The Ultimate Al Fresco Dining Experience

Al fresco dining has been a tradition in European countries for centuries. Dining outside transports us to a warmer climate, where sampling food and drink can be enjoyed on a balmy evening with wonderful company. There’s no doubt that al fresco dining is most certainly one of life’s greatest, yet simplest pleasures.

The comfort of your garden is an idyllic place to eat in the open air and just like they do on the continent, you can stay out as long as you like or until your glasses are empty.


A beautiful table creates a calming atmosphere for your guests to be completely relaxed in. Setting up a perfect tablescape for a formal dinner in your garden is an essential part of creating the ultimate outdoor dining experience.

For our formal dining set up, we have chosen a sumptuous tablescape featuring muted, neutral grey furniture and botanical vibrancy which reminds us of a beautiful villa in Tuscany. Rustic Grey & Buff Rattan Baskets are the perfect accessory for this look. Choose Grey & Buff Rattan Planters for herbs to naturally scent the air and complete the table with Grey & Buff Rattan Storage Baskets to keep crusty bread rolls for dipping in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, whilst adding style and texture to the table.

Now it’s time to serve! Start with a delicious Anti Pasti consisting of a charcuterie platter such as salami, mortadella, or prosciutto. In traditional Italian style two small mains would be served. The first “Primi Piatti” would be your choice of pasta, creamy risotto or soup followed by “Secondi Piatti” a main of mouthwatering fish, chicken, sausage or lamb. For pudding, enjoy refreshing lemon sorbet or summer fruits and in true Italian style, complete your delicious meal with a coffee. Buon appetitto!

An Exquisite Afternoon Tea Tablescape

What better way to catch up with a group of friends and toast to memories and sunshine, than enjoying an enchanting afternoon party in your vibrant garden? This unique party idea is perfect for all occasions, whether it’s for a birthday, a hen party, a baby shower or simply for a catch up with friends. Choose your favourite summer dress, a large straw hat to keep the sun off your face and get your camera at the ready.

Think shabby chic, meets “ladies’ day” featuring wooden pallets, bohemian rugs and plush cushions, with your choice of dainty pink flowers and baby’s breath in an assortment of miniature bottles. For charming visual impact, add some elegant accessories, such as pink china tea cups filled with chocolates. Whilst the champagne is flowing, it’s time to bring out the treats.

For a rustic touch to this enchanting afternoon tea you will need some baskets to help bring your food to the table. We used our Antique Wash Wicker Trays for carrying out this selection of mouth-watering treats and our Antique Wash Napkin holder for beautiful napkins to stop them from flying away. Finally, to stop pests from intruding on this lovely afternoon, our Wicker Food Dome helps protect your food from unwanted pests, so you can enjoy your exquisite meal in peace.

For this luxury platter, create a sweet feast grazing board, featuring a selection of indulgent cupcakes, soft powdery doughnuts, iced buns, white chocolate and delectable scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Don’t forget the drinks! Wash down these gorgeous treats with some pink champagne or rose and keep them nicely chilled in a Garden Party Basket, ready for top ups.

Now all that’s left to do is indulge!

The Ultimate Al Fresco Afternoon Tea


No English summer is complete without a BBQ. Firing up a sizzling BBQ over smoky charcoal becomes irresistible on a hot summer’s day. The best part about BBQ’s is that they are completely casual and allow you to make memories with your friends, whilst grilling some delicious food and enjoying a crisp glass of white wine.

What’s your favourite thing to grill on a BBQ? We love delicious halloumi skewers with peppers and tomatoes, with a fresh side salad and a corn on the cob with melted butter.

If your favourite thing is to cook juicy burgers and mouth-watering hot dogs, our Rustic Wicker Storage Crates are the perfect solution to keep fresh bread rolls and buns to hand, when serving food to your guests. Not to mention they are especially exquisite for a little rustic style to impress!


Finally, for an effortless al fresco dining experience, enjoy a sumptuous picnic in the comfort of your own garden or somewhere in the great outdoors, with a delectable feast of your choice. Choose from our collection of Luxury Picnic Baskets for an idyllic and quintessential summer outing.

All that’s left to do is start planning your perfect al fresco dining experience, which is the one that suits you best? Perhaps you’ve already got your idyllic table set up in mind. If so, tag us in on Instagram @thebasketcompany. We can’t wait to see your styling!

Browse our beautiful collection of food and drink baskets to enhance your summer al fresco dining experience.

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