5 tips for outdoor entertaining
I’m kickstarting 2015 with one of my favourite past-times, entertaining! Warm weather and long days spent outside, crave relaxed evenings of outdoor entertaining. Create an inviting, comfortable and chilled atmosphere with my 5 tips to dining outside…
//ONE Set the mood
Like with any form of entertaining, it’s important to set the mood. This can be done by creating different zones/spaces. A space for eating ie. the table and a space for before/after dinner i.e. lounges. You can also set the mood with decor, music and lighting. If your outdoor area is covered why not decorate the space by putting up a string of lights or a bunting. Decorations like these can remain in place for the whole season and be taken down at the end of it. Bring speakers outside for background music and ensure furniture is comfortable with additional cushions or throws. Lastly, make sure there are side tables in arms reach for guests to place glasses and to hold snacks.
//TWO The BBQ
The BBQ is the essential cooking tool for dining outdoors. Nothing sums up Summer nights and eating outdoors like the BBQ. Nowadays, so much can be cooked on the BBQ from entrees to mains to dessert. So be adventurous and try cooking new things, like vegetables and some fruit ie. mangoes or pineapple. Play with marinades, sauces and different cooking techniques.
//THREE Crockery + glassware
Just because you are eating outside doesn’t mean you have to resort to plastic. I actually believe crockery and glassware stands up better against the outside elements i.e. unpredictable gusts of wind, as they are sturdier and heavier. Position bread boards, serving platters, salad bowls and a jug of water in the middle of the table. Where possible keep plates and glasses uniform, for a minimal, non-fussed look.
//FOUR Get involved
Outdoor dining is communal, everyone should get involved in the giving and taking and passing of the food. It is all about sharing and literally breaking bread together! Food, once prepared should be placed in the middle of the table (on the crockery mentioned above) for everyone to reach. The same principle goes for drink, have a water jug filled with lemon and mint for all guests to have and leave any opened wine bottles on the table for easy top ups.
Nothing can put a damper on outdoor dining than not enough light and pesky insects. Make sure you have adequate lighting, as the night progresses. Candles are a great way to add light and to deter insects. Light a few citronella candles among standard candles to keep unwanted insects at bay.
Here’s some great finds to create your own outdoor dining experiencing…
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