Outdoor Dining-Entertaining Sonoma Style™

Outdoor Dining-Entertaining Sonoma Style™

Outdoor dining, otherwise known as dining Alfresco, is a pleasure for the senses. I don’t know what it is, but there is something elemental about tasting food, in a beautiful setting outdoors in nature, and with friends. Alfresco dining is known as a style of dining that is casual and often party-like in its atmosphere, in a cool place and always outdoors. It’s one of the major elements to outdoor living.

We Entertain Sonoma Style

Outdoor entertaining is, by definition, a casual affair, so don’t stand on ceremony when it comes to planning your next summer party. It’s less about the formality of matching plates and table linens and more about enjoying a great backyard barbecue with family and friends. From a laid back morning meal, drinks by the pool; or dinner for 1 to 10 or more, here are a few tricks to set the scene, making it look extravagant with minimal effort.

  1. Setting a stylish table can be surprisingly simple with a little creativity.
  2. Accommodating a large group for a sit-down meal outside can be accomplished easily and elegantly by topping a few folding tables with a rustic flat-panel door or a single piece of plywood covered with cloth.
  3. Mix and match chairs from your home or flea markets and garage sales.

    photo courtesy of House Beautiful via City Sage

  4. Don’t be afraid to play with patterns by adding bright color, and mixing old with new. Layer bright cheerful table clothes, mis matched plates, flowers, candles, mats, napkins
  5. Create centerpieces using what’s in your  own yard. Flowering or fruiting branches look elegant, as do fern fronds, fruit in bowls, potted plants etc.

    photo via Houzz

  6. If it’s an especially warm day, keep plenty of fruit or citrus-infused water on hand for your guests. A drink dispenser will allow them to refill their glasses
  7. Shade, make sure there is plenty for your guests.
  8. Make sure there is magical lighting after dark with candles, strung lights, lanterns and tiki torches.

    photo courtesy of Kiwi Collections Hotel

  9. Running a fan near your dining area will help keep mosquitoes at bay — and keep your guests cool, too.
  10. You may also want to fill a container, such as a flowerpot or basket, with natural insect repellent (made from essential oils) as well as non-greasy sunscreen.

 But the bottom line is to be prepared, so you can have fun! Here’s to dining Alfresco…Cheers! It’s a Little Bit of Beauty™ for sure.

What are some of your tips or tricks for summer entertaining? Leave me a comment, I’d love to know. In the meantime, enjoy how we entertain Sonoma Style…





  1. Mané Rebelo-Plaut 11 years ago

    Just magical 🙂

  2. Florida Arrand 10 years ago

    Folding tables that are based from hardwoods are the best, i always buy folding tables that are very durable and hardwoods are the best. ‘;.,;



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