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11 June . 2018

Friends, Laughter and Dining Al Fresco

Being outdoors is good for the soul. With summer just around the corner, al fresco dining is once again on the horizon. To celebrate the season of friends, food and fun, we’ve compiled some of our favorite outdoor dining tips that will make you feel like celebrating well before the food arrives!

1. Venue is Key.
Your venue doesn’t have to be fancy or grandiose, in fact, the more natural the setting, the better! It can be in the grass at a local park, on a hill overlooking a forest, or even in your own tree-lined backyard. Look around you and let the natural beauty of your surroundings take center stage.

2. Cozy. Cozy. Cozy.
Think ahead and prepare for the gentle chill that rolls in after sundown by providing blankets and shawls for your friends to snuggle under. This simple, luxurious amenity may just be the thing to keep your summer party going well into the evening.

3. Choose a Color Palette.
A little coordination can make a big impact! Choose tablecloth patterns and napkins in complementary hues and look inside your home for coordinating serving platters and vases that will adorn the tabletop. But make sure it all comes back to that color palette you started with…a cohesive feel is the key!

4. Set the Mood with Lighting
Paper lanterns draped from tree limbs are a charmingly festive go-to, or repurpose Christmas lights by stringing them through trees for a magical, twinkly feeling. If you’re fire shy, battery-operated candles give off the same warm glow as traditional candles, with no fear of wind or spilled wax.

5. Keep the Vibe Relaxed
The whole point of an al fresco evening is the light informality, so no need to go overboard with strict seating plans or dramatic centerpieces. Let your table reflect the happy colors of the season by picking different varieties of wild flowers and placing them in simple glass jars, and allowing your guests to naturally gravitate to the seat of their choice.

6. Create a Drink Station
Stock a bar cart with essentials: glasses, plates, ice, a cocktail shaker, and swizzle sticks, encouraging your guests to serve themselves. Set up an ice water and lemonade stand to keep guests hydrated on hot afternoons and place water glasses within easy reach next to a full pitcher.

7. Go Easy on Yourself
Make your dinner as host-friendly as possible by choosing only one course to dedicate your energy to, such as a delicious main entre, like a rack of lamb or perfectly BBQ’d steak, then wisely opt for family-style appetizers and side dishes that can be prepared in advance.


With stunning views of Mt. Rainier and 1800 acres of parks and open space, Tehaleh offers residents a true indoor/outdoor lifestyle. Come by our Visitor Headquarters + Café, The Post to learn more about our community.