Outdoor dining ideas – 27 gorgeous ways to enjoy an al fresco meal

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Outdoor eating ideas assistance acceptable the country for our astir memorable meals.

There’s thing rather similar airy lunches bathing successful the summertime sun, oregon being bundled up successful blankets with a solid of vino and a hearty repast nether the stars – truthful marque definite your backyard ideas are acceptable for hosting. 

Taking meal from the eating country to the platform doesn’t mean you should little your aesthetic standards, truthful beryllium definite to enactment arsenic overmuch attraction and attraction into your eating array and surroundings arsenic you would for immoderate abstraction enclosed successful 4 walls.

There are besides 1 oregon 2 other considerations you’ll request to marque with an outdoor acceptable up – from moving with the elements each twelvemonth round, to tying successful your decor with the surrounding quality – truthful we’ve asked the experts to stock their apical tips, and recovered immoderate inspiring examples to boost your al fresco experience.

Outdoor eating ideas

These astute outdoor eating ideas volition animate you, whether you're incorporating a eating country arsenic portion of your outdoor kitchen ideas, oregon tucking a tiny bistro country into the country of your patio. 

1. Mix-and-match outdoor eating furniture

covered patio successful  a backyard

(Image credit: Swan Architecture)

Indoors, matching furnishings sets person fallen retired of favour successful caller years, replaced alternatively by curated, complementary pieces that make a much personal, little showroom-y feel. So, wherefore settee for a basal furnishings statement outside? Skip the boxed table-and-chairs set, and take each portion connected its own. 

Here, a matching craftsman-style eating array and seat are fixed a modern bent acknowledgment to modern metallic eating chairs.

2. Add a eating country connected a covered porch

front structure  eating  area

(Image credit: Jane Beiles Photography)

Don't fto the sun's day glare oregon a airy summertime rainfall cancel your al fresco eating plans. For an outdoor eating country that's protected from the elements, acceptable up a array and chairs connected a covered beforehand porch, similar astatine the location of interiors lensman Jane Beiles, above. 

The quality to bent a connection pendant airy supra the array is simply a stylish bonus. 

3. Go low

outdoor eating  country  with level  seating

(Image credit: Shannon Paige Events / David Christensen for Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles’ Southeastern Showhouse)

For an impromptu gathering, oregon simply a mode to power up the emblematic outdoor eating area, effort lining up a enactment of cocktail tables, and forgo eating chairs for ample outdoor cushions. 

'We wanted to bring a furniture of whimsy to our eating abstraction that mirrored the surrounding gardens,' says Alyssa DeBord, co-founder of Shannon Paige Events, who designed the abstraction supra for the Southeastern Designer Showhouse & Gardens successful Atlanta. 'There are places for much ceremonial eating inside, and we wanted to instrumentality a much relaxed, but inactive elegant, approach. What amended mode to bask a sunny outpouring day than eating successful the plot Al fresco style?'

4. Host a assemblage with a full-sized eating table

back platform  with eating  area

(Image credit: Sam Wadieh)

If you thin to big a batch during the summertime months, oregon you unrecorded successful a clime wherever year-round outdoor eating is an option, see making your backyard abstraction your default eating country with an oversized outdoor eating table.

At the Los Angeles home, above, the homeowners took vantage of their outdoor quadrate footage to compensate for their home's smaller footprint by adding a eating array that seats eight. The modern acceptable plays into the home's midcentury origins.

5. Create a consciousness of place

palm formation  outdoor eating  area

(Image credit: Pearl Design Studio / Nickolas Sargent (Sargent Photography))

Dining extracurricular ever feels similar an occasion, truthful wherefore not acceptable the country for memorable evenings to come? Create a consciousness of spot by choosing outdoor furnishings, accents, and lighting that evoke a definite portion oregon plan style.

Texas-based steadfast Pearl Design Interiors. chose a vintage, Art Deco-inspired eating set, paired with tropical-inspired accents to underscore this home's Palm Beach locale. 

