53-Alfresco-dining

How to… dine outdoors in style

Eating outside? Our blogger Annabel Harris swaps paper napkins and plastic cutlery for these chic alfresco tableware ideas.

I love hot summer days when I can eat outside without having to scrutinise the sky for brooding rain clouds! With all this beautiful weather, I always make sure my outdoor tableware matches up. Dine alfresco in serious style with a few simple tips:

My alfresco life-savers

Much as I love fresh-air feasting, it usually involves a lot of toing and froing from the garden to the kitchen. This is where trays and platters come in really useful, so I always have them handy for transporting plates, glasses, food and drinks outside. Fewer trips indoors means more time to soak up the sun!

I’ve got things covered

I’m a bit of stickler for keeping bugs away from food, and I think a glass cloche makes a really stylish protective cover. (Just make sure it’s not in direct sunlight). I wouldn’t be without a lidded pitcher either – perfect for keeping buzzing insects away from refreshments.

Cheers to long, hot days!

I love raising a glass with friends on a hot summer’s day, but I’m not going to risk using my best glassware outside. Sipping in style is still a must though, and I’m a big fan of chic, outdoor drinksware like this Hot House Double Injection Cocktail Glass (pictured above) and this Memory Lane Highball (pictured below).

Prices above, left to right: Honeycomb Hanging Decorations, £3 for 3; Paper Plates, £2.25; Candy Stripe Treat Tubs, £3 for 8; Sunshine Cocktail Napkins, £1.25 for 20; Flourish Antique Rose 6 Litre Watering Can, £20; Extra Large Platter, £6. All from our Memory Lane range (see instore).

Tip of the week

I relish the relaxed vibe that comes with eating outside, and I think this caddy (pictured below) is great for bringing cutlery, condiments and napkins to the table with a serving of laidback style.

Need some tableware for the garden? Take a peek at our Picnic and Garden Party Pinterest boards for ideas.

Three key pieces

Honest Gardener Large Glass ClocheMemory Lane HighballHot House Water Hyacinth Caddy

Honest Gardener Large Glass Cloche, £15 (see instore); Hot House Water Hyacinth Caddy, £10; Memory Lane Highball, £2 (see instore).