Ariel view on a picnic table including a basket with a bottle of champagne poking out, champagne saucers, a wooden serving board and some grapes in a bowl

6 tips for creating the perfect alfresco dining experience


Alfresco dining is more than just a meal—it's an experience. There's something undeniably special about dining under the open sky. Whether you're enjoying a leisurely brunch on the patio, enjoying a romantic meal for 2 or hosting a festive dinner party in the garden, alfresco dining offers a sense of freedom and connection to the outdoors.

At Ivymore Living, we believe in celebrating these moments with style and sophistication, which is why we've curated this list of six top tips for creating the perfect outdoor dining table experience.

Embrace the setting

One of the joys of alfresco dining is the opportunity to dine surrounded by nature's beauty. Whether you're in your backyard, at a park, or on a rooftop terrace, take a moment to appreciate your surroundings.

Set up your dining area in a location with a scenic view and use the natural elements around you to enhance the ambiance. Incorporate potted plants, flowers, or fairy lights to create a welcoming atmosphere that complements the outdoor setting.

Use natural materials

One of the cornerstones of our philosophy is our appreciation for the inherent beauty of natural materials. When styling your dining table, consider incorporating elements like wood, metal, and stone to elevate your hosting game and add a touch of luxury to any occasion. These materials not only enhance the aesthetics but also contribute to a welcoming and inviting atmosphere for your guests. 

A picture of a woman tossing a salad in a salad bowl with god metal serving spoons
Image credit Ivymore Living

Set the dining table with style

Creating a well-dressed dining table is key to setting the stage for a memorable alfresco dining experience. Start by layering a tablecloth or runner to add texture and colour to your outdoor dining area. Choose linens in natural fabrics like cotton or linen for a relaxed yet elegant look.

Add decorative elements such as candles, lanterns, or floral arrangements to enhance the ambiance and create a focal point on the table. Consider using placemats or coasters to add visual interest and protect your table from spills and stains.

Two white marble candle holders with lit tapered candles and a glass tumbler on a dining table
Image credit Ivymore Living

Accessorise thoughtfully

Elevate your alfresco dining experience with thoughtful accessories that add style and functionality to your outdoor table. Incorporate elements like decorative serving trays, pinch pots, coasters and artisanal metal serveware to add to the charm and beauty of the evening.

Consider using outdoor-safe lighting solutions such as wireless lamps, lanterns, or solar-powered candles to create a warm and inviting atmosphere as the sun sets.

Choose the perfect glassware

Never forget the importance of the perfect glassware to complement your meal and make your guest's dining experience one to remember. From beginning to end, the perfect glassware can see you and your guests through the night, ensuring every sip is savoured and every moment cherished.

Indulge in the timeless elegance of art deco champagne saucers for pre-dinner drinks to add a touch of glamour to the occasion. Pair with coloured or textured glass water tumblers to add interest to the dining table.

Amber coloured fluted glass tumblers on a side table
An art deco style crystal champagne flute sitting on a pile of books

After dinner moments

After the meal is over, keep the conversation going with a selection of after-dinner delights such as coffee, tea, or specialty cocktails.

Consider setting up a designated area for dessert, complete with a selection of sweet treats for guests to indulge in as they unwind and savor the final moments of the evening.

Provide cozy blankets or throws to keep guests warm on cooler evenings, and encourage them to linger and enjoy each other's company.

A white marble espresso cup sat on a wooden serving board on a dining table
Image credit Ivymore Living


By following these six tips, you can create a memorable alfresco dining experience that delights all the senses and leaves a lasting impression on your guests. 

Whether you're hosting a casual gathering or a formal celebration, embracing the beauty of outdoor dining is sure to make any occasion feel truly special.

With Ivymore Living, you can create a table setting that is as beautiful as it is inviting.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

Virginia Woolf

A white marble and acacia wood serving tray standing on its side on a table
Image credit Ivymore Living
Two white marble pinch pots sat on a white shelf along with  a wooden chopping board
Image credit Ivymore Living

If you want more inspiration on beautiful items for your home, you can check out more on our store

Founder of Ivymore Living, Hannah Fleming, sat at her desk

The Author: Hannah Fleming

Hannah Fleming is founder and brand owner of Ivymore Living.

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