Your cart

Cart Checkout
Spend €59.00 more and receive FREE DELIVERY

Carraig Donn now offer Click & Collect delivery services to most of our stores nationwide.
Please select preferred delivery option below.

July 12, 2021

How to Host the Perfect Al Fresco Dinner Party

Spending time with friends is back – and the change has come at just the right time. After all, loosened restrictions and warmer temperatures can only mean one thing: al fresco dinner parties. 

One thing that doesn’t change over time, however, is the stress that trying to organise an al fresco party can bring. You might worry about anything and everything – from the food and drinks to the weather and how to refresh your garden’s aesthetic for summer eating.  

So, let’s help you out with our favourite open-air dinner party ideas.

1. Get Your Preparations Right

Shop the look: Souk Blue Tray, Rosa Belle Wine Glass Set of 4

You’ll want to be relaxed about entertaining al fresco, rather than anxious – so give yourself ample time to plan. Have the area where you intend to dine thoroughly cleaned a few days ahead, as well as any blankets and cushions you might have outside. And source accessories that fit the party’s intended vibe – whether offbeat or formal – such as our Souk Blue Tray or Rosa Belle Wine Glass Set of 4

2. Don’t Use Indoor Items Outside

Shop the look: Keep Cup in Saskatoon, Patio Table    

It might seem obvious advice to use indoor furniture, cutlery and accessories in indoor spaces, and reserve specialist outdoor pieces for your al fresco party. However, we aren’t only referring to whether your chosen items will be able to stand up to the elements. That’s because the stark and glistening look of many of your go-to plates and glasses are also likely to look jarring against rustic surroundings. So, reach for pieces conceived and designed with external use squarely in mind, such as the suitably rugged-looking KeepCup and this elegant, but hardwearing mint Patio Table.

3. Work in Harmony with Nature

Shop the look: Souk Blue Servers, Large Gazebo Planter in Green  

After all the time we’ve spent cooped up in stifling indoor air over the past year or so, an al fresco party should be about revelling in that cool breeze. It should also be about feeling closer to nature in general. To that end, you might decorate your outdoor dining table with random greenery from your garden or durable pieces of wood. You may even choose cutlery that draws from and is designed to give way to nature over time, such as our biodegradable Souk Blue Servers made from natural bamboo. Nor will you want deteriorating light conditions to force an early end to your outdoor dining before the evening’s celebrations are truly over. That’s why our tastefully-hued Large Gazebo Planter in Green could be a great acquisition, making an excellent candle holder for when the sun sets. 

4. Enjoy a Bracing Picnic

Shop the look: Fiesta Floral Stage Set of 3, Folding Picnic Blanket in Blue 130x170cm 

Not everything about eating in the open air has to be about striving for immaculate refinement. Indeed, feeling the wind in our hair while tucking into a lunchbox treat might be the very definition of al fresco dining for some of us. Regardless, our range includes all of the essentials for packing your picnic baskets and hampers, such as our eco-friendly Fiesta Floral Storage Set and the unpretentiously practical Folding Picnic Blanket in Blue.

5. Consider Neutral Hues

Shop the look: Triple Flower Basket, Chilly’s 500ml Bottle in Blush Sky Blue 

While ‘busier’ or more patterned décor and accessories can work well for the most informal occasions or lunches, a lot of the time, it’s best to avoid an aesthetic that competes with the splendour of natural surroundings. Instead, focus on the less dramatic tones that will provide a neutral foundation to flatter your al fresco party in those Instagram snaps. Such items as our white Triple Flower Basket and the Chilly’s reusable bottle in Blush Sky Blue can provide ideal support to this look.  

It might not be just the best dinner party ideas, but also the most suitable staycation outfits you’re in the market for this summer. Read our blog to help you get those holiday essentials right.