San Francisco, it's Ms. Tina Frey's ceramic tableware and its clean and modern design. Like all of her tableware and dinnerware, this minimalist platter is hand-made out of BPA-free, food-safe resin. Its large size makes it the perfect dish to display your most delicious summer dishes such as a classic Greek salad, baked feta in fig leaves, halloumi with grilled vegetables or a no-bake summer berry icebox cake. 

 

 

Remember to pay attention to the small details that will turn your outside gathering into one of the season's most memorable events. Lemons are great springtime table decorative items that echo a backyard's greenery. They'll add an unexpected splash of color to your tablescape and remain within arm's reach to be sliced and used as garnish in your guests' drinks. 

Other little details that'll make your event stand out: 
  • Comfortable seating (nobody complains about a meal with too many outdoor seating pillows)
  • Bug spray (sometimes citronella candles just don't cut it)
  • Throws available for bundling up if it gets chilly at night
  • Paper napkins 
  • Ice bucket(s) to keep the beverages cool and revivifying

Sir/Madame, Rialto Glass Coupes - Limoncello

Make all of your Bridgerton-meets-Disney-meets-Pop-Art dreams come true with theses golden, translucent stemmed glasses. This set is inspired and named after the famous arches of the City of Masks' iconic Rialto bridge. These eye-catching, versatile coupes can be used for serving sparkling water with a lemon wedge, Limoncello (straight, poured directly from the freezer), or even an ice cream Sundae with an avalanche of tasty toppings.

Sabre, 5-Pc Lavandou Flatware Set - Olive

No list of outdoor dining essentials would be complete without a flatware set featuring a design inspired by the natural world. This five-piece option by Sabre includes a dinner spoon, fork and knife as well as a dessert fork and spoon: A must-have set that will ensure you can serve any kind of dish, from a light and fluffy chocolate mousse to a restaurant-worthy salmon en croûte. The Lavandou model's classic silhouette and olive wood color make it an effortlessly elegant tabletop accessory fit for casual or celebratory outside dining.  

 

Le Creuset, Set of 4 Classic Dinner Plates - Meringue

Le Creuset's set of four classic dinner plates never misses. The signature raised ring design and durable stoneware material celebrate the traditional French country aesthetic, now synonymous with the brand's name. Each plate is coated with an enamel glaze that renders it resistant to cutlery or cleaning brush scratches and guarantees it'll add a cream-colored detail to your spring and summer weeknight dinners, casual luncheons and festive feasts for many years to come. 


Vista Alegre, Butterfly Parade Teacup & Saucer

End your al-fresco dinner on an al-caldo (warm) note with a cup of coffee, hot chocolate or tea. Nothing says springtime dining like butterflies, one of the first creatures to come out of hiding and take to the skies every year once winter is over. This porcelain teacup was created by Christian Lacroix, a French designer known for his use of bright colors and occasional camp aesthetic. The butterflies' realistic, three-dimensional effect will provide your guests with an extra jolt that has nothing to do with caffeine, and give the last hour or so of your gathering an Alice-in-Wonderland-tea-party vibe. 

 

 

 

 


4 comments


  • Jeanne

    Love it ! Very classy


  • Matteo Prudhomme

    The olivewood silverware is simple yet elegant; very nice.


  • Brogan

    Wow this is making seriously so excited for summer ! Some limencello in those glasses as a digestif = chefs kiss


  • Marie

    I love this selection! I’ve been looking to get blue placemats that would complement my tablecloth with more vibrancy and color. The Jaquard Français Jardin d’Orient are perfect. I love the delicate border and the intricate details on the inside. I cannot wait to host my friends and see their reactions


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