Al Fresco dining the easy way

There’s nothing better than having an elegant dinner party outside! Illuminated by candles, lanterns and lots of colorful dinnerware, your al fresco dining experience can be romantic, whimsical or sophisticated depending on the decor you use. Preparing for an al fresco dinner party, whether it’s a large gathering or just a few close friends, doesn’t have to be difficult. You can have a relaxed and casual night without having to worry quite so much about planning, cooking and cleanup. Use these tips to get inspired for your next event and get everything organized and ready to go before the big day!

Lanterns at al fresco dinner party al fresco

Set a theme

Hosting a dinner can be fun for everyone, and centering the party or dinner date around a theme can inspire your design choices. If you’re throwing a Fourth of July party, consider handing out sparklers to guests or serving refreshments in red or blue glassware. There are plenty of options that can surround your theme, so get creative! Guests will appreciate the effort you’ve made and if you have a theme in mind, they can bring dishes or drinks to make a potluck setting.


Prevent bugs from crashing your party

Keep food organized and covered as the night goes on to prevent bugs from swarming your space. Once the food is served, it’s best to place covers over each food station and put away cocktail mixers so bugs aren’t attracted to the sweet smells.
For optimum bug protection, retractable screens can keep your indoor space bug-free during your party. And if you decide to place the food indoors after serving, retractable screens can easily open and close to invite guests in for second helpings. All Phantom’s screens are custom made with mesh that stops insects.

wine and food at al fresco dinner party al fresco

Provide shade

If you’re throwing an afternoon party, shade will keep guests from overheating or getting sunburnt. If your patio doesn’t have natural places with shade, use an umbrella that can be mounted on patio furniture. If you have a covered porch or veranda, you can screen it with Phantom’s retractable screens to provide ventilation and UV protection. The screens can also block harmful UV rays by more than 65 percent and provide shade from the harsh glare of the sun.


Plan ahead

If you’re throwing a large dinner party, make a list in advance so things go smoothly. It’s a great idea to share a list with guests via email so they can chip in with things to bring. This way, you don’t end up with five extra bags of potato chips. Ask guests to bring ice, cold beverages and desserts to make your job easier. Creating a list of things to bring will also serve as an RSVP list. You’ll know how many people to expect and can check off items on your pre-party to do list.

friends eating at al fresco dinner party