Do you love al fresco (eating outside)? Your backyard is the perfect spot to set up some chairs and a table on your patio. However, there’s host of other factors you need to consider to ensure that your outside dining experience is comfortable. Take a look at these three awesome al fresco dining ideas to inspire you.

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Comfort
A table and chairs set doesn’t mean that you will be comfortable dining outside. Your dining room is warm, the seating is plush, and you don’t have to worry about wasps, bugs and the rain. To be comfortable, consider setting up your outside area in the same way as you would in another room of your house. To ensure that you are always sheltered, think about installing an awning over your patio that you can utilize at a moment’s notice. If the heavens descend, you can remain dry and comfortable observing the downpour from under your cover.

To stay warm, you need to consider a heating system. While indoors you have gas fired central heating, you have to consider another form of heating for your garden. You could install a fire pit or a large light heater. There are many decorative examples of these heaters to keep your garden looking stylish and on-trend. With the added heat of a fire pit, you can make your barbecue even more impressive by toasting marshmallows on an open flame. Even in the summer months, you can feel a chill in the air in the evening. Rather than heading back indoors and missing the sunset, light your fire pit and huddle around with your pals. You will enjoy the outdoors just that little bit longer. It can be cozy and comfortable huddled up, and relaxing with your nearest and dearest.

With outdoor dining comes wasps. These little critters love the intoxicating scents of food and can become a real nuisance. Those anxious friends of yours will begin to feel uncomfortable with the ever-constant threat of being stung hovering around them. To combat this, put up some bug attracting sticky pads that you can buy from any DIY store. These discrete pads can be placed away from your dining area. The sticky pads are coated with a substance that smells strongly to insects, attracting them and then sticking them, so they become immobile, leaving you to dine in peace.

Food
Forget about the formal dining experience when you eat outdoors. Al fresco dining lends itself to casual dining. If you aren’t good with the barbecue grill, you need to think about using your oven for some burgers, one-pot stews, and some large baked potatoes. If your oven has seen better days and is in need of some TLC, see if there is an easy fix to its problems. Parts can be usually be purchased online, so you don’t always need the input from a costly tradesperson.

Outside dining lends itself more to the summer months, so grilled fish dishes, salads, and mix and matchrecipes. However, with your added heater, awning, and comfy seating, winter evenings can also be spent in the garden. Al fresco dining on a dark winter evening needs a hearty soup, stew, or steak.

If you do enjoy a barbecue in the summer, invite your friends or family over on the weekend for a full day of foodie fun that goes well into the evening. Turn on some of your favorite tunes, enjoy the lawn, allow the kids to play games in the backyard, and enjoy chatting with pals. Your barbecue could serve up some burgers, hot dogs, and ribs. Couple these dishes with some classic coleslaw and potato salad and you have yourself a simple barbecue.

Dinner Party
If you are adept at hosting dinner parties, consider hosting one outdoors. Invite your guests around for a more laid back soiree. Set a fun dress code of Hawaiian shirts and shorts, and enjoy a little more fun at your dinner party. Consider adding to the mood of your gathering by putting some subtle soft lighting in your backyard to light up your trees. If you have a water feature, make sure that it is turned on. The gentle trickle of water can make your dinner party feel more relaxed than the usual formal affairs.

Al fresco dining isn’t just something you do when you are eating out. You can take advantage of the beautiful weather and pleasant evenings, and have your own little outside dining experience in the comfort of your own garden.