Alfresco dining at home is one of the best things about Summer and based on what we’re seeing and hearing, 2021 will be a big year for it! We believe that alfresco dining is all about implementing small touches that make a huge difference to the overall experience. If ‘WOW!’-ing your guests and making life easier for yourself is on your agenda, here are 8 alfresco dining essentials that we strongly recommend…

Ice Buckets

First up on our list of alfresco dining essentials; Ice Buckets. Whether filled with soft drinks, beer, or white wine, ice buckets are an absolute must-have if you are hosting an alfresco dining experience for your friends and family. Simply filling up an ice bucket with plenty of drinks at the beginning of the evening will leave you with plenty more valuable minutes of quality time that you can spend with loved ones, rather than making a dash to the fridge every few minutes. We can almost taste the beautifully chilled wine just thinking about it…

2021 Bramblecrest Chedworth 6 Seat Garden Dining Set With Lazy Susan In Situ On A Garden Patio Lazy Susan Dining Table

If you do not have a Lazy Susan dining table, you are simply missing out. A lazy Susan is a turntable placed in the centre of a table to aid in distributing food, so you can say goodbye to passing the condiments around a crowded table and awkwardly leaning over people to top up your drink. At InsideOut Living, we have a variety of Lazy Susan dining tables available as part of garden dining furniture sets designed to cater for up to 6 – 8 people. Made using synthetic rattan, the dining tables and chairs that make up these garden furniture sets are incredibly resilient and will last for years on end if properly looked after.

A lazy susan will transform your alfresco dining experience so much that we reckon you’ll be on the hunt for an indoor dining table with one before long too.

Serving Chopping Board

Picture this, you’re soaking up the sun with your favourite people and a platter of your favourite food (for us, it would be a platter of soft cheeses accompanied by some red wine; probably a Pinot Noir). Our paddle-shaped chopping board, made from Acacia wood, is highly durable and water-resistant making it excellent for the preparation and serving of food. Its 70cm width ensures there’s plenty of room for enough food to feed your hungry guests. Whether you consider yourself a chef or not, you can be sure that any food you serve will look stunning on these serving chopping boards.

Bamboo Serving Bowl

Why specifically bamboo? Well, bamboo is an exceptional material for kitchen and serving utensils. Strong and durable yet light and flexible, it is also heat, stain and water-resistant, making it the ideal material for a serving bowl! Our bamboo serving bowls tick all the boxes that alfresco dining essentials need tick and is available in 3 colours: black, cream and green.

Couple sitting at 2021 Bramblecrest Monterey Garden Sofa Set With 2 Benches & Square Fire Pit Dining TableFirepit Table

Make the most of alfresco dining at home by bringing a warming firepit dining set to your garden. You’re sure to find the perfect firepit garden table on InsideOut Living, paired with lounge-ready garden seating as well as both spacious and compact dining options. Firepit tables are ideal for entertaining friends and family as they are specifically designed to keep guests warm and happy throughout the evening and well into the early hours of the morning.

One of our favourite things about a firepit table is the ambient lighting it provides as the sun sets, breathtakingly beautiful. As 2021’s hottest piece of outdoor furniture, you’ll find firepit garden table sets from all three of our resident garden furniture brands; Bramblecrest, Hartman, and Kettler.

Wine Holder

At InsideOut Living, we have several wine bottle holders that can hold up to 4 bottles of wine (talk about alfresco dining essentials!). With plenty of space for ice in the bowl and 4 bottles of your chosen beverage, this is the perfect centrepiece for any dining table or drinks party for your friends and family. Once again, we are all about saving you valuable minutes of hosting time so that you can enjoy yourself too.

Garden Parasols

Sunscreen is a must when you’re out enjoying the sun, but it’s also important to have plenty of shade and that is where these alfresco dining essentials come in. At InsideOut Living, we even have garden parasols that see you through from day-to-night, as well as a selection of freestanding canopies. Our Hartman Caribbean cantilever parasol even has an innovative LED lighting system integrated into the canopy’s under-frame, so entertaining at night doesn’t have to be a strain on the eyes. Its sun-shading capabilities are a step above too, with an octagonal canopy of a generous 3.5-metre diameter. This shade shield is UPF50+ certified, meaning it will effortlessly prevent UV rays from burning your skin and the surface also tilts and fully rotates using the ‘easy-operate squeeze hand lever’.  This allows the Hartman Caribbean parasol to be positioned as needed in front of your garden furniture, lawn, or loungers, so it can be used throughout the year and at all hours of the day.

Bistro Table Set

Hartman Heritage Tuscan Bistro Table Set on a garden patioThe final item on our list of alfresco dining essentials, bistro table sets are perfect for enjoying intimate alfresco dining experiences with a loved one. You can simply kick back and relish your outdoor space with a partner this year, all in pristine comfort from our bistro table sets. All of our garden furniture sets come along with large plump season-proof cushions that are soft yet give plenty of spongy sitting relief. These eco-cushions are made almost entirely from recycled plastic bottles and can actively repel light showers, flash downpours and frost, however, we recommend storing them indoors or in a garden cushion storage box for winter or sustained heavy weather.

Bistro table sets are also perfect for balconies and patios, and nothing beats sitting at one for a continental breakfast in the sun with a fresh cup of coffee (we know what we would rather be doing right now…).

Are you going to be hosting your loved ones this summer, or are you simply looking to enjoy some alfresco dining at home? We would love to see how you create a special experience and pull out all of the stops! Please feel free to tag us in your pictures on Instagram, or use the hashtag #mioliving.


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