Though I have no scientific proof, I'm convinced that food tastes significantly better when eaten outdoors. After this painfully long winter we just endured, you'd better believe this will happen at every possible opportunity! And though the idea of throwing a dinner party may feel daunting, we've teamed up with Lowe's to round up our top 10 tips for easy, breezy outdoor entertaining. So go forth and dine al fresco!
#1 - When hosting an outdoor feast, it's always a good idea to simplify your menu. Think fresh fruit, pasta salad, grilled corn and the like. We always suggest you prepare dishes that don't need to be pipping hot to still remain enjoyable!
#2 - Prep your menu so the vast majority of dishes can be prepared beforehand. For the main course, select items that are totally hands off or at the very least grill-able so that you can be outside mingling with your guests instead of toiling away in the kitchen. A classic lasagna, a fresh quiche or, in our case, simple boiled lobster dipped in garlic butter are all a great idea!
#3 - When it comes to setting the table, skip the tablecloth so you're not battling with breezes all night long. Instead, opt for organic-inspired place mats to add that extra layer while protecting your table and feeling completely effortless.
#4 - Don't be afraid to add elements of luxury. Just because you're dining outdoors doesn't mean the paper plates need to emerge! Linen napkins, classic china and real silverware will make your guests feel special, and instantly elevate your meal.
#5 - Don't fuss with the centerpiece. A big vase filled with clippings from your garden feels elegant yet casual, and automatically fits in with your setting.
#6 - Get hands on: pass everything around family style or, if you're like us, boil a handful of lobsters and let your guests go to town!
#7 - Get inspired by summery dishes: grilled corn, fresh watermelon, a light salad... the works! Let's embrace summer as much as physically possible while it's here.
#8 - Consider your other senses and set the mood with a really wonderful playlist. At the top of our summer-inspired playlist: artists like Ben Harper, Jack Johnson and Xavier Rudd.
#9 - Remember to set the table with unscented candles (so as not to interfere with said senses), or string twinkly lights throughout your yard to ensure the party will last well into the evening.
#10 - And if all else fails, a chilled bottle of crisp white wine will always save the day.
PS - To see how we DIY'd this patio, head on over here!
Photography: Ruth Eileen Photography | Collaboration: Lowe's