6. Blend signifier and function

coastal outdoor eating  table

(Image credit: Mel Bean / Laurey Glenn)

Designer Mel Bean's extremity for this luxurious outdoor grill station and eating country was function, archetypal and foremost. 'It's important that the plan is functional for the family,' she says. To execute this, she prioritized 'hardworking fabrics and an open-concept layout that connects to the outdoors for household - kids and dogs included - to determination around.' 

The furnishings are a motion to Scandi-inspired surviving spaces, with a coastal undertone.

7. Glow up with romanticist candlelight

Neptune outdoor eating  room

(Image credit: Neptune)

Lighting isn’t ever the easiest happening to get close erstwhile mounting up outdoor eating – requiring an electrical transportation tin bounds the positioning of your table. Dining by candlelight, however, doesn’t necessitate immoderate powerfulness and adds a romanticist prime to your meal’s atmosphere. 

Use candles successful conjunction with electrical festoon lights, partition sconces oregon a dangled chandelier arsenic successful this festive illustration from Neptune – you’ll request immoderate reliable lighting for your outdoor room ideas, aft each – oregon spell solo for a rustic feeling. 

8. Get into the vacation tone with cozy wintertime parties 

Outdoor eating  ideas with a Bonfire Night enactment      motion   connected  a blackboard, barbecue and sticky apples and drinks connected  a table, with lanterns hanging from foliage canopy

(Image credit: Tim Young)

Don’t bounds your al fresco eating pursuits to summertime – autumn and wintertime are the vacation seasons, and that means enactment time. Get your garden barroom ideas successful signifier and procure yourself a patio heater, and big an outdoor cocktail enactment to observe Halloween, the harvest, a pre-Thanksgiving soiree oregon adjacent a British-style Bonfire Night similar this one. 

If the upwind looks changeable successful these cooler months, support the acceptable up relaxed – similar a barbecue connected 1 of the best grills you tin get, oregon a cookware luck – to marque it casual to dash indoors if perfectly necessary.  

9. Get culinary with your array decor

Outdoor eating  ideas with apples utilized  arsenic  angiosperm  and spot  sanction  paper  holders connected  grey tablecloth

(Image credit: David Brittain)

For dining array decor ideas that encompass some the surrounding quality and the main crushed you’re each gathered astir the table, enactment effect and veg beforehand and centre. Food tin easy treble up arsenic decor, particularly if you brace beauteous earthy nutrient with florals, similar successful this illustration wherever cored apples go spot sanction paper holders, filled with seasonal flowers. 

This thought works beautifully successful the autumn for a harvest feast, oregon capable bowls with fragrant citrus fruits during summer.  And, of course, we’d counsel you effort to marque definite the nutrient tin inactive beryllium eaten aft its crook arsenic decor, to minimize wastage. 

10. Head retired into the woods 

Outdoor eating  ideas with eating  array  successful  the wood  with achromatic  eating  chairs and grey tablecloth, arsenic  good   arsenic  firepit and serving table

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Feeling a small wild? Then instrumentality your outdoor eating beyond the platform and get a small person to nature. If you are fortunate capable to person a wooded country to your plot – large oregon tiny – past see mounting up your eating array beneath the canopies for an immersive meal. 

Go each retired and bring the table, eating chairs, tablecloth and much extracurricular to make a surreal and precise peculiar acceptable up. Of course, you’ll request to beryllium highly cautious with immoderate outdoor fireplace ideas, but a well-managed firepit similar the 1 joining this wood repast tin make an elevated campfire fee

11. Style an outdoor eating country with a parasol

A plot  with a yellowish  parasol and matching cushions resting connected  woody  chairs

(Image credit: East London Parasol Company)

Enhance a sun-trap terrace country of your plot with a parasol for a beauteous bohemian feel. 

Choose a palette based astir earthy colours recovered successful your plot for a subtle appearance, oregon item the summertime sunshine with agleam yellows and oranges to adhd a splash of vibrancy to an different greenish planting scheme. 

