Tablescaping outdoors, and the touches you might not have thought about

Tablescaping outdoors, and the touches you might not have thought about

What is tablescaping and why do we care? Just like how wearing a costume to a fancy dress party instantly removes any feelings of mundanity and puts everyone in an excitable mood, making an extra effort over decorating a lunch or dinner table lifts the vibes and makes the statement that we’re all here for an extra good time.

 

When you’re entertaining indoors, your non-food prep list might look something like this:  Set the table, choose your best glassware, light a candle, and select the music.

 

Entertaining outdoors on the other hand, gives you more opportunity to add special, memorable touches.

 

Even choosing where you put your table can add a magical element to your evening. Drawing guests away from the patio, and to a greener spot of the garden can instantly set the tone for an enchanting meal.

 

For the daytime, either a parasol or natural shade are essential to keep guests comfortable. I’d say that hanging a wasp deterrent from your parasol or overhanging trees is an essential addition for a bothersome-free time.

 

For the evening, you can layer the lighting with a mixture of candles and fairy lights, and if you have portable lamps in your house, bring those out too for a touch of decadence.

 

To decorate the table, my favourite options include freshly cut flowers in jam jars (short stubby jars or vases work well on invariably wobbly outdoor tables) or abundant fruit bowls, filled with either fruits or unusual vegetables. I’ve used artichokes before which have an interesting floral shape. Potted plants from your home can work just as well as a last minute centrepiece. In fact, anything from inside your home, brought outside, instantly brings a fresh perspective on the item, and feels slightly playful.

3 artichokes on a table

Of course, plates, cutlery, glasses and serveware all add to dressing the table. And your table can start to feel full quite quickly. A little table or coffee table from inside the house can be placed alongside your main table for overflow food and bottles of drink.

 

If you’re preparing and laying out the food in advance, you’ll need to think about food covers. That could be a netted dome, or some light table tea towels or napkins can work just as well to keep flies at bay.

Maison Flaneur embroidered linen napkins

(Napkins: Maison Flaneur)

 

The more comfortable you can make your guests, the longer the meal, conversation and conviviality will last. Consider having a basket of blankets, scarves or big jumpers to hand for when the sun starts to dip.

 

If you can, have a playlist of music lined up and ready to keep the mood and the energy going when the food comas start to hit. You can use either outdoor speakers, or, assuming you’re only eating outside if the weather is dry, use an extension lead to move your indoor speakers to a suitable flower bed.

 

And last but not least, it’s the fabrics that maketh the home, and the same applies to the garden! Tablecloths, napkins, parasols, bunting or blankets: choose fabrics that appeal to you, layer different patterns, styles and colours. Nothing needs to match. In fact, the less matching, the more relaxed the vibe will be.

Issy Granger piped linen tablecloth

(Tablecloth: Issy Granger)

 

And now, on to planning the food!

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Sewn in England
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Sewn in England
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Designer fabric made in England
Sewn in England
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Made in England
To fit 38mm pole
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Sewn in England
5+ years fade-resistant
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