Dining alfresco is one of the joys of life, and all it needs is a little management to make sure it’s perfect. There are some very simple, easy, no-expense things you can do to cover all the angles. All you need to do is survey the location, and make your plans. You can also throw in a few special touches to the alfresco dining while you’re at it. There’s nothing quite like sitting on the home patio or verandas, eating great food with good friends.
Location, location- What are the possible issues?
Where you dine is important. Depending on where you live, the time of year, and the local environment, there are always some possible situations to avoid when dining alfresco.
Whatever the situation, you need to consider all the known factors in advance:
- How many people?
- How much food?
- What preparations are required?
- How long will it take to set everything up?
- Any special needs for anyone?
- Any equipment, like fondue, teppanyaki, etc., needed?
This is very like party planning, but it also means you can sit down and enjoy your own meal knowing everything’s under control. It also means you can plan the entire meal and be quite sure you’re not forgetting anything.
Issues and fixes
The weather is the natural first issue. Summer is the preferred season, and with summer come a few natural concerns:
- Daytime: Heat, light, dust, and noise in urban areas: The meal is eaten under good cover in a quiet space, with plenty of cool shade and liquids.
- Night: Insects, lighting, noise, privacy in open areas: Best to use a rear patio or veranda, with no intrusive elements from outside. The insects can be taken care of with a citronella candle or so.
- Space: You need a quiet open space, preferably covered, where you can organize and set up your meal effectively. You also need space for people to maneuver, so if you’re having several people for the meal, allow an area for the meal which includes a dining table, the food table, a drinks table, and perhaps a special area for desserts.
The personal touch
There’s absolutely nothing like your own home patio or veranda for a bit of added class and style. These are great settings for a dinner party, and you can add all the décor you like.
- You can add planters full of flowers, hanging baskets, and any scenic pieces.
- You can use the best dining ware, for once, knowing it will be appreciated.
- You can add special areas of aperitifs, trays, and other nibbles, just by adding a little mobile dinner tray or two.
- A tea and coffee service can be installed using an outdoor power point.
Put another way, you can have a ball. Nothing beats home alfresco dining under an Australian sky, with home cooking and a few friends. It’s the only way to live.