The closest thing to a villa holiday, nothing signals summer like stepping outdoors and entertaining in the sunshine.
But if your open space is more currently looking more dull and dismal than French Riviera, or a bit on the poky side, fear not. Whether or not you’re lucky enough to be blessed with lush, sprawling lawns, even the smallest of patios has the potential to be brightened up with some potted plants and hanging baskets, for instance.
Set the scene with colourful tableware and informal garden furniture; the perfect recipe for eating al fresco. The latest collections suit all tastes and budgets this summer, whether it’s a casual shindig you’re after or more formal outdoor dining to mark a special occasion.
You don’t have to fork out on pricey crockery and outdoor items - there are lots of fun and charming disposable or plastic dining sets, as well as paper decorations and bunting.
As Lauren Bennett, Sainsbury’s outdoor buyer, points out, this makes “outdoor entertaining both easy and affordable”. And new trend-led designs for items like napkins, cutlery and sundae bowls means budget al fresco dining can be “p ractical and stylish”.
Of course, those keen to make outdoor eating a regular event for summer might want to invest in a good BBQ. But, that’s not essential - you can even go smoke-free and cook indoors but eat outside.