Alfresco in Italian literally translates to “in the fresh.” In just a few short weeks back to school shopping will begin and with that harsh reality front and center, I have taken to indulging in some of life’s simplest summer pleasures. One of my favorites is dining Alfresco. If you are like us, eating out-of-doors is often reserved for tailgating or summer BBQ’s. It seems the ritual of mealtime is elevated and made more memorable when it is simply moved outside. Smells and sensations change when we dine outside. The environment invites us to dwell longer and savor the experience. Often times nostalgic food memories are triggered and the less fussy, playful outdoor surroundings set the stage for a fresh perspective. Think s’mores and campfire dinners. To truly go Alfresco means to slow down the pace and take your meal beyond the plate.
Considering the great outdoors for your next gathering or family dinner? Here are a few fresh ideas for making the mealtime more alfresco and less alfiasco:
- Consider laying down brown craft paper on table for easy clean up
- Mix and match plates, cups and silverware
- Use non-traditional glasses such as mason jars
- Bring indoor furniture outdoors
- After dark meals? Consider string and/or tea lights
Why reserve mealtimes in the great outdoors for special occasions? At 716 we decided a warm, summer Sunday night was special occasion enough. Here are some highlights from our picnic on the porch:
I could get used to this Alfresco thing. I am planning to maximize outdoor summer mealtimes as much as possible. With that said, here are a few things on my Alfresco wish list:
The cocktail gutter picnic table
These wonderful tables feature a galvanized steel gutter center stage and deep enough to ice down your beverage of choice. I love these inviting tables and the endless options they provide for Alfresco dining and parties. The galvanized steel gutter could also double as a perfect place to plant some low maintenance plants or flowers.
Reclaimed pallet wood table
A beautiful herringbone reclaimed pallet wood table on Etsy. Perfect for a “kid table” style dining outdoors or anytime. While perfect for the outdoors, this beauty would make a lovely addition inside as well.
Waterproof picnic blanket
These sweet waterproof picnic blankets on Etsy provide easy seating on grass or poolside.
Indoor/outdoor floor pillows
These large, comfy outdoor floor pillows are fantastic. Great for picnics and extra seating all summer. Later this fall, bring them inside for movie nights or sleep overs.
Enjoy the weekend!