Every year we eagerly anticipate the joy of great summer weather and dining al fresco but considering some of the complications that come with the territory (irritating insects, aggressive bees and the heat!) it comes as no surprise that the term ‘al fresco’ is borrowed from Italian and actually means "in the cool air." And what better time to dine in the cool air than during the fall season?
Here at The Local Vault we have paired up with CTbites to trade tips on the best way to enjoy the rest of the crisp fall air before we all head inside for the winter. So grab your cashmere sweater and a glass of Chianti and follow along!
In the world of interior design the term “bring the outside in” is well known and well advised in order to create a beautiful and serene home. Lately we have seen this term turned on its head as people have begun to bring the inside out. There is something simple yet luxurious about enjoying the outdoors with all the amenities usually reserved for the indoors – think “glamping” minus actually sleeping outside.
Tip #1: Treat the outdoors like a real room
One of our favorite things to do is treat the outdoors like a real room. This means real furniture – bringing pieces out to the patio or back yard. If you are planning a larger gathering, using the dining room table and chairs will be well worth the effort and make the evening extra special.
CTbites suggests serving: Chef Carey Savona's Heirloom Kale Salad
Tip #2: Get creative with seating
Planning a dinner party big or small outside is a time to let loose and get creative - try mixing and matching your seating options: pair classic dining chairs with stools, benches, or even wooden stumps for an eclectic look.
CTbites suggests serving: Stuffed Ricotta and Spinach Agnolotti
Tip #3: Get real
We love using real linens, plates and silverware and of course glasses – wine always tastes better in a proper glass.
CTbites suggests serving: Match Restaurant's Maple Braised Squash
Tip #4: Remember lighting
Nothing sets the ambiance like lighting. In addition to candles add some pretty white string lights to a nearby tree to create an instant dining space or try bringing out a couple of floor lamps with extension cords so you can linger at the table with family and friends for after dinner drinks and memorable conversation.
CTbites suggests serving: Autumn Apple Cherry Crisp
Tip #5: Try something new
If you are simply serving cocktails and appetizers how about setting out a bar cart? This piece has wheels for a reason! Get that baby outside and set up a fabulous serve yourself bar with some pizzaz. For setting your table, you can use a favorite plaid wrap as a table runner or you can drap them over the back of a chairs for your guests should they get a little chilly.
CTbites suggests serving: Hot Buttered, Apple Cider Spiced Absinthe