Tips for the Perfect Al Fresco Gathering

After a long winter, there is nothing better than a lazy day with friends enjoying great food, wine, and sunshine.

Set the mood

When entertaining the goal is to make your guests feel welcome, relaxed, and comfortable. Here are a few tips to help you host the perfect alfresco gathering:

  • Offer your guests a drink when they arrive. Have a pitcher of a seasonal cocktail as well as chilled wine and craft beer.
  • Be sure to have shaded seating areas and provide sunscreen.
  • Classic lawn games are always a hit. Set up an area where your guests can play croquet or boules (petanque).
  • Queue up your garden party playlist, but don't have it too loud so that conversation is still possible.
  • In the hotter months, plan an evening party when it's generally cooler.
  • Place votive candles and hurricane lanterns on the table and around the party area for soft ambient lighting at evening events. On chilly nights, light citronella candles and provide guests with natural mosquito repellent and small blankets.
  • Have an alternate indoor venue in case the weather chooses not to cooperate.

The Tablescape

Set the table with a summery print tablecloth, botanical plates, and coloured glassware for a festive setting. Use small terracotta pots filled with herbs as your centrepiecethey look great and smell fantastic!

Belmont Placemat

The Menu

With all the fresh summer produce available, a light seasonal menu is the way to go. Keep it casual by serving it buffet-style or family-style. Check out your local farmers" market not only for fruit and vegetables but for homemade goodies like bread and berry pies.

Shop Table Linens

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