people eating in the garden

A Guide to Garden Alfresco Dining


As the warm weather beckons and the nights are lighter, there's no better way to enjoy a meal than outside in your garden! 

Alfresco dining offers a refreshing change of scenery, combining the pleasures of delicious food with the beauty of your garden. Whether you have a sprawling landscaped garden, a cosy patio, or even a small balcony, creating a picturesque outdoor dining space is within reach. 

Wine and glasses on a garden table

Choose the Perfect Setting

Before you dive into the details, consider the available space in your outdoor garden area and select the ideal spot for alfresco dining. Look for a spot with good natural light and a pleasant view, such as overlooking a flowerbed or nestled beneath a tree. Ensure the space is easily accessible from your kitchen or cooking area for convenience.

Wondering what paving makes the best setting for a patio dining area? Take a look at our blog, which explores the different paving options available

Ambience with Lighting

You can add even more magic to your alfresco dining experience by incorporating soft lighting. String lights, lanterns, and candles create a warm and inviting atmosphere that will keep you and your guests cosy after the sun goes down. 

Solar-powered lights are also eco-friendly and can add a charming touch to your outdoor garden area. Use lighting strategically to highlight certain areas and create a magical ambience for your patio dining.

Latern on wooden table

Comfortable Furniture

There’s nothing better than sitting in your patio dining space, entertaining guests until the wee hours — so comfortable furniture is a must!

Choose from rustic wooden picnic tables to elegant patio sets with weather-resistant cushions. When you’re choosing what alfresco dining furniture to buy, consider the number of guests you typically entertain and the size of your space. 

Remember to provide ample shade through umbrellas, canopies, or strategically placed trees for hot summer days when dining outside.

You could invest in a new patio to take your outdoor garden area to the next level. Porcelain paving is perfect for creating that chic modern look, while natural stone is a brilliant option for more rustic alfresco dining areas.

people eating in garden

Table Setting

Your table setting can help you to turn your patio from a quick picnic area to a luxurious, relaxing alfresco dining experience. Layer vibrant, nature-inspired tablecloths with muted placemats and coasters for a complimentary look or go for simple linen runners for a pared-down, minimalist aesthetic.

You can also use fresh flowers or potted plants for your patio dining area centrepiece, adding extra colours, textures and scents to your table. Don't forget about practical items like cutlery, plates, glasses, and napkins, which should be durable and suitable for outdoor alfresco dining use.

If you’d like to curate the perfect alfresco dining space in your outdoor garden area, you can choose the best paving stones and find a Bradstone-assured landscaper here.