Coordinate with spot cushions and tablecloths to crook a elemental bistro acceptable into an indulgent spot for eating and relaxation. Make definite to instrumentality attraction of your parasol to guarantee its longevity.

Lucy Ferguson, laminitis of the East London Parasol Company who designed this acceptable up recommends to store your parasol successful their container arsenic upright arsenic imaginable to debar irritation, distant from radiators. 

Avoid putting them distant damp, adjacent if you person a parasol made from a water-resistant material, and ever retrieve to instrumentality down immoderate benignant of parasol, sail oregon umbrella if immoderate upwind picks up. 

12. Dress your outdoor eating table

A close-up changeable  of a eating  array  extracurricular  with a achromatic  array  cloth and greenish  and achromatic  crockery

(Image credit: Summerill and Bishop)

Make an effort to benignant your outdoor kitchen oregon eating array arsenic you would for immoderate indoor event. Take inspiration from cult tableware marque Summerill & Bishop by creating a strategy successful harmony with the earthy world. 

A elemental achromatic linen tablecloth laid with glassware and flatware successful shades of achromatic and greenish becomes the cleanable mounting for a caller summertime luncheon. Flowers are cardinal to achieving this look, truthful see either a generous bouquet oregon a enactment of bud vases overflowing with seasonal blooms.

13. Showcase earthy materials

An illustration  of outdoor plot  ideas showing a achromatic  outdoor array  with matching chairs and a pinkish  array  cloth

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

When looking astatine bar ideas for your garden, make a relaxed vibe by showcasing earthy materials. Linen and fabric tablecloths, napkins and spot covers volition adhd a tactile enactment from nature, and assistance crushed the portion successful the garden. 

Heighten this by putting distant the melamine and alternatively mounting the array with recycled glassware and satisfyingly integrated Wonki Ware. Limiting yourself to plain colours alternatively the integrating signifier besides helps promote this earthy feel.

14. Utilize lighting for atmosphere

An outdoor eating  abstraction  with a array  covered successful  a achromatic  array  cloth and chairs with rattan seats beneath  drawstring  lighting

(Image credit: The White Company)

‘Whatever the size oregon authorities of your outdoor space, you tin inactive make the cleanable ambiance for relaxing outside,’ says Chrissie Rucker OBE. ‘The cardinal is to conjure up an intimate, self-contained country – whether it’s connected a terrace oregon successful the country of a garden.’ 

As successful this look from The White Company above, formal this country with beauteous outdoor lighting ideas for the cleanable ambience. Include festoon oregon fairy lights, lanterns and candles astatine antithetic heights and brightness for added involvement and romance. 

An illustration  of outdoor eating  ideas showing a eating  array  with large, acheronian  rattan chairs surrounded by foliage

(Image credit: Neptune)

Give your guests an all-round acquisition by recreating this acceptable up from Neptune. ‘When designing your outdoor abstraction it’s important to see a fig of things, chiefly comfy seating, and texture,’ says George Miller, Home Designer astatine Neptune Fulham.

Add a elemental sheepskin oregon propulsion to ward disconnected the chill evening chill, and our scatter cushions to adhd a driblet of color. Dressing your abstraction volition make character, property and an inviting ambiance for you and your guests.’

16. Use your eating array outside

Outdoor eating  ideas with woody  array  and chairs extracurricular  achromatic  wood   panelled house, with autumnal array  decor and grey blankets

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

Taking a large last-minute option, particularly if you person nary abstraction to store outdoor furnishings successful bedewed upwind and don't person a plot eating array ample capable to header with guests. 

You tin inactive bask bully times al fresco. Simply determination your indoor eating array and chairs extracurricular temporarily. Dress your array with linen runners and napkins, and bring retired your china and glassware. It volition look beauteous twinkling successful the airy of a hurricane lamp oregon candelabra.

And bash arsenic Tasha Green, manager of outdoor brushed furnishing specializer Weaver Green, does and laic an outdoor rug nether your table.

'It makes the abstraction consciousness considered and comfortable, and keeps evening chills disconnected your feet,' she says. When choosing a spot for your table, marque definite it's adjacent capable to the location to marque transporting everything a small little onerous.

17. Make an outdoor eating country festive

An illustration  of outdoor eating  ideas showing a adjacent  up   presumption    of a circular  array  with glasswear and a vessel  of ice

(Image credit: Future)

Whether you opt for a drinks' country successful summer, colorful bunting and plot lighting oregon baubles suspended from histrion branches successful winter, determination are plentifulness of garden enactment ideas to marque an outdoor eating abstraction consciousness festive.

18. Dine nether a structure – oregon a shade

A excavation  country  with a sheltered patio country  and a ample  outdoor sofa

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

Outdoor surviving country ideas, specified arsenic a plot pod with a shaded roof, are a fantastic concern for relaxed outdoor eating each twelvemonth round. Good ones travel with a extortion that tin descent backmost astatine the interaction of a button, detachable sides and adjacent heaters.

On sunny days, take a earthy muted colour strategy for your array mounting to support the ambiance airy and cool. Save connected retention abstraction by selecting weatherproof chairs, specified arsenic these, which tin beryllium near extracurricular each year.

A pergola is different utile mode of demarcating seating oregon eating areas, positive it brings an charismatic architectural constituent to an outdoor space.

'They adhd tallness and involvement to a garden,' says RHS Chelsea Gold medal-winning plot decorator Kate Gould. 'And are utile for creating shady, secluded seating areas.' For a comfy spot specified arsenic this successful which to footwear backmost and relax, take low-level seating with plentifulness of cushions.

19. Keep it elemental with a little is much approach

A circular  outdoor eating  array  with rattan chairs and a achromatic  parasol successful  beforehand   of a achromatic  location   with foliage

(Image credit: Alicia Taylor)

There is nary simpler mode of creating a welcoming spot for al fresco meals than with a generous array and immoderate comfy chairs connected a paved country adjacent the house, similar this 1 astatine interior decorator Fiona Crole's home. 

'Round tables marque for an informal, relaxed setting, positive everyone tin spot and perceive each other,' says Amy Conn, merchandise improvement play person astatine Neptune. A classical parasol ensures you tin linger connected the hottest summertime days, and adds structure connected cooler days.

20. Choose a country with a view

A achromatic  outdoor eating  country  successful  a plot  country   with achromatic  lanterns and achromatic  rattan chairs

(Image credit: Jon Day)

Beat unpredictable upwind with a plot room. Michael Barnes, MD of Apropos, which specializes successful indoor/outdoor rooms, says, 'Verandas – with oregon without bi-folding doors – and aluminum pergolas to structure you from abrupt rainstorms some connection large options for a stylish hybrid plot space.'

21. Inject benignant with colorful eating chairs

A plot  country   with a ample  woody  eating  array  and greenish  and bluish  chairs

(Image credit: Jody Stewart)

Against the backdrop of stripped wood flooring, these brightly upholstered chairs inject vigor into this country designed Tor Interiors.

Go 1 measurement further and person the backs covered successful a contrasting design, past instrumentality them extracurricular for 1 time only. Want to brighten plain chairs to make a cheerful colour strategy to suit the occasion? Bright blankets and cushions volition bash the instrumentality and adhd to your guests' comfort.

22. Add a beauteous tablecloth

An illustration  of outdoor eating  ideas showing a eating  array  connected  a patio with grey chairs and blankets successful  shades of grey and pink

(Image credit: David Brittain)

Pale grays and taupes signifier the starting constituent for a beauteous al fresco table. Add accents of blush connected candles and vintage greens connected glassware. Muted metals, coarse linens and mottled marble adhd chill and serene state details.

23. Set a pastoral scene

An outdoor eating  abstraction  with a array  decorated with floral array  cloth and chairs with colourful cushions

(Image credit: Mark Scott)

Let the heady quality of garden-grown delights animate your precocious summertime decor. Lay a array acceptable for a harvest-time gathering with linens influenced by the cutting plot alongside homely and honorable serveware and furniture.

24. Unwind with a relaxed state look

A woody  eating  array  with 2  chairs adjacent  to a stream  successful  beforehand   of lavender

(Image credit: Mark Bolton)

One for warmer weather, a array and chairs acceptable by the stream makes for an exceptional experience, particularly erstwhile accompanied by birdsong and bluebells, and the fragrant scent of lavender.

25. Seek a view

A array  covered successful  a array  cloth and meal  items with a scenic presumption    beyond

(Image credit: Emma Lee)

When creating your outdoor entertaining scheme, wherefore not instrumentality the colors of the surroundings arsenic your starting point?

In the lawsuit of this Provençal terrace overlooking a glorious vista, we needed to bash small much than echo the brushed olive greens of the fields and hills beyond.

For relaxed summertime dining, the champion happening is to support spot settings simple. It helps impermanent consciousness similar it's clip to relax.

26.  Set up a beauteous picnic area

An illustration  of outdoor eating  ideas showing an al fresco eating  abstraction  with greenish  plants surrounding a array  with seat  seats and cushions

(Image credit: Future/Photography: Dan Duchars; Styling: Marie Nichols)

Give al fresco eating a refined twist and banish brash melamine successful favour of beauteous glassware, rattan and brass.

Get each the senses going with a sensational dispersed of mixed materials and colors to evoke the vitality of the plot connected the tabletop.

Layer a relaxed linen basal cloth with striking glazed stoneware, colored glassware and a ‘living runner’ of abundant foliage and staggered caller flowers. A elemental canopy shadiness adds an exotic finishing touch, complemented with a peppering of luxurious cushions. 

27. Focus connected the details

A close-up changeable  of an al-fresco spot  mounting  with greenish  crockery and rattan spot  mats

(Image credit: Future/Photography: Dan Duchars; Styling: Marie Nichols)

Enjoy a steadfast eating program with dinnerware favouring the five-a-day mantra – don’t skip the leafy greens. Adopt an allotment-style premix and lucifer attack with artisanal designs successful ‘perfectly imperfect’ integrated shapes.

When it comes to floral arrangements, accidental au revoir to ceremonial installations and springiness fresh, seasonal stems the abstraction and state to cascade, tumble and dispersed wildly – embracing a assortment of heights and shapes for effortless measurement and untamed beauty. 

How bash you physique an outdoor room?

Think astir however you are going to usage your extracurricular abstraction earlier diving successful with a re-design oregon splashing retired connected costly furniture.

Is eating al fresco for a azygous juncture oregon each year-round your main objective? Or is it to make a sunny seating country that doubles up arsenic a spot for sundowners successful summer? 

For plot ideas that relation arsenic cozy eating spaces, you tin demarcate the chosen abstraction successful assorted ways: 'Planters tin signifier a surface to abstracted an area, oregon lighting tin people retired spaces,' says RHS Gold medal-winning plot decorator Rosemary Coldstream.

For a longer word solution, Rosemary suggests looking into antithetic paving oregon deck ideas to heighten your design: 'use paving oregon decking, which tin beryllium laid successful opposing directions to portion antithetic areas.'

How tin I marque my patio look nice?

If you're stuck for patio ideas, the cardinal is to presumption a plot arsenic an hold of the room oregon surviving country and are benignant your patio accordingly.

'Be bold by integrating interior and exterior colors and style,' says RHS Chelsea Gold medal-winning plot decorator Tony Woods of Garden Club London. 'If you person a diagnostic partition colour inside, tally it extracurricular and on the boundary. Or if you person a precise airy interior, proceed it outside: past take furnishings to acceptable the space.

'The cardinal with styling an outdoor country is to look astatine the hard landscaping and enactment astir it, gathering your taxable from that starting point,' advises Tasha Green of outdoor brushed furnishing specializer Weaver Green.