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  • 29 Jun 2021

Tips from the team: the art of the outside table

Tips from the team: the art of the outside table


We’ve all had plenty of practice at outside dining this year, and as the days lengthen and things open up, many more sun-filled alfresco lunches and soirees are on the horizon. So with that in mind, we’ve canvased the team to round up our top tips for the dreamiest outside tablescapes…

Be playful

Gloria Gonzalez : ‘An alfresco tablescape should be playful, creative, relaxed - think one-of-a-kind accessories and unexpected, fun-filled pieces - they make the perfect conversation starter. Keep one eye on practicality - avoid multiple trips to the kitchen with a pretty side table scattered with pitchers, bowls and trays.’

Add pattern

Rosie Axford: ‘Start bottom up; a patterned tablecloth will totally transform a table. From there, layer texture. Add pattern and colour via items that aren’t going to be removed from the table, like bud-vases and ceramic tea lights, to avoid your table looking depleted as the day wears on. Ceramics add magnificence and food served in beautiful dishes can become part of the décor, especially if they’re unusual.’ 

Beautiful outdoor tables capes with hand block printed table cloths

Colour, colour, colour

Caroline Downing Nadel:  ‘Colourful patterns and flowers are vital. Tea lights and sturdy small sturdy vases of varying height for the table. I like to keep a low horizon in case the wind picks up and threatens to blow things over. A bowl of sugar water kept near to the table keeps the bees from circling your feast.’

Bring the garden

Lisa Baxendale: ‘Be more daring and creative than you might be indoors - mixing colour, pattern, glassware and even furniture always adds life. Bring the garden to your table top with flowers spilling over. I love to see the table glow in the evening with tea light in different coloured glass.’

Layer up

Olly Cockroft: ‘With dining outside, practically is key, and one way of avoiding the back and forth to the kitchen over a long lunch, is to layer your plates. Start with a large delicate charger plate or placemat to set the seat, and build on top with a patterned dinner plate and then lastly a smaller contrasting starter plate, this will add elegance to any tablescape…’ 

Keep cosy

Hannah Watts: ‘More is more! It’s a chance to use all your colourful dinnerware to create a fun and lively environment. A top tip for the ultimate dinner party experience is to keep your guests warm and cosy (we do live in England after all!) - put blankets or quilts on the chairs for when it gets chilly. Plus, these will add another element of colour to the table.’

Brightly coloured scallop ceramic plates from Wicklewood London