white flower blossoms

Simple Al fresco Dining at our Beach Cottage

Al Fresco is a style of dining that is casual and often party-like in its atmosphere but before we discuss the joys and beauty of al fresco, let’s get something out of the way.  Am I the only one that “over does it” when the sun finally comes out?


Last week finally produced warmer temperatures and sunshine so I mowed, weeded, shoveled, planted, re-arranged and on and on until I basically couldn’t stand up straight. I think I was so excited to be outside that I just kept going way past what my body should of done. Please tell me that I’m not alone!? LOL!

After two days of resting my sore muscles and joints I needed to finish mowing the back yard and guess what I did…I played around with setting up my outdoor dining table for some festive al fresco dining…nope, no mowing got accomplished at all.  It still isn’t done as of the writing of this article, but life’s short and having fun while fussing with flowers and seashells is much more interesting than mowing a slightly overgrown lawn :O)

So let’s get back to the topic at hand – alfresco dining at the beach cottage. I moved our outdoor dining table onto a grassy area of the yard since I’m getting ready….gearing up….getting everything ironed out…almost going to start….re-doing and repairing our old back deck.  The table looked so lovely sitting in the long grass that it just begged to be decorated with some pretty flowers, seashells and such.