It’s summertime – not that you would have guessed looking out the windows right now. However, we have no choice but to embrace the British weather. So when the sun makes an appearance, it’s time to make the most of it! Unpack that crisp white hotel quality table linen and those napkins with vibrant colours, its time for Al Fresco dining with a touch of style!
Now is the time to make your establishment’s outdoor area look just as amazing as the interiors. It doesn’t matter whether you have a terraced area, balcony, patio or outside beer garden. With the fantastic weather, you’ll see customers flocking to spend more time in the sun. It’s the perfect opportunity to offer them an outdoor area to soak up the sun, eat gorgeous food and have a few drinks. So make sure it’s your establishment they’re flocking to!
People like their Al Fresco dining experience to be relaxed but with a cosy atmosphere, almost as if they were sat relaxing in their back gardens at home. You need to think outside the box when decorating the outdoor space as it is very different to an indoor environment. Outdoor spaces, no matter how small or large in size, can be designed to look simply stunning.
Brighten up outdoor table linen.
Crisp, white table linen which floats in the summer breeze is always a popular choice. Not only does it look professional, it softens the harsh structure of a table. Combine this white canvas with a splash of summer colour. Whether its pinks, purples, lemons or greens, there are lots of coloured table napkins available to you.
We love quirky ideas like how you would present necessary items to your guests. For example, instead of setting the tables as you would inside, why not remove the formality and fill little rustic plant pots with their cutlery to add an element of outdoor fun. By allowing guests to help themselves to cutlery you can keep things relaxed and low-key, which is exactly what Al Fresco dining is all about.
Something else we love and that are currently on trend are Jam Jars. Their popularity is soaring, whether it’s to present summery cocktails and drinks or even for the presentation of food. They’re a great way bringing the theme of Al Fresco dining together. Why not use the jam jars and fill them with summery flowers? Add them to the tables for a dressy look whilst bringing an element of the outdoor environment close to them.
Rattan, wooden, or Wicker furniture creates a more natural look. This is great when you’re trying to create the feeling of being outdoors and at one with nature. You should keep things plain but then add in splashes of vibrant summer colours. Include soft furnishings like chair pads, cushions, and throws in colours like yellows, oranges, greens, and blues.
Provide outdoor lighting.
Lighting is a key feature of Al Fresco dining. During the day this is obviously not a problem. But, as summer evenings draw on, people still like to sit out and enjoy the late evening sunshine, which requires a source of lighting. Thankfully, there are some summery Chinese lantern style lights around or coloured ball lights which will add a touch of colour to the outdoor area. Match these to your current colour theme and you have cracked it!
Adding a touch of green.
In major cities, it’s hard to try and create the outdoor dining experience when you’re surrounded by a concrete jungle. But this can be ignored with careful usage of plants and flowers. Add trellises along walls and allow climbing plants to grow. With pretty, bold and statement flowers this can really make all the difference.
Flowering plants like the Hibiscus are ideal; this is a beautiful flower that’s striking in appearance. Use plants to create a backdrop, lush foliage in the form of trees, palms and large leaved bushes and shrubs. You just need to be careful you don’t overcrowd the space and turn it into a jungle. Keeping that outdoor summery vibe is crucial.
Combine crisp white quality table linen with fresh salad and light bites. This will work wonders when it is hot outside! Check out Al Fresco recipe ideas for more inspiring ideas on how your establishment can make the most out of this summer.