UK Fashion and Lifestyle Blog.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Al Fresco Dining | 5 Key Embellishments

Al Fresco Dining Blog PhotographyWith July drawing to a close, inevitably, a couple of thoughts are popping into our heads here in the UK.  Firstly, where the hell did the gorgeous weather go?  Come back!  We promise we'll be more appreciative!  Secondly, it's time to get serious about those summer plans.  In this instance, it's all about al fresco dining and preparing to soak up those warm-weather vibes.  The question is, alongside the mass of food you've prepared, what other embellishments are needed to set the scene?
Sliced Cucumber Summer Dining Setting
Glass Bowl of Kiwi Fruit in Summer
Marble Bowl of Salad Al Fresco Meal
The concept of al fresco dining is to create a casual setting that's 'party-like' in its atmosphere.  With this in mind, I've put together a handful of stylish, aesthetic-driven suggestions to help you create the ideal ambience for your early-evening get together - and before summer ends!

Who Runs The Table?

Match your table runner to a theme, it will serve as the anchor to the meal's colour scheme.  Then, when adding to the table, take your cue from the table runner.  If you don't have one that matches the picture in your head, simply overlap serviettes and disguise the folds with accessories.  Speaking of materials, pick out a chair to drape a colourful throw over, and place a cushion on each seat

Take A Stand

Place everything on dishes/platters - this includes both sides and other embellishments.  Leave nothing to roam aimlessly around the table.  Some good options include mirrored trays, marble slabs and wicker placemats

Metallic Accessories

As if you needed another excuse to head out and buy metallic accessories, right?!  Hosting a meal in general calls for the gold cutlery, leather-handle trays and marble bowls, but al fresco dining in particular provides the perfect reason to go all out.  Metallic options will glisten under the sun before it goes down, and then shine beneath the fairy lights...

Light It Up

Candles; the more, the merrier!  For early evening settings, Citronella is a gorgeous choice for keeping the mosquitoes at bay as the sun goes down, as well as providing a scent most of us associate with the outdoors, by night

Summer Blooms

Despite most likely being surrounded by greenery, bringing flowers onto the table can be a great way of adding to the 'party-like' atmosphere.  If you don't have a large centrepiece to hand, placing flowers/greenery at the centre of the table can be a brilliant cheat!  To go hand-in-hand with this Provence theme, I've opted for lavender in a large oval trough by Kew Gardens

Valley Mill Cariad Citronella Candle
Al Fresco Summer Dining Blog Setting
Kew Gardens Cream Oval Pot
So, what have I reached for to create this al fresco setting?  Serviettes have been overlapped to create the appearance of a table runner, and a strict rule of using only gold accessories has been applied.  No complaints here though, the colour glistens underneath the sun!  The marble bowl is by Rose & Grey, and the Palm Tree candlestick is from Biba, having purchased a duo earlier this summer via House of Fraser.  I've selected a few different stands, including wicker mats for place settings, DIY gold-painted mirrored tray for drinks (Norfolk Gin and Fentiman's Bloom Gin & Rose Lemonade) and finally a marble slab for displaying candles.  Speaking of which, this wooden-wick Valley Mill Cariad Candle c/o has undoubtedly become the scent of my summer; after just two uses, I'm already associating the Natural Soy candle with good memories.  Though sure, I'm biased, as I tend to associate the scent with past hot nights spent in France, sitting on patios and looking out at the sea... ah, bliss!
Valley Mill Cariad Citronella Candle
Summer Pink Drinks Fentiman's Bloom Gin
Al Fresco Summer Dining Blog Photography
Al fresco dining.  Love it?  Hate it?  Let me know in the comments below!

With love,

Gabrielle x



  1. Gabrielle, the table setting and set up is absolutely beautiful. All of the elements truly work and look great together. Excellent suggestions :)

  2. I feel all the greenery makes it look so much pinterest and instagramable!
    Aleeha xXx

  3. This is such a stunning table setting! Love the contrast of metallic pieces with organic decorations, too beautiful!

    Luci’s Morsels | fashion. food. frivolity.

  4. Absolutely gorgeous photos! Love the table set-up! SO AMAZING!
    Have a great week Gab!
    Much love, Len

  5. So pretty ! The serviette trick is also so freaking smart ! I will keep that in mind when shopping for table runners haha <3 Lovely !


  6. You are the hostess with the hostess! You always set incredible looking tables! Too bad I live all the way over here, otherwise I’d be at all of your soirees haha

    TFM Life & Style blog

  7. Love this post lady! Gorgeous photos - so fresh and summery
    Looked like such a lovely dinner

  8. Everything looks so gorgeous! Amazing photos x

    Nev | Miss Nev

  9. I love the table set up. I love the candles and organic decors. Everything looks instagrammable! You did great, Gabrielle! :)


  10. This table set up is absolutely gorgeous - love all these gorgeous accessories! Now we only need the nice summer weather back :-) Have a wonderful weekend, Gabrielle!

    Miriam xx

  11. Girlllllll this post is SO dreamy, I absolutely love the table set up (and those glasses are DIVINE!), I love eating outside on warm evenings! :)

    Hayley xo

  12. Love love this post! Totally agreed because I've been having some rainy weather in my hometown too - where did summer go?! The thought of metallic accessories is just divine. Adding to my wedding registry! Have an amazing weekend, beautiful xx

  13. I love how you've designed this Gabrielle - I've pinned it to one my Pinterest boards because I think it's fabulous al fresco dining inspiration x

    Jenny | LuxeStyle

  14. Ouu fancy!! Love it Gabrielle!

    Renee | Life After Lux

  15. You've created the perfect setting Gabrielle and I definitely need to make use of some of these tips :) We have recently done up our garden so this would be the perfect opportunity for some alfresco dining! x

  16. amazing pics and I love the bloom gin ! <3
    Happy Friday <3 :-)

  17. What a lovely dining setting!! I can't wait for the warmer days to use all of these tips!!

    Have a great weekend Gabrielle! :)


    Seize your Style

  18. Your table set up looks soo beautiful! Like a magazine or a professional had done it. Good job!

    Simply Lovebirds

  19. gorgeous table set up, and great shoots, the over all look was classy yet rustic!

    Capturing Life Memoirs |

  20. I had no idea it takes so much effort to set a table for parties, wow! It looks so professional, I might have to try <3

    with love, Bash   |   HEY BASH

  21. Great dining inspiration and tips! Little details can make all the difference when it comes to how a table comes off....It may not seem so at first glance, but embellishments are a key aspect of dining and entertaining because they can help set the right mood and atmosphere.


  22. Ah, I love al fresco dining. Esp if it's as elegant as this one.

  23. What a gorgeous setting, Gabrielle! I love al-fresco dining because the atmosphere is so relaxing and laid back. Candles are amazing to dress up any settings, honestly I buy more candles than anything else.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  24. The choreography is fundamental. Even at lunchtime the scene is important. Don't miss my last post, now on my blog! Kisses from Italy and thank you for your visit,

    Eniwhere Fashion
    My new Swatch: Skin

  25. Wow what gorgeous inspo! This is perfection xx

  26. I bet you host the best garden parties/BBQs, your aesthetic is always so beautiful! I'm having a little get together next weekend so this post came at the right time - definitely thinking about putting more effort into it now!
    Amy xx

  27. This table is so beautiful! Great tips!

  28. I adore the way you've styled this setting. I feel so overwhelmed with it comes to tableware. I go into the store and never know what to buy.

    Adrianna x |

  29. Love it! This setting is gorgeous, and you've given me a few ideas. I probably won't do this until Autumn comes, but I really can't wait now!

  30. I love al fresco dining, I only wish we actually had a proper summer in the UK as opportunities to dine al fresco are few and far between. The Bloom pink lemonade looks so pretty and I love how you've set the table up here complete with table runner and gorgeous Biba candle stick. This reminds me of your previous posts with rose petal ice cubes and tasty lollies. I'm always here if you need a dining choice companion Gabrielle.
    Jaz xoxo

  31. this al fresco dining is wonderful! <3 thanks for dropping by my blog, gabrielle! :)

    xoxo, rae

  32. Love it! My eyes are on the rose lemonade and the kiwi fruits! Hope summer shows up in the UK soon!

  33. I love the sound of the bloom gin - and your glasses are stunning.
    A good table runner is essential and lots of fresh fruit and herbs are great too.
    They really make the photos amazing too.
    Set to Glow

  34. Oh this looks really pretty
    I love it all the pics

  35. Everything's just so lovely, dear! xoxo

  36. I always love a citronella candle outside too x
    A Blushing Beauty Blog

  37. You have great taste, love how you made that table look so nice. It arranged so nice and with attention to detail.

  38. The table set up is too much absolutely love it !! Always something different and inspiring here !! Thank you so much for sharing this with us! Dominica from London, xXx

  39. That set up is lovely Gabrielle! It looks so chic and expensive. It looks like something you'd get at some fancy hotel while on vacation.

  40. Beautiful photos! I love the set up! Hopefully the weather gets warmer soon! :) xx

  41. so so stunning pictures- this table decorations look so great xx

  42. Great tips on fine dining. Lovely thoughts and photos too. Greetings!

  43. Oh wow - this is absolutely beautiful! I love the setting and all the little additions which just bring everything together.

    I am such a weirdo when it comes to decor and table settings - everything has to be perfect and this is just stunning!!! I love it! :)

    Hope you're well lovely!

    Layla xx

  44. fabulous location, this dining so chic
    new post on my blog <<< Edreams Travel Through The Generations >>>
    have an happy day

  45. I love al fresco dining too! This is such a beautiful setup and great for dining outdoors!

    Jessica |

  46. these photos are some serious aesthetics thooo

  47. Such stunning table seting, Gabrielle!!!! Just perfect for summer and so Pinterest-able!
    Great tip, hun, definitely all the details you mentioned make the difference! :)

  48. In a setting like this it would be hard to not love the whole experience! Your decoration looks stunning.

    Gemma x

  49. Those fruits look very refreshing especially in this hot summer day! :)

    Angelie // Hortaleza Sunblock Review

  50. I am all about the summer blooms right now! If only flowers survived in my household, haha. Your set up looks so beautiful, plus you have my favourite gin - Bloom! Such a perfect setting.

  51. This table is amazing !
    It looks so fancy.
    I love theses tips.

  52. You have great taste, love how you made that table look so nice ! Lovely pictures !

  53. Wow, you've created such a beautiful spread and I'm definitely getting those al fresco vibes! I've never hosted a dinner this way before, but I will certainly be doing so next time, I love the relaxed feel! Thanks so much for sharing and I hope you have a great week ahead, beauty!



  54. Oh can I join this party?! The setting is absolutely beautiful and I couldn't agree more that the candles are key! Have a lovely week gorgeous! Xx

  55. You've set that table so beautifully, and the rose lemonade looks especially good! I love alfresco dining, and in Toronto basically every bar and restaurant and cafe has a patio so you can sit outside in the summer and it's so lovely!

  56. What a beautiful table set up, loved the candles.

    Nina's Style Blog

  57. I love the idea of stringing together serviettes! I have been aching to set up a a table for al fresco dining this summer. We don't have gold cutlery in our California home, but I will definitely be going for metallics - and a table runner or a string of serviettes. Thanks for the inspiration!
    xo, janea

  58. What a pretty table layout, like the idea of metallics and how fun is that Pink Gin!

    It's posts like this that make me really wish I had a garden! How beautiful. I love Al Fresco dining, really quite the experience and perfect during Summer (which sadly seems to have disappeared).

    Some great tips here!

    Candlelight is a must also and perfect from day-night to create a gorgeous warm and romantic atmosphere!

    Laura xo

  59. Such a beautiful table layout! I would love to be your guest, that's for sure. Also, I am taking that gin with me ;-P

    Naya //

  60. The lavender plant is lovely and I really like the idea of the soy candle too

  61. I also believe that candles are ESSENTIAL. Great post lady!

    Dakota D.
    Instagram/Twitter: @missdsquared413


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