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From cosy sundowners to long lunches and dinners, eating outside is just pure joy in the warmer months. Here’s how to create the perfect summer table and gathering so you can entertain alfresco in style.

Set the table

In terms of the table setting, start with imagining the overall scene and explore ways of making your dining space distinctive and personal to you, just like you would your interiors. If you favour the boho aesthetic, then a long low table with a linen tablecloth decorated with lots of flowers from the garden and simple food will perfectly set the scene.  
If a beach vacation isn’t on the calendar, why not have a sea-themed dinner party. Use shells for décor, place-card holders and fill large glass containers with sand with tealights to bump up the beachy vibe.
Patterned plates always up the fun factor and make a playful table setting. Mix and match the designs and colours and add interesting cutlery and small vases of coloured flowers.
If you love minimalist design, then a simple elegant summer table will suit you. Think white plates, silver cutlery, elegant glassware, and a gorgeous flower as a place setting.
A statement tablecloth will take the table to the next level and candlesticks will make the dinner or lunch feel more special and beautiful. For summer choose pastel-coloured candles with gold holders for a chic touch. You can never go wrong with classic blue and white combination mixed with rattan, cork, and bamboo.

Lighting is key

It’s all about creating the right ambiance outdoors as the sun goes down as it elevates the atmosphere and makes guests feel relaxed. A string of fairy lights adds a romantic touch and portable lighting dotted around the table and outside space will give a lovely glow. Lanterns are a great way of burning candles, so they don’t get blown out in the breeze, but chandeliers and candelabras will add a dramatic touch. Hanging candles in holders on trees or glass jars with tea lights on a path will light the way.

Add ambient sounds

While you don’t want music to overpower the occasion, it creates a lovely atmosphere to have music in the background. Create a playlist specific to the occasion and dot portable speakers around the space. Keep the tunes uplifting but not intrusive for eating and making conversation.

Don’t forget the details

Things like fans to keep you cool in the mid-day sun and blankets to keep you warm in case it gets chilly in the evening are lovely small details that your guests will always appreciate. Comfy chair cushions and even a lightweight rug under the table will add another texture and add to the overall aesthetic.  

And lastly…wear something chic and comfy

Pick something you can move in. You want to be able to sit comfortably whether its cross legged on a floor cushion or upright in a chair, you don’t want to feel self-conscious about what you are wearing. And, if the moment arises, be able to dance in. As for hair and makeup, keep it simple but with a hint of sparkle and maybe a bright lip. Finish off your look with some playful earrings and spritz of your favourite scent.

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