Easy Outdoor Dining Ideas

Well, we’re almost there aren’t we? Getting closer to doing the things we enjoy with the people we love, and goodness have we missed sharing some fun times with friends & family. So it’s time to start planning your outdoor activities!

Spring is here and your new “other life” life awaits, full of promise and opportunity – I just can not wait! Yes, we will have to be vigilant, yes, we need to limit numbers accordingly but we get to dress up our outdoor spaces, meet other humans and start living life again. So, whether you have a small backyard/BBQ area or a larger garden space you can definitely work with what you have and, most importantly, remember how to appreciate the simple things in life – like actually  being face to face with someone you haven’t seen for far too long, sharing smiles & laughter.  Just making the most of life is all we need right now.

Of course, you want to make those people feel welcome, show them you’ve made an effort, planned your little get together and kept it relaxed & inviting. What you feed your guests is an important factor in all of those things BUT make sure you enjoy it too!!  Resist the urge to go crazy: trying to fit too much in and working yourself to a frazzle – there’s just no need. Your friends or family will be so pleased to share some quality time with you the last thing they want to see is you running around looking after everybody like a person possessed – here is how to enjoy your own mini gathering.

Firstly: decide if you want to serve hot or cold food. Then, think about how you can prepare it in advance of the day. Finally, keep it simple – nobody needs you to suddenly present a gourmet feast ( you can always do that next time, ha!).  We absolutely love just setting out a bench or table, or throwing a tablecloth over a garden wall, and laying out large platters of hot jacket potatoes, huge bowls of chilli or pasta traybakes which are easily served into individual dishes – buffet bar style. The Americans do this brilliantly and simply throw together a Pot Luck casual food party. Take a leaf out of their book for easy, fuss free but still super tasty food fests!

Simply bake any of these wholesome dishes in the oven the day before (or even sooner if you have the space to freeze them) and re-heat slowly on the day itself. Could that really be any easier??  Lay out easy side salads / crunchy, crispy coleslaws etc and you’ve basically cracked this thing. Puddings can be simple ice cream based desserts – straight from the freezer but livened up with bowls of fresh fruits & berries dotted around for people to help themselves to (if you have children around then put some irresistible sprinkles around too). Leaving you free to chat, relax and enjoy.

If you decide on more of a cold buffet – our best tip is to limit the selection to simple sandwiches and pastries – again with lots of sides to pimp up your picnic style buffet but also to add loads of colour & appeal. Grated beetroot & apple slaws, pickled carrot or in fact any veg and shop bought relishes will do a great job!

Get the kids to make some silly paper party hats (lots of ideas on Pinterest) and write a joke or a “test your knowledge” question for each person – with sweets or chocolates for prizes – you get the general, daft idea – being silly is fun!

Above all – it’s all about togetherness and being around those you love so just relax, enjoy and savour the moments and memories you will be creating. Of course, take the pics too! You have your perfect garden get together right there, enjoy!