Monday, June 13, 2011

RSVP Collection No. 7 - Dining Alfresco

There's something quaint about outdoor dining with a few close friends. It's laid back and very rewarding. And it can be very impromptu if you stock your pantry and freezer with just a few simple items and make a quick stop at the roadside farmers' stand.

Here's a simple menu:

Willow Bee Inspired
Dining Alfresco Menu

Tomato, Basil and Mozzarella Salad

Marinated Grilled Breast of Chicken

Classic Italian Pasta Salad

Grilled Fresh Veggie Variety

Favorite Bottle of Pino Grigio

One of the keys to outdoor dining is the atmosphere. Atmosphere can be achieved with very little effort and a bit of planning.

Theme is important so pick a color scheme that enhances those amazing flower beds you worked hard on. Better yet pick a color that contrasts them! My color scheme of orange and lime green hasn't failed me yet. I love how the dishes pop against white linens and 70s-style cotton napkin prints as well as, the pink, orange and coral blooms of my annuals and perennials. Linens for outdoor dining you ask? Absolutely! You can find inexpensive linens for outdoor dining almost anywhere. And when the evening breezes come, the flutter of the linen tablecloth waves its approval to the atmosphere you've created. Well it does!

Be creative with your dining accessory needs, it can be so much fun. An old urn can be filled with ice and hold bottled beverages, Mason jars and a bit of wire become candelabras, Hosta leaves become coasters, and old tin cans wrapped with large leaves and twine make great candle holders for the table.

Speaking of illumination, there is nothing like the glow of a fire pit to remind us that these people here tonight are the best friends anyone could ask for. Who else would be content to just sit, sip wine, and stare into the flames in silence or with relaxed conversation and understand that these are truly times to be cherished? Okay, and they won't tell a single soul just how many smores we enjoyed.

Image Sources: Veranda, Pottery Barn, Home Away, Picsweb, Carsmach

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