Simple Ideas for Outdoor Summer Dining

You know me well enough that I love setting beautiful tables, no matter what season. This time of year is my favorite because it allows setting beautiful tables outdoors. We are always looking for exciting and new places to enjoy a meal with our friends while at Montana’s ranch. You can share some great ideas for outdoor summer dining with us today.

As a bonus, I have 14 good friends sharing their summer entertaining and dining ideas with me today. Please scroll down to the bottom of this post to view all their tips!

IDEA #1 – Choose A Unique Location

You can set up a lovely dinner table in any part of your yard, whether it’s a small backyard with some grass or a more remote area. You may have a vegetable patch that you can use to set up a table with various menus highlighting the vegetables you grow. You might have a tree that makes a stunning backdrop to a table setting. There are many locations you can enjoy unique outdoor dining experiences no matter where you live.

One example is the little spot in the woods near our ranch that I love. The place is cozy and romantic, and you can hear the creek roaring in the background. Although it isn’t convenient for dinner service, it’s close enough to the kitchen. However, I’ve wanted to host a small dinner party here for some time, so I bought a folding table 6′ and six chairs.

IDEA #2 – Set up easy lighting solutions

Lack of lighting is one potential problem in remote locations. This issue has been solved in many different ways over the years.

String lights can be hung near your table if there is electricity nearby. One string of outdoor lights provided sufficient ambient lighting for my table. String lights can be attached to stakes strategically placed near trees if you don’t live nearby.

Zf Verano America is my favorite outdoor lighting option. Their cordless, rechargeable lighting products are the best for tabletop decoration.

With just a touch of the top, the Poldina Pro lamps will light up and last for over 9 hours. They are available in 11 colors and look great on any table. They come in white and rust, and I find they work well with any table. These little lamps are an excellent solution to remote lighting problems.

IDEA #3 – Bring out the Pretty Linens

Although it can seem like extra work to use good linens for a table setting, it will make a big difference in how your table looks. I only have a few tablecloths because my table base is usually neutral. However, I have a few natural and white linen tablecloths used in my dining room and in the woods.

I see the table setting as the backdrop palette for the flowers and place settings. I wanted to create a strong contrast between the dark surroundings of the table and the white cloth I used for this table.

This gorgeous cloth from Pom Pom HOME was a recent purchase. This tablecloth is beautiful in bright white with drapey ruffles. I’ll use it again and again. I added a burlap runner to the center of my table to add texture and contrast.

Also, I always use cloth napkins in unexpected places. I love being surrounded by nature and using a linen napkin. It makes me (and my guests!) super happy.

These lovely napkins by Pom Pom Home feature the most exquisite stitching and a casual fringe, making them the perfect choice to set the table.

IDEA #4: Use flowers/greenery from your yard

It is essential for any table setting to blend in with the surrounding environment. One way to do that is by creating floral arrangements that include flowers and greenery from your garden.

Peony bushes grow right in front of my farmhouse. I used them as a natural choice for this table setting. However, I wanted to add some greenery and wildflowers to the mix.

My mom and I went foraging in the woods and meadows and found beautiful wildflowers. The large arrangement adds a beautiful color to the woods and makes it look much better!

Idea #5: Add Simple and Pretty Place Settings

As much as I believe in cloth table linens, I prefer flatware, plates, and glasses made from natural materials to plastic or paper. Although it is only sometimes possible, bringing some dishes and drinks is worth the effort.

Hobby Lobby recently opened in my area. These plates and chargers were a great deal. They are part of their spring 2020 collection, but they appear to be offline. The leaves are beautiful, and I love the combination of the color and the galvanized steel chargers. These plates are just what I needed for this table setting. They have the right mix of whimsical and casual!

This table setting, topped with my new napkins (and a beautiful sprig full of wild lupine), is precisely what I wanted to achieve in this tiny spot in the woods.


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