Not much beats alfresco dining. In Australia, we are blessed with a fantastic climate and many months of hot weather that enables us to enjoy any outdoor space we are lucky enough to have available. This makes it nice and easy to fire up the BBQ and cook a delicious meal outdoors. But, without the right accessories, your alfresco dining experience may fall a bit flat, so letís look at what you need to ensure your cookout is a huge success.
A Suitable Dining Area
Itís no fun at all eating a delicious meal outdoors if you have to stare at a concrete wall or mountain of overgrown vegetation infested with spiders, snakes, and other nasties. For most Australians, the solution is to build a stylish patio area. How you design your patio is a personal decision, but make the most of the available space, fit patio blinds to keep the chill out during winter, and hire a professional to do the installation if DIY is not your forte.
The Right Cooking Equipment
You canít cook a nice meal if you donít have the right equipment. At the top of the range, we have outdoor kitchens, but if your budget wonít stretch that far, invest in a built-in BBQ or pizza oven. This should make outdoor cooking a breeze, plus you can stay warm in cooler weather. Just remember to build a food preparation area so you arenít running to and from the kitchen every five minutes.
Make sure you invest in good quality furniture. An attractive dining table is essential. Opt for a budget model that folds away when not in use or pay a little extra for a modern, fitted unit crafted from polished concrete or steel.
Are you planning on cooking and eating at night? If so, you will need to install adequate lighting. However, whilst lighting is essential, you donít need to stick to utilitarian lights that illuminate the entire neighbourhood. Instead, look for decorative lighting; LED string lights are pretty and solar-powered lights are eco-friendly.
There are a million and one items you can invest in to make your alfresco dining experience more enjoyable. Scented candles that repel insects are always useful. Also, your guests will probably appreciate comfortable seat cushions, nice dinnerware, and pretty glassware. Pick a colour scheme and design your patio seating and dining area accordingly.
Food and Drink
Successful outdoor dining requires the right food and drink. This is very much a personal choice, but you canít go wrong with grilled meat, mixed salad, and a good choice of beer and wine.
The Right Guests
You also need a mixed guest list. For an informal outdoor dinner, invite close family and friends to join you for some awesome food and unlimited drinks, but if you want a more memorable occasion, put together a guest list of friends, family, neighbours, and anyone else you enjoy spending time with. Your alfresco dinner party is sure to be a riot!
Do have any more suggestions? If so, let us know in the comments section!