Winter is finally thawing away, which means it’s time to start preparing for spring and summer entertaining. Alfresco dining is a quintessential part of the Aussie lifestyle, but needs to be planned carefully to ensure everything goes smoothly. Here’s how to make sure you have everything downpat to host barbeques and dinner parties outdoors!
Your guests deserve better seating options than just milk crates! Invest in a quality outdoor lounge set that is not only dreamy to use, but can also withstand the elements. When guests are provided with comfortable seating and dining furniture, they’ll happily mingle and better enjoy their time at your house. Courtney Younie from Allure Property Styling supports this, suggesting:
“If you love entertaining outdoors, a nice sturdy table, coupled with comfortable cushioned chairs, is essential….Outdoor lounges should be welcoming and large enough to sink into and relax. Dining tables, coffee tables and side tables need to have a purpose, so make sure they’re wide enough for drinks, plates and platters.”
On a similar note, you also need to provide shade from the harsh Aussie sun. For this, you can use outdoor umbrellas, shade sails or a MyDeal gazebo. If you’re lucky enough to have a deck or patio, you’re already sheltered from the elements. If not, try entertaining in the evening so you don’t have to worry about harmful sun exposure.
Have everything in its place
When it comes to firing up the BBQ, Dean Berman from Berman Buys suggests being prepared:
“The French have a term called ‘mise en place’ or ‘everything in its place’, which encapsulates everything you need to know about food preparation. Prepare all your accompaniments beforehand ready for the crown of the meal which has been marinating waiting for the heat of the BBQ.”
Remember that food that is quickly prepared and served equals happy guests!
Dean also points out another function that BBQs offer:
“The BBQ not only acts as a cooking instrument but a warming one as well. Heat lamps will also keep you warm and comfortable in the winter. A fire pit is becoming a norm in houses with big enough gardens.”
If you’re planning to entertain during spring, there’s a chance it might still get chilly in the evening, so ensure you have a good heating system in place. Lighting is a necessity all year round, so consider fun options like lamps and fairy lights.
Protect yourself from nature
While you want to be able to soak up nature when dining outdoors, you also need to protect yourself from some inconveniences. Marieta Ivanova from Fantastic Cleaners reminds us to protect our outdoor furniture:
“You can have the most beautiful table setting, but a bird's visit is enough to ruin everything. Outdoor furniture get dirty faster, so something like plastic covers can protect them. If they don't fit into your vision for perfect outdoor dinner, just keep them until all the guests arrive.”
It’s perhaps even more important to protect your guests from insects, as Marieta says:
“Nothing ruins a nice outdoor meal like insects. While some of them can just annoy your guests, others can actually endanger their health. Good weather provokes species like wasps and bees to look for food. This is a threat you certainly want to avoid, so keeping a repellent spray is important. Inspecting the outdoor area for nests in advance is also a good idea.”
To read more about protecting yourself from wasp nests, click here.
Opt for outdoor-appropriate tableware
Choosing the right tableware for alfresco dining can be tricky. On the one hand, you don’t want to use your porcelain plates as they are heavy and delicate, but on the other hand, plastic plates are flimsy and damaging to the environment. Try going for an eco-friendly option like bamboo tableware, which looks gorgeous and can be used time and time again.
Create a feature wall
Considering you’re entertaining outdoors, try to make the most of the natural beauty around you. One fantastic way of doing so is to create a feature wall or a vertical garden. This instantly breathes life into your outdoor dining area, and also doesn’t require as much maintenance as a traditional garden.
Start getting ready for summer entertaining now with the above tips on flawless alfresco dining!