The days are longer, which means more time to spend outside.  While the barbeque route is always an easy summer go-to, Serendipity has pulled a few ideas together to add some delicious diversity to summer’s outdoor dining.

Brunch

Summer always brings to mind fresh, bright foods.  An outdoor brunch is a great way to showcase these foods!  A berry salad with mint is a great centerpiece to the table; main dishes can be frittatas, citrus French toast, or simple soft scrambled eggs with fresh herbs. Doctor-up mimosas with berry purees and have the kids join in the fun with lemonade. Make sure you have an umbrella, as the mid-morning sun can be hot!  A fabric or mesh food cover will help keep the critters away.

Lunch

A picnic is great for the park, but taking it up a notch when entertaining at home is key.  Think chilled soups such as gazpacho or melon pair with a crisp white wine like a bubbly Vouvray or a peachy dry Riesling.  For a great non-alcoholic beverage try seeping iced tea with herbs, like mint or basil. For decoration, bright linens are ideal and allow for an easy clean up!  Serendipity likes compostable disposables or casual china.  Using an eclectic mix of serving bowls gives a fun, rustic feel to an afternoon gathering.

Dinner

Long summer dinners with friends can create some of the most memorable evenings.  To make your event standout, you can do anything: an ethnic theme with hanging assorted tapestries or even an on-going Bocce game to keep the party lively.  Easy summer salads, like Caprese, and main dishes, like herbed grilled chicken are a nice change from hot dogs and burgers.  Mojitos are a refreshing, easy-to-make-at-home cocktail that showcases mint and lime, although trying different combinations like strawberry and basil or orange and rosemary add a unique twist. A build-your-own shortcake bar is a fun way to end the evening–feature different fruits, whipped toppings, and nuts. Lighting for summer nights can make or break your ambiance; white light strings are an affordable way makes outdoor entertaining festive. There are also other decorative options to choose from to cover the lights, such as colorful lanterns, or rustic beads.

And lastly,

When thinking about décor, it is important to think about comfort.  Often when dining outside we are sitting on picnic benches or funky old chairs pulled out from hibernation in our basements.  After a good dust-off, invest in good pillows and cushions.  The more comfortable your guests are, the longer they stay!

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