Al fresco dining is perfect for long, lazy summer weekends, catching up with friends, a sophisticated birthday event, or simply an opportunity to enjoy some well-deserved family time. This type of dining has become extremely popular throughout the UK, particularly during the peak of summertime as we look to make the most of any nice weather that were to appear. Whatever the reason, dining ‘al fresco’ is sure to suit all occasions.
The term ‘al fresco’ literally translates to ‘in the open air’, and refers to a meal that is enjoyed outside. It originates from Italy, a nation well versed in enjoying bar & restaurant, whilst surrounded by beautiful scenery, delicious food and drinks, and good company.
Al fresco dining can be as simple and casual as a small sandwich buffet, a weekend barbeque, or a specifically arranged meal for an occasion.
Keeping good company
Al fresco dining provides the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with good company. It allows you to get back in to nature, forgetting the stresses of daily life.
With technology becoming so overwhelming in everyday life, dining al fresco could be an excellent chance to take a step back for an hour or two, breaking the routine of eating meals in front of the television or our phone screens, and sharing the moment with our loved ones.
Atmosphere and Ambience
The atmosphere and ambience of your preferred dining location could significantly impact your al fresco experience. These could be impacted by the choice of music, furniture and table dressing, time of day, and even the location.
Dining al fresco whilst at home gives you the opportunity to try a variety of table layouts and styles. You can opt for simplicity for a casual affair among friends or family, or go all out for a special occasion. Rustic, vintage, or country styles can be achieved through choice of table linens, crockery and serving dishes, and additional table dressings such as candles or plants could create a pleasant and comfortable al fresco ambience.
If you choose to dine at a restaurant, al fresco, much of these factors are arranged for you. You can even specifically choose an individual restaurant or location dependent on the occasion requirements. Dining al fresco in a restaurant will allow you to enjoy the scenery, food, and company without having to worry about any of the finer details. This can be suitable for a casual lunch or afternoon get together, or a more formal birthday or works event.
Food and Drinks
Your choice of food and drink are the most important factors for dining al fresco – after all, it wouldn’t be dining if they weren’t.
Take inspiration from those whom the custom originated and opt for traditional antipasti with a selection of breads, meats, cheeses and salads. Or potentially look to upscale with pizzas and pastas followed by traditional gelato to cleanse the palette. Your al fresco menu could just as easily be a picnic, or simple family barbeque that allows you to focus on the company present, rather than the complexity of the food.
With regards to drinks, once again, simplicity is key. Juices and soft drinks could be the perfect addition to your casual summer gathering, whilst wines, cocktails and delicate fruit punches could add an upscale feel to the occasion.
Located next to the gorgeous Montpellier Gardens in Cheltenham, Montpellier Lodge offers a beautiful setting for a meal served al fresco. Our menu provides food of exceptionally high quality, and our signature ML Punch is sure to fill your al fresco experience with feelings of long summer nights. To book a table, or view our menu, visit Montpellier Lodge website today.