Friday, 22 June 2012

Whatever is dreamed on this night, will come to pass.*

I can’t quite believe the summer solstice was yesterday (it only seems like 177 days since Christmas…**) – given that the weather has been so unpredictable (read ‘shocking’) over the past few months, I do believe that we all need to be super prepared for alfresco dining when we are fortunately enough to enjoy some summer sun (and that will be in the third week of September if the last few years are anything to go by… and only for one day… typically a Tuesday… and it will end with a spectacular thunderstorm at about 7pm, just when everyone leaves work to go and sit in a beer garden…).

So, in a brief departure from interior design, I thought I would pull together some inspirational images of alfresco dining to inspire you, whether it’s for a fully fledged summer garden party or simply for a lazy breakfast, a tasty lunch or a relaxing dinner…

(Image from www.amorologyweddings.com photographed by Jill Thomas)
(Image from Style Files)
Although both these images are set in lush greenery (and in an outside space that we can only dream of within Zone 2 in London), they comprise of a few simple and consistent elements that make them work very effectively and help to create an enticing place to eat – elements that you can easily and cheaply recreate in your own garden. In both images the stylists have focused on statement tablecloths, complemented with brightly coloured tableware, chairs, lanterns, garlands and vases (with flowers in – yep, even in a garden…) – both schemes also include candles to make the setting more atmospheric as the natural light deteriorates later in the day…

I also love this idea for keeping your wine cool - a trough for ice running down the centre of the table. Super simple and truly brilliant, but maybe only cost effective if you actually own the vineyard… and live in a climate where the ice doesn’t melt every five minutes…

(Image from Dwell)

Anyway, last night I dreamt about a long, hot summer… balmy days with a gentle westerly breeze in the evening to take the edge off the heat… then I woke up and realised it was the dog breathing on my face. Well, even if it doesn’t come to pass and we don’t get the weather we deserve, we should still make preparations for our one day Indian summer at the back end of September…

* William Shakespeare – On the Summer Solstice… A Midsummer Night’s Dream

**By my reckoning, it’s 178 days since Christmas Day…

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