Set the scene when you are dining al fresco

Whitby check tablecloth, �19.60; Southsea placemats, set of four, �15 and Southsea stripe crockery from �8, Laura Ashle. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.
Whitby check tablecloth, �19.60; Southsea placemats, set of four, �15 and Southsea stripe crockery from �8, Laura Ashle. Photo: PA Photo/Handout.
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Eating outdoors is a summer pleasure but it’s essential to set the scene. Here are ideas on dining table style for al fresco settings.

There’s something truly heroic about eating outdoors in Britain, as we either dodge the raindrops, battle against the odds to stop sandwiches curling and ice cream 
melting, or wave away the wasps.

Although it’s definitely not a venture for the faint-hearted, the rewards are great – after all, who doesn’t have fond memories of lazy days picnicking or sultry evenings dining under a starry night sky?

Small wonder then that our appetite for al fresco is increasing.

Celebrity event planner Steven Duggan says being imaginative is key to a memerable outdoor meal experience, adding: “For instance, if a table’s too small for a large gathering, get creative and use an old door on trestles. It can be easily dressed with a white sheet and decorated with jam jars or milk bottles filled with freshly-picked wild flowers.

“The trend currently is an organic, back-to-basics look, where soft shades such as mustard and olive green feature as colour themes, but look out for stronger colour and vintage or kitsch pattern later in the summer.”

Turn the centre of a table into a focal point, he advises, by arranging a line of small glass vases, filled with anything from hydrangeas to buttercups, interspersed with tea lights in pretty containers.

“Add decadent detail with gold or silver-rimmed crockery and glassware,” he says. “Have a large candelabra or a string of outdoor lights draped along the table, and the effect will be magical.”

So take on the outdoors and win with stylish settings that will be a feast for the eyes.