2 Looks For Your Outdoor Table

Tips for setting the scene for al fresco entertaining
Staff Writer
Tablesetting for dinner

Apples & Onions

Tablesetting for dinner

The greatest part of summer is being able to entertain outside. We love to recreate the feeling of an outdoor restaurant in our own backyards, which means using real plates and cloth napkins when setting the table, and enjoying the clink of nice glassware.  

Whether you’re setting the table for a family dinner or having a cocktail gathering this weekend, it’s easy to add simple, summery style to your look by mixing in your own casual touches such as fresh herbs and unexpected decorative pieces.

To inspire you, we created two pretty outdoor tables using the same basic tools: simple sets of ceramic plates, chargers, and flatware. The first look is perfect for a breakfast in the garden with friends and the second is for an elegant candlelit dinner for two.


Breakfast in the Garden

When creating this look, we spotted beautiful hydrangeas in cloud-like colors that we used as inspiration, setting them in our favorite juice pitcher and building the rest of the look around that. The sugar and creamer, as well as the napkins, pick up the beautiful sky-blue colored petals. An antique ceramic rooster completes the daytime look. It’s a table with a happy, comfortable feel that just invites you to linger over flaky croissants and chunky mugs of hot coffee all morning.


Ceramic dishware by Simon Pearce; glasses by Juliska; block-print napkins and chargers by Pottery Barn; antique rooster; creamer and sugar bowl by Nigella Lawson; flatware by Match Pewter. 


An Elegant Candlelit Dinner

For this table, our goal was to create an elegant yet neutral background that would create a warm feeling once lit by candles; we used a flax-colored linen runner and matching classic hem-stitched napkins. The rattan chargers and the pottery remain the same, as does the pewter flatware. Our next step was to add in accessories you would use for an elegant meal around your formal dining room table, like Tiffany candlesticks and fine crystal goblets. Dahlias and mint snipped from the garden echo the unexpected summertime shades of the wineglasses and look fresh in mini milk bottles.  


Napoli table runner by Libeco; Grand Lieu goblets by Saint Louis Crystal; vintage water goblets; vintage milk bottle vases; Hampton crystal candlesticks by Tiffany & Co. 


Sarah and Lydia have been helping clients with entertaining needs both big and small, turning inspirational ideas into real experiences that friends and family will always treasure. For more tips and entertaining ideas, visit their site at Apples & Onions.

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