3 Designs to Dine Al Fresco

Al Fresco Dining Cover Image

Happy May Day, people! Today marks the beginning of my favorite month. I may be biased, given it is also my birthday month, but there is a lot to love about May. Not only are warm temperatures more consistent, days longer, and landscapes lusher, but you also have the entire summer to look forward to. I love the energy this time of year brings, and always feel compelled to get outside whenever possible to take advantage of the improved weather. One of my favorite ways to do so is by dining al fresco.

The expression “al fresco” derives from Italy, and roughly translates to “in the cold.” While Italians don’t actually use this phrase to reference outdoor dining, it has become a popular term in the US. May kicks off the prime window to dine outdoors, and I don’t mean just at restaurants. Creating an outdoor dining area for your own home creates more opportunity to gather and gorge with your favorite people.

Al Fresco Formulas

Depending on your go-to hosting style, there are three formulas to create the perfect al fresco dining space. Let me break it down for you.

  • Bites: you’re a charcuterie or grazing board connoisseur, and prefer to keep things light and casual
  • Apps: you like to strike a balance, flexing your cooking muscles a bit, but still with a relaxed atmosphere
  • Plates: you go all out, whipping up a full meal for guests to enjoy that extends for several hours

Based on your preference above, here is the dining setup I would recommend.

  • Bites: go with a coffee table. The low profile of a coffee table is ideal for little snacks you can easily grab with a toothpick or skewer, plus creates a cozy sense of intimacy.
  • Apps: high top tables are perfect for apps. They can either be the serving station, or you can have people plate up their food then sit or stand around the table.
  • Plates: a full dining table is best. Depending on how many people you generally have over, you can go with a smaller round design or a long rectangular. Don’t forget to consider scale. For example, if you have a deck with railings, a round top makes movement around the table easier.

Shop Outdoor Dining

Now that you have a better idea on how to create your al fresco area, here are some beautiful table options from the Eclectic Goods shop.

ECG Al Fresco Dining Styles Lookbook

Click the product name to shop: Coffee Tables 1. Culver Coffee Table 2. Gem Coffee Table 3. Mod Faceted Concrete Coffee Table 4. Colorado Drum Coffee Table || High Tops 1. Cyrus Bar/Counter Table 2. Avery Bar/Counter Table 3. Stapleton Square Bar Table 4. Simone Bar/Counter Table || Dining Tables 1. Rosen Dining Table 2. Winslow Dining Table 3. Hansen Tapered Dining Table 4. Wyton Dining Table