Al Fresco MagicPublished on June 26, 2019

Photo by: Jake Seal

One of the great joys of summer is dining al fresco. Food tastes better and drinks seem more refreshing while sitting outdoors.

A simple menu of meat and vegetables served straight from the grill makes throwing a garden party enjoyable for both host and guests. The experience is enhanced with décor that complements the environment.

Outdoor decoration should never be overdone. First, look at the setting and take your cue from there. Flowers and greenery planted in the garden and container pots provide almost all the colour you will need. Offset the stronger hues with softer tones for the tablescape.

White linens together with pastel-coloured glasses and dishes work beautifully with pinks and greens. Pick flowers from the garden for a centrepiece that is a true reflection of the setting.

While red and white gingham is a classic combination for an outdoor barbecue, trends are turning to softer tones for backyard entertaining. Splashes of yellow are ideal to bring the deep green from trees, shrubs and grass to life, but ideally avoid over-using primary colours to create a more sophisticated approach to open-air entertaining.

Lighting should be just bright enough to see what’s on the table, but soft enough to create a magical feeling. Festoon lights come in a variety of colours and provide the perfect amount of illumination. Find a variety at or Add some unscented candles on the table to create the flickering effect of movement.

With some attention to decorative details, a casual backyard barbecue is easily transformed into an enchanted memory-making evening.

Mary Taggart

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