Al Fresco Dining

August 10, 2023

It’s safe to say, as is usually the case with our British summer, that July did disappoint.  Sudden showers, gale force winds and a sprinkling of thunder storms, have had us all cursing over another cancelled BBQ or beach trip.  We can’t be the only ones contemplating buying a one way ticket to sunny Majorca?!

However, in true British fashion, we’re determined to see out the last of the summer, and here at DV our Pinterest board is teeming with Al Fresco musts.  From the perfect setting, to mouthwatering dishes, chic tableware and chill summer soundtracks, we’ve got you covered.  After all, who is Mother Nature to deprive us of a garden party?

When the Out of Office is on..
We’re currently lusting after a table at 
Riddle & Finns on the Beach, Brighton’s iconic local seafood restaurant.  Situated right on the seafront, it offers stunning views and a delicious menu, perfect for when you can’t face the level of organisation needed to host at home.

Here at DV HQ we’re also lucky enough to have beautiful West Wittering on our doorstep, and it’s one of our go-to’s.  For more of a DIY approach to Al Fresco dining, grab a blanket, pack a picnic, and head to your closest beach.  We’re happiest here, where we feel we’re truly embracing the Mediterranean lifestyle whether we’re walking the dog or catching a sunset with friends after work, we always feel utterly blessed to live by the sea.

When it comes to Summer hosting, here are three of our go-to’s for creating the perfect Al Fresco experience:

A delicious meal doesn’t need to be complicated.

If you’re like us, and would prefer to simplify the cooking and cut straight to the eating, here are some stress-free recipes that will have your guests marvelling at your culinary skills (they don’t need to know you followed a three step recipe!).  Whether you’re hosting a beachside gathering or a garden BBQ, often it’s the simple recipes that hit the spot.

Sheet Tray Tomato and Basil Frittata 


Grilled Peach Burratta Salad


It’s all in the details.

Picking the right tableware is an important choice when it comes to dressing your Al Fresco table, but often it’s the smaller details that complete a table scape.  Think about embracing natural elements such as a rustic arrangement of Lavender, or a cutting from a potted Olive tree.  Don’t forget about colour and texture.  Mixing linen napkins, wooden placemats or woven table runners will add depth and visual interest to your table.  As your party flows over into the evening, add tea lights and fairy lights for ambience and atmosphere.

Of course, DV has you covered when it comes to creating this set up with a wide range of tableware, accessories and inspiration. Head over to the website for a browse.

Design Vintage Table Setting

Summer sounds.

Cafe del Mar.  Is there anything that sounds more like summer?  This iconic bar located on the island of Ibiza is known for its ambient music, and these chill-out tracks are the perfect addition to any Al Fresco set up.  We often have this playing at our Chichester Showroom and Cafe, it’s a definite favourite!

Take a look at some of Spotifys carefully curated playlists too, they do all the work for you and are great at pulling together the right soundtrack for your occasion.  We love knowing we don’t have to add DJ to our list of hosting duties!  We’re loving Workday Lounge and Jazz Vibes at the moment, playlists that perfectly mix both upbeat and chill out tracks that would fit perfectly into dinner for one, an intimate family gathering or a party of 12.  The right choice of music goes a long way in establishing a great atmosphere: it’s the last, but certainly not the least of our Al Fresco dining tips.

So here’s hoping August!  Please don’t disappoint.

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