Garden Ideas and Inspiration for Alfresco Dining

Throughout the spring and summer months, making the most of your outside space as a place to enjoy dining with family and friends becomes the best place to enjoy eating together. With barbecues, warmer temperatures and  longer and lighter evenings, the garden is the perfect place for a seating area to enjoy your summer meals.  

For larger gardens you can fully embrace the outdoors as an extension of your living space, creating an outdoor kitchen and dining area to entertain with. But even those with smaller spaces can create a space for alfresco dining, with clever space saving furniture and multipurpose storage.

Tips for Designing Your Own Alfresco Dining Area

  • Find sheltered spots to position your seating or dining areas under. Usually, outdoor dining spaces are located either close to an entrance to the home or in a secluded part of the garden. 
  • Think about sun positioning when choosing where to put your seating area. Ideally you don’t want to place your table in a spot which typically only has shade, or only direct sunlight. A combination of both is ideal.
  • Add shelter to tables or furniture that are exposed to the elements to protect from the unpredictable British weather. Gazebos and pergolas are great options.
  • When dining outside it is easy to lose track of time and summer evenings can become quite chilly. Ensuring you have heating, either a table top or stand alone fire pit, or overhead electric heaters can help keep guests warm as day turns to night.
  • Choose specifically designed outdoor dining sets to ensure longevity. Foldable dining sets are great for smaller spaces and for putting away when the weather is colder. If you are choosing a larger set, ensure you have the means to keep it protected from the weather when not in use and a place to store seat cushions.  
  • Use outdoor lighting to create an atmosphere around the table and ensure you can still see after the sun begins to set. Solar lighting is a great, cheaper alternative than wiring in an external light source.
  • For family dining, having an outdoor table set is great to ensure that your dishes remain in one piece. Plastic dining sets can still look like normal sets but help to make clearing up easier and reduce accidents. 
  • For larger spaces you can look at creating an outdoor kitchen dedicated to alfresco cooking, right next to where you will eat. These are often best placed next to the house and always on a level deck or patio. Barbecues and pizza ovens will be the main feature with handy storage solutions that can be built around, providing places for your dining sets and condiments close to your seating. 
  •  Waterproof seat cushions are also a great addition to wood garden dining sets to add extra comfort and a more appealing look to your seating area helping to blur the boundary between your indoor and outdoor seating areas.

Choosing the Right Seating for Your Alfresco Dining Area

When creating an alfresco dining area, one of the most important features is your dining set. If you are going to be purchasing a new set, think about: how many people do you need to fit?,  what size will fit your available space?, and if you have a particular style in mind. There are many different types of dining set to choose from and will ultimately be impacted by your answers to the questions above. At Holt Garden Centre we stock a wide variety of outdoor dining sets, including smaller bistro sets, sofa sets and more formal dining sets to suit a variety of needs and gardens, pop instore to view these in person or browse our selection online.

Consider the Location of Your Dining Area

Usually it is ideal to put your outdoor seating area close to the house, allowing easy access to your kitchen and making bathroom trips quicker. However, this will depend on the layout of your house, try to avoid putting seating areas close to the windows of childrens bedrooms to stop them being disturbed and think about positioning in relation to your neighbours. The best place for your dining area will depend on your house and garden, but creating a space that everyone can enjoy by thinking about these considerations can help get the most out of your alfresco dining experience.

Extending your living area by making use of your garden is a great way to create a larger functional space but also provides a relaxing space to enjoy the summer. If you would like any more help and advice on creating an alfresco dining space, or you would like to view our dining sets, barbecues and plants to finish your project, pop in store where you can find our full product range and our friendly staff members are available to answer any of your questions.

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