Summer, Coastal Tableware and Al Fresco Dining

It seems Al fresco is one those gatherings where friends linger longer…

  • Good quality white dinnerware.
  • A few additional dinner plates or side plates in soft shades of blue, mint green or patterned to add variety to the place settings. This allows you to layer your tableware.
  • Natural woven chargers or placemats to add texture
  • Coloured glassware to add a fun and relaxed feel to the table
  • White napkins always add a crisp look and feel. Add a personalized touch by using napkin rings or even a beach shell tied with some rope onto the napkin
  • Simple organic centerpieces: use greenery like succulents in beach sand or lanterns with candles and some beach shells added into them to add ambiance.

the food is always simple and the wine always flows.  A Portuguese girl at heart who absolutely loves spending time with friends and family. Our friends become family and family is always family. An Al fresco gathering signifies “out of doors and open air”. Al fresco, plan well and then you can relax with your guests and enjoy the moment.

A few essentials needed to style an AL FRESCO BEACH GATHERING. Don’t forget to decide what feel you want to give your guests. Will it be a rustic or an elegant experience??? Styling your table is half the fun of entertaining, then comes the good food and wineJ Dramatic hues of blue, white, mint green or aqua reflect the feel of BEACH so use these to add the softer touches to your table setting.

SIMPLE AL FRESCO FOODS to serve that can be easily placed onto the dinning table and passed around!!

A simple Tomato Mozzarella Salad

  • 2-3 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fresh ground pepper


Spinach & Orzo Salad (I have tried this salad and it’s so light and fresh)

  • Fresh baby spinach leaves {I use the bagged spinach}
  • 1 cup orzo pasta, cooked and drained; chill until ready to use
  • 1/2 purple onion, sliced into bite-sized strips
  • about 1/2 cup Crumbled Feta cheese
  • about 1/4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • Balsamic vinaigrette dressing


Combine all salad ingredients and drizzle with vinaigrette to taste. Toss and serve.

Grill some corn on a griddle pan and serve cold or warm

Lemon-Herb Chicken Grilled Breasts

  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves {trimmed of fat}
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Lemon juice from 1 1/2 lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 Tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • salt & pepper to taste

Combine all marinade ingredients together in a large zip lock bag. Add chicken breasts and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or overnight.

Preheat grill on medium heat for 10-15 minutes. Add chicken breasts and cook for about 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness.

Remove chicken from grill and cover with aluminum foil to allow chicken to continue to cook, and for juices to settle. Internal temperature should reach 165 degrees F.

Serve over a bed of arugula with slices of lemon for garnish

I found this awesome menu on


For 8 dependable on how big your champagne glasses are

  • 1 bottle rose champagne
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water. Bring to the boil and boil till the sugar is dissolved.

Allow the sugar syrup to cool, then add the champagne. Pour into a shallow container and freeze for 2 hours, stirring regularly. Serve in small dessert cups.


Al fresco dinning is not only for hot summer nights. Transform the colour palette and menu and voila!! I Do you need some help to create a winter Al fresco gathering? Let me know, would love to help with some ideasJ

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