Setting an Amazing al Fresco Table
Taking the meal outside in style
Photographer Carli Wentworth
Once the green grass starts to peek out and the sun seems to shine just a little bit brighter, outdoor dining is finally an option again.
What better way to celebrate spring than a little brunch picnic? Using a palette of blue and white, sprawling under a willow tree, the environment is at once relaxed and elegant. White plates with a ruffled blue edge, lightly tinted blue champagne flutes, small carafes of orange juice, warm coffee and pastries are just a few things you will need. Pack up a picnic basket, grab a few flowers and don’t forget to pull the cold Prosecco from the fridge. Bring a book, kick off those shoes and toast to the change of seasons.
Picnic basket, throws and glass jars from West Elm | Plates, coffee cups, bowls, champagne flutes, kitchen towels and marble plate with glass dome from Anthropologie | Glass carafes in wicker carrier from Wright’s Flower Market
It’s impossible for me to write about setting the table without first addressing the moment of inspiration. As I’ve written before, this is always the starting point for me. Here I drew on a recent trip to California and a beautiful brunch at The Ivy coupled with the island life vibe of India Hicks. I topped it off with my love of my mom’s personal collections.
The sum of these separate elements provides a feast for the eyes through a plethora of color and interest. Turquoise Foo Dogs (procured by my mom years ago from a neighbor) are paired with porcelain roof tiles in the form of horses (found at an antique shop located at the base of The Great Wall of China and brought back by my parents from a trip to Beijing). Mixed in are Majolica-esque plates, a large light green chinoiserie vase along with blue and white pieces and vintage glass … it’s an eclectic table to say the least.
With all that going on, a simple place setting is the way to go. White plates, tall clear wine glasses and simple blue and white striped linens don’t compete with the bright bowls of citrus, bouquets of roses in orange, pink and yellow and purple azaleas. Poolside drinks of sangria are the perfect addition.
The key here? Don’t be afraid to mix it up, pull out some unusual pieces for your table and kick back and enjoy!