by Team Grove July 20, 2022
Being able to sit outdoors and entertain in the open air is definitely a novelty here in Ireland. Be it a communion, confirmation, birthday party, or family gathering - its nice to be able to take things outside and embrace the good weather as much as we possibly can.
The term al fresco originates from the Italian language and can be loosely translated as 'in the open'. Dining alfresco simply means eating outside, but in a slightly more formal sense than a casual picnic at the park. This type of dining usually involves the same kind of structure you would have in an indoor setting, but is far more relaxed and suitable for the garden. The key to creating the perfect alfresco setting is striking a harmonious sense of balance between formality and complimenting your direct environment.
Thing to consider when dining alfresco
There are many benefits to outdoor dining - you get to enjoy the beauty of nature, breathe fresh air and watch the sky fill with colour as the sun sets...But to make the most of your experience, there are a few important things that need to be considered.
1. Check the weather
Being prepared for four seasons in one day is something we've become well accustomed to on the Green Isle which is something to remain aware of, even if the forecast is looking promising.
If its a really hot day, be mindful of how intense the sun can get, and be sure that shaded areas are made available to your guests. You may choose to set your table in a cooler location, or have a parasol on hand for use as needed.
It is also a good idea to have a number of throws and blankets at the ready if it happens to get chilly, or it may be worthwhile investing in an outdoor heater or fireplace if you plan on staying out until the small hours of the morning.
2. Keep the bugs away
We all know how pesky little buggers can spoil the fun, so make sure to have insect repellent on hand. Citronella candles and lavender plants can be easily incorporated into your tablescape, serving both practical and stylish purpose, whilst working a charm in keeping bugs away. Make sure to protect your dishes as well however - no one wants to be sharing their meal with critters!
3. Consider the food
With summer in full swing, there are plenty of fresh vegetables, fruits and berries in season, so try having them as the heart of each of your dishes. Keeping dishes simple will allow natural tastes and flavours to shine through, so there's no need to get too fussy with your menu. If you want to incorporate a little summertime zest into your barbecue however, we've left our favourite peri peri chicken recipe below as a little added extra.
Hosting a dinner party can be an overwhelming task, but there are many ways in which you can remain prepared by having drinks already cooled or dessert prepared the night before. Asking guests to bring a side dish each is also a good way of easing the pressure, but no matter what, its important to enjoy the process.
When it comes to serving up and setting the table, we have a wide range of tableware and utensils which will make entertaining easy. Check out our Dining Alfresco collection for some inspiration and make sure to embrace this summer season!
Summertime Peri Peri Chicken
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