Summer is finally here, and now is the time to enjoy long, light evenings outdoors surrounded by loved ones and delicious food. We partnered with London-based creator, @catarinamira, who shares her recipe for hosting this summer’s best dinner party by transforming her rooftop terrace into an outdoor dining sanctuary.
Al Fresco Dining with
To many, enjoying delicious meals outdoors is a cherished part of summer. Few things feel better than spending balmy evenings relishing in a refreshing breeze while enjoying good food together with people you care about. And yet, moving the dinner party outdoors isn’t always easy – often you can’t replicate the same easy intimacy that you get indoors. We feel that creating the ideal atmosphere for a cosy outdoor dining experience is an art. That’s why we asked Catarina Mira-Rose to share her top tips on how she creates the perfect atmosphere for this summer’s outdoor dinner parties on her large rooftop terrace in central London.
The most important ingredient in any dinner party, Catarina tells us, is the company: “A dinner party is, in the end, a simple and enduring combination of ingredients, made unique by who is attending. If you have a good crowd, you will have a good time.” Once you know which of your much-loved humans are attending, it’s time to set an inviting and cosy table. This is what will first greet your guests and set the scene for the evening.
At Catarina’s, it’s important to create a table setting that suits her personal style, ensuring an authentic and inviting atmosphere. To achieve this, Catarina used a combination of our perfectly imperfect Flow tableware and our beloved Ripple glassware to welcome her dinner party guests to an informal yet aesthetic outdoor dining event in line with her minimalistic style.
In addition to the tableware, you can add an element of warmth and tactility to your table setting by layering various textiles. This can be incorporated by wrapping wine bottles in tea towels or opting for linen napkins and tablecloths. Catarina used our Linen Placemats as artfully oversized napkins in the earthy Sugar Kelp colour to bring warmth to and elevate the expression of her table. In addition to this, she used our Hale Tea Towels in a bright yet understated colourway to add an element of contrast and bring a contemporary touch to her dinner party.
“I am more into a minimalistic vibe, so I love to mix neutral tones with black and include different earthy textures on the table. I think fabric napkins are always a quick little way of elevating a dinner table and make it more chic.”
Once the table has been set, Catarina believes that the smaller details are very influential in creating just the right ambiance and setting the scene for an outdoor dinner party that your guests are sure to remember. Here, Catarina doesn’t leave things to chance: “Create a personal playlist, a seating plan and make sure to always top up your guests’ glasses.”
To add an additional element of intimate cosiness, Catarina decorates her table with fresh flowers and avoids bright lighting, opting instead for live candles that invite her guests to get lost in stimulating conversation even after the sun sets.
Although Catarina believes all of these elements are important, it’s important to remember that the success of an outdoor dinner party is measured by the enjoyment of your guests – as well as yourself. So, once you’ve laid the dinner table, put the last dish in the oven and pressed play on your curated playlist, it’s important to sit back, be present and enjoy the evening with your loved ones. “Also, don’t worry about clearing it all up at the end of the night,” Catarina adds, “It can wait.”
Al Fresco Dinner Party – A Checklist
Thoughtfully set dinner table – don’t be afraid to mix and match tones and textures for an informal atmosphere
Fabric napkins and placemats for a touch of understated luxury
Set the tone – make a playlist beforehand that matches the mood for the evening
Atmospheric lighting – candles add a lively, intimate touch when outdoors
Seating plan – it shows your guests you’ve put thought into the dynamics of the evening
Be present – it’s easy to get a bit lost in the stress of hosting, so remember to relax and enjoy the evening, and your guests are sure to do the same