Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Entertaining Outside

     One of the things I love about summer is the opportunity to entertain outside. Whether it's taking in a favourite restaurant patio, a picnic at the park or firing up the grill at home, it all speaks of summertime fun.

Entertaining outside at home is in the forefront of my mind right now. There is a wide selection of choices to make an intimate dinner for two or a grand soiree into a memorable event. To help you get in the summertime mood as well, here are a few suggestions to put on your check list.

The nostalgia of a picnic is hard to resist. Pack a basket of yummy food, grab a couple of blankets, a pillow or two, and snuggle down with nature. 

Date night can take on a whole new plan when you set the stage for a romantic night on the patio. A table for two with pretty linen and an abundant amount of tea-lights will set a romantic mood. 

No matter who you are entertaining the recipe for a special dinner outdoors is easy. Layer the table linen, add flowers from the garden, keep the meal simple and enjoy the company.

via griege

If you have a covered balcony or terrace, create an oasis that will provide an intimate sitting area and a small dining space. The fresh black and white stripe fabric is carried throughout the space, it is enhanced with crisp white linen and boxwood globes in glossy black pots. The space is traditional and relaxed.

If your space does not have a covering to protect from the sun or rain a large market umbrella on an iron base stand is the perfect portable option.

One of my favourites !                                        via Traditional Home

Black iron patio set is softened with generous plantings & delicate petals.

Who says you have to put the dining table on the porch or veranda. If you have a property with a pretty vista to admire while you entertain, then drag the table out to the perfect spot and set the table.

dinner in the field

Dine in the center of the rustic beauty.                     via xavier nicod antiquities garden

When it comes to style, outdoor rooms are a reflection of your good taste and an extension of your life indoors. Bring your style outside.
Elegant, stunning, simple lines..........

via latimes.com

Abundant, elegant, traditional, mystical space ............

Garden Overload by Tony Duquette

Bright, fresh, modern European appeal.................

via athomearkansas
In the past I chose to not have an outdoor dining area. My children didn't like bugs or wasps flying around the food {can't blame them}, so we cooked outdoors and ate inside. In later years we would enjoy appetizers and bevy's on the patio surrounded by the flower garden while off to the side the grill was cooking.

Whether it's pre-dinner appetizers or enjoying the first cup of coffee in the morning, creating an outdoor room to relax doesn't have to be a big undertaking....but it should be special.

create a cozy early morning coffee spot outdoors

Colourful cabana - a daybed covered with white and bright can be created on the porch, the gazebo, cabana, or sitting under large market umbrella's on stands.

Cool, sophisticated, white. Paint it out - all white and add the simple glam.

Then there is the ultimate outdoor spaces complete with pools, elaborate gardens or views that give the illusion that you could reach out and touch the ocean. Even you don't have that on your agenda, they are some of the prettiest properties to dream about.

On a visit to Greece we enjoyed some of the most memorable outdoor dining spaces - Katrin's in Mykonos {AMAZING food experience}, the fisherman's wharf at OIA {Santorini}. But the most outstanding by far was the outdoor cliff dining room at Andronis Luxury Suites.

Dining on the cliff at Andronis Luxury Suites. via glamourbeginsathome

Yes - this is the spot for the wine tasting & pairing dinner. What an experience. source

For me, right now the thoughts of outdoor entertaining are focused on the inspiration of rustic European designed dining and a cozy lanai. Here's a sampling of what is catching my attention.........

A rustic wood table and chairs with aged linen - tucked among the trees.

A Lanai complete with fireplace and comfortable seating - perfect, no matter what the occasion or weather.

Embrace the season and take it outside.


  1. One of my favorite things is dining outdoors and I love when Spring arrives so we can do just that...gorgeous images!!

  2. On the same wave length Katharine, eating outdoors every minute that I can.....lovely images you have found for us! N.xo

  3. SO many beautiful ideas in this post Katherine! I feel inspired to do an outdoor picnic on the lawn tonight after seeing this. I love dining outdoors, but I have a habit of not making it very special. I need to change that.
    hugs from here...

  4. These are all so beautiful! The one on the lake is to die for!