5 Tips for Hosting a Relaxed Outdoor Dinner Party

5 Tips for Hosting a Relaxed Outdoor Dinner Party
  • Les Jardins
  • Apr 01, 2019
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Spring was practically invented for outdoor entertaining. Mild weather, lingering sunlight, fresh blooms – how can one not be inspired to plan an alfresco dinner with family and friends? The secret to mastering the art of hosting outdoors is simple. Keep it light (no pun intended)! Effortless, elegant, and sustainable is key. Here are some of our favorite outdoor entertaining tips.

Well-placed outdoor lighting revitalizes a patio or backyard, makes it come to life at dusk, and invites guests to linger long after the sun goes down. Arrange a few of our solar lanterns as part of your tablescape. Create magical, café style ambience by hanging a canopy of backyard string lights. Or add visual interest by layering in various types of tabletop, overhead, and pathway lighting to cocoon your space with light. No matter how you style it, outdoor lighting is essential and makes a space feel intimate, festive and warm, no matter what time of year.


Yes, paper plates are arguably the easier choice, but chic melamine dinnerware is inexpensive, elegant, and a great way to showcase your tabletop style. Lightweight, break-proof, and easy to clean, melamine elevates the dining experience while cutting down on waste. A true exercise in sustainable elegance, if you ask us.


Fresh, seasonal menu items are a must. Think light, refreshing and easy-to-put-together dishes like prosciutto-wrapped melon or asparagus, spring greens with mint, walnuts and parmesan, pasta with parsley, ricotta and peas, salmon with herbs, etc. Keep dessert streamlined with berries and cream, a simple lemon chiffon cake, or an array of seasonal sorbets. And speaking of refreshing, homemade lemonade is a nice touch, as is a sustainable white wine.


Chances are, your outdoor setting is already bucolic on its own, so keep things simple when it comes to table décor. A row of our smaller lanterns makes for a beguiling tabletop display. Layer in potted plants, eucalyptus leaves, or a glass bowl filled with lemons or pebbles for a pretty and unexpected centerpiece. Bring things up a notch with natural elements like woven jute table runners and place mats. You could even consider serving food atop tree rounds for the ultimate rustic, nature-inspired style.


To get the most out of your outdoor space, treat it like a real dining room. If you can, place an outdoor-friendly rug underfoot for coziness. Swap out décor by playing with throw pillows in weather-resistant fabric and add extra floor seating with round poufs or ottomans. If you can, stream in ambient music to keep things even more relaxed and lounge-worthy for yourself and your guests.


Fresh air and sunlight have true transformative powers, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t channel them for our next spring soiree. Just remember to keep things light and relaxed – and as a host, you’ll be light and relaxed, too.

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