In this article, Kate Cartwright from Burleigh shares her tips for planning a romantic meal with an outdoor twist.
Whether you’re social distancing or just want to take advantage of a good weather forecast, hosting an intimate dining experience in your garden is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and make the most of the season while spending time with your date. By going al fresco, you can benefit from all the comforts and privacy of home while spending quality time in nature, soaking up the sounds and scenery of your garden. And, with the right know-how, you can apply the correct finishing touches to transform this event into an even more elegant and special dining experience.
If you want to put together the perfect meal for two in your home, below I’ll share my tips for setting up supper in your garden.
Try something new
An event like this presents the perfect opportunity to push the boat out with your meal and experience something new with your loved one. You could add a layer of luxury and adventure to your evening with a recipe you haven’t tried before. If you don’t quite feel confident enough to pull off a whole new dish, you could add intrigue to an old favourite by experimenting with different flavours and ingredients. For example, look up new interpretations of your favourite pasta dish, or cook up a vegan version for a modern twist.
Set the table
By taking the time to set the table, you can also set the mood and make the evening feel as elegant as possible. As a starting point, choose your favourite hand-made ceramics that feature designs and patterns inspired by nature, such as floral motifs. You should also ensure you have enough plates ready for each course you prepare — that way, you can spend less time washing up between courses.
When setting the table, try and have a theme in mind to really tie the evening together — even if it’s just a colour scheme or pattern. For example, continuing the floral theme can add a pleasant and romantic touch to your dinner table. You could choose coloured drinking glasses, and decorate your table with flowers, garlands, and candles that either match or complement the colour of your dishes.
Create an ambience
A great way to make an evening meal feel intimate is to focus on all five senses. In addition to taste, look to focus on sight, smell, and sound too. I would recommend decorating with some scented candles that can cast a soft glow while adding a lovely fragrance, or using string lights (designed for outdoor use) and sprigs of fragrant herbs along the centre of your table. Finally, some soft music can set the right tone for your romantic meal.
Make it cosy
Alfresco dining in the UK can be difficult as the weather is notoriously unpredictable, and it tends to be much chillier than we anticipate — particularly after the sun sets. Fortunately, adding a few cosy extras to your dining area like a patio umbrella, garden heaters, and some blankets to snuggle under can all add to the intimacy of the evening in addition to protecting you and your guests from the elements.
The tips in this guide can help you put together an elegant meal for two in your garden. If you’re looking for something special to do, dining al fresco may just be thing.