When I decided to give California living a go, the dream included my long held New York City-girl fantasy of a long friend filled table, under the sky of my very own backyard, al fresco style. The table miraculously materialized from lowly but adorable Burro sawhorses and plywood covered in yellow oilcloth. A borrowed drill , an reliable staple gun and I could not have been any prouder. I strung lighting from a fig tree to garage and back again and at last, as if I was starring in my own Bertolucci film set in an Italian vineyard, I began my summer of dining “al fresco.” Now, surely, this wasn’t my first outdoor dining rodeo, but it was my most independent and setting an outdoor table is the ultimate pre-game party before the party.
Since that day almost a decade ago, dining al fresco has become an “every time we can” event and even here at In The Groove, we often share a lively al fresco lunch. Our table settings run the gamut from nice dishes to just the warm sun on our backs but our party mode set ups are always colorful and casual and we usually choose a color, a flower, or something else from nature to bring the outside –outside.
Start with a great umbrella, bistro chairs, and work your way toward the table top with a linen table covering , straw mat or casual chargers. An old newspaper and few bottles of wine work for a low country boil, but sometimes we like breaking out the real china as it shines beautifully under a full moon.
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