wikiHow to Dine Al Fresco

Al fresco dining is simply "eating outdoors". It adds a lively and enjoyable dimension to dining and gets you out of the house into the fresh, open air, encouraging a good appetite and an appreciation for the slower pace of life. This article provides a few ideas to help you organise outdoor dining successfully.


  1. Image titled Dine Al Fresco Step 1
    Find a suitable location to set up an outdoor dining area. Ideal features of an outdoor eating area include:
    • Sheltered from winds and fierce sun
    • Spacious so that a large group of people can be accommodated where possible (not always necessary but a nice touch)
    • Comfortable and pleasant - try to avoid facing blank, dull features such as a concrete wall. If you have problem walls, etc., try to enhance these or cover them with plants, decorative items, etc.
    • Near the kitchen for ease of bringing out the food, or at least accessible easily via a pathway, etc.
  2. Image titled Dine Al Fresco Step 2
    Choose a suitable table and chair setting. The table and chairs should be capable of resisting weather elements such as rain and sun.
  3. Image titled Dine Al Fresco Step 3
    Decorate simply. A tablecloth, some flowers, a lantern, etc. are the types of items suitable for decorating an outdoor table. Remember that you will have to cart all these items from the inside to outdoors and vice versa, so minimise this by being smart about your decoration choices. Even grabbing a pot plant from outside and placing it on a clean saucer for a feature piece can work well and it's easier to restore to its place after the meal.
  4. Image titled Dine Al Fresco Step 4
    Select the food. Cold food is often an easier choice than hot food, unless you have a barbecue or warming pad near to the table. A mixture of barbecued food with salads, sliced vegetables/fruit, pasta, cheeses, pâtés, etc., works well for al fresco dining.
  5. Image titled Dine Al Fresco Step 5
    Use insect deterrents. Place insect repellent herbs near the dining area (e.g., lavender, tansy, pyrethrum, etc.) and burn citronella candles or oil to keep the insects at bay.


  • Make the most of the natural setting and rely on it to provide most of the interest for your al fresco dining.
  • Candles placed in glass lanterns can be a romantic way to light the area in the evening without having the flames burn out. Many outdoor furniture and house wares stores sell these types of lanterns.

Things You'll Need

  • Table and chairs
  • Decorative elements
  • Barbecue (optional)
  • Menu

Article Info

Categories: Food and Entertaining