Good Monday evening! Hope all is well on your end, here spring is taking it’s time to make it’s appearance but it is happening which is a beautiful thing! I absolutely cannot wait until the grass starts to turn that beautiful rich shade of green, and the nurseries are bursting at the seams with gorgeous spring flowers, until we can fling open our windows and finally walk outside without a jacket. Amen for spring! Along with the warm weather comes the inevitable al fresco dining which is one of the biggest perks of all for me. Everything tastes better outside, plus setting an outside table is so much fun. I know within fingers crossed, a few weeks we will hopefully be able to have our first al fresco meal of the season. So thought it would be fun as we all rub our hands in anticipation of the season to share some al fresco inspiration with you. And of course, as always would love your feedback and entertaining/serving tips too. So let’s get this party started- ____________________________________ Love this setting and have always wanted a draped outdoor space like this….so gorgeous! Traditional Home Love using my melamine, before this it always would have been about china but this is the look of china with no worries about breakage or lugging out heavy stacks of dishes! Even simple settings like this can be made so beautiful and welcoming, a simple tin filled with fresh flowers has such impact in this luscious garden patio, Elle Decor Sunflowers and a bottle or two of Rose are synonymous with summer, for me (gorgeous holder by Sasha Nicholas) This looks like heaven! Not sure where it is but I am imagining Napa Valley, wine, bread and cheese is all that is needed! What a setting! Beth Webb for Atlanta Homes Yes this is called dining al fresco on steriods, but what do you expect from Bunny William’s house! Carolyn Roehme has made a career out of showing us how to dine and really takes it to the next level with all of her incredible al fresco settings Outdoor dining can be a simpler but elegant affair, Sharon Santoni I have always wanted to set up a talbe like this on the grass in the garden,something so magical about this kind of set up, Southern Accents This is as cozy as it is beautiful, love how intimate it is. South Shore Decorating Yep another pretty setting with my melamine……really does make summer entertaining such a breeze:) When dining by the water, you don’t need much to make it a memorable evening, House Beautiful This is a neat and inexpensive idea…using greens and various plants as a more rustic decorating element for an outdoor dinner party, Black Twine With a setting like this, you could have a blanket on the ground and it would be fabulous but love the rustic elegant vibe going on here, Focus on Garden Besides being sure to have plenty of votives and candlelight, don’t forget to bring out the crystal, why not….life is short! My French Country Home A beautiful setting with my melamine and tulipieres, when you can dress things up to make it feel like an extra special experience, why not! Few things say summer dining as beautifully as wicker accents on a table, paired with a crisp linen napkin on a beautiful tablecloth, its a recipe for alfresco perfection, Aerin Lauder A pretty setting I did a few years back for a showhouse at Mill Neck Manor for the Deaf The view, the food, the casual but super stylish set up is a definite yet, Veranda A well stocked outdoor bar preferably one that can be rolled under cover is a must, Bunny Williams How about dining int he middle of a field preferably with a few beautiful horses grazing out yonder for added ambiance Flower Magazine Don’t forget to serve your beverages in pretty containers, elevates the whole experience! This beauty is from Sasha Nicholas Don’t need to tell you I just love this, intimate and beautiful with all the blue and white, Traditional Home Flowers are a must for me even for casual small settings, love this all white table from My French Country Home Love this elegant but still somewhat casual setup from Classic Casual Home..fabulous! Never met a long table set with blue and white that I didn’t just love:) Birmingham Home and Garden Don’t be afraid to think outside the box……how clever are these perfectly sized salads in teacups! Love this idea, Pinterest How magical is this!! Done by party planner extraordinaire Mindy Weiss, just dreamy! Proof positive that melamine has every right to be at even a dressy feeling outdoor table, such as this setting above. Definitely one of my all time faves:) I have always wanted a greenhouse and once I saw this years ago from Carolyn Roehm, I started daydreaming about the beautiful lunches and candlelit dinners I would hold in them…….this is incredible! ________________________________ Ahhhhhh this has me daydreaming about starry warm late spring/summer nights and setting a table for dining under the stars. Whether for 2 or 20, I take such pleasure in the entire experience. It’s not as much about the food as the pleasure of sitting outdoors, enjoying a nice glass of wine or a cocktail and getting to chat and laugh with those you care about. To me, that’s the ultimate way to enjoy a meal….any meal. This post was cathartic for me, I have gotten lazy about entertaining, rarely do it but I am going to step up my game this summer and try to have at least 2 small outdoor dinners a month, whether it’s inviting another couple or a gaggle of friends, life is too short to not enjoy this wonderful pleasure that we can only enjoy for a handful of months a year. Thanks for stopping in, wishing everyone a great day and smooth start to your week! Until next time….. PS As of Monday night, this much anticipated pillow power flash sale is on! Limited number of each pillow, you are finding about it before it is announced tomorrow. Click here to see all the amazing pillows.