Dining Al Fresco: Everything you Need to Know to Host a Great Summer Meal

It’s summer you guys!!!  If you’re like me, it felt like it took forever to get here!!

But, what you can all do to extend the summer that already seems too short is to get outside.

And while you’re at it, bring your plate and have a meal!  Al fresco dining is the way to enjoy every single minute of this fabulous season!!


Make sure you have a spot that will give you some relief from the sun because the summer heat is strong enough to make anyone uncomfortable and that’s the last thing you want when you’re entertaining!!

Under a shady umbrella is the best place to start your celebrations with this great cheese board (for step-by-step instructions on how to whip this up, check out this post!)



When your guests seem comfy and have had a few glasses of wine or prosecco (I love these two options for summer because they are so refreshing!), move the cheese board and wine over to your dining table and get the pizza party started.

I love to add a cute touch by placing some of the herbs you might be using (here I have some mint, chive flowers – which are awesome sprinkled on a cooked pizza!) in a cleaned tomato tin – the one you used to make your pizza sauce!!

Even the local birds came for a visit…they know good food when they smell it!!


And outdoor al fresco dining, if you have a grill or wood burning oven around, wouldn’t be complete without some dough and fixings to have the most epic pizza party ever!

Check out this post for all the things you need to create a pizza party your guests will never forget!!

And don’t forget to pour yourself a cold glass of Ruffino Pinot Grigio??  It won’t break the bank and it is a perfect accompaniment to a hot pizza!!


An it’s always nice to have some nibbles for the cook!!!

And if you want to change it up a bit (or if you’re serving this as a brunch), why not add a splash of Aperol to your Ruffino prosecco to make a quick Aperol Spritz…mmmmmm!!!!

Look at that dish of deliciousness…this one has sliced pear and crumbled goat cheese!!

Want another idea that uses your empty bottles as decor?? This is what you’ll need:

  • 1/2-inch replacement torch wicks
  • 1/2-inch x 3/8-inch copper coupling with stop
  • empty wine bottles
  • 1-2 bags of marbles (I found mine at the dollar store!) or some pebbles if you want to make the oil last longer!

First, for an “old world charm” look, burn a candle or two so that the wax drips onto the outside of the bottle.

Take out the candle, fill the bottle with pebbles/stones about half way up, pour in the citronella oil, thread the wick through the coupling and place it on top of the bottle.  Give it a few minutes to absorb and then light the candle for a great mosquito free event!!

Don’t want to go to the fuss of making a citronella candle?  Just grab some flowers (I used wild daisies I found in the field but, believe it or not, dandelion flowers even look pretty!!) and pop them in your used wine bottles that have been filled with cold water!

What are you waiting for?  Don’t you have some friends to call???

*Please enjoy and drink responsibly.

*This post is sponsored by Ruffino Wines and , although all thoughts are my own, I have been monetarily compensated.

  • Pat
    June 21, 2017

    Hello from a very hot England ! Today was the hottest summer solstice ever recorded….
    I can’t wait to try some of your al fresco dining ideas Suzie. Planning on a family barbecue as soon as we’re able to get together ❤️

    • Suzie Durigon
      June 21, 2017

      Hello my dear Pat!! Barry told me you have encountered a heatwave already!! We are getting your weather (lot of rain lately!!)! I dropped off a small strawberry rhubarb crisp for your honey because he was too busy to come for dinner!
      I’m glad I could send some outdoor dining tips your way…I miss you already!!!

  • Sheila Wesley
    June 21, 2017

    What time did you want us over?

    • Suzie Durigon
      June 21, 2017

      You are welcome here anytime Sheila!!!! xoxoxo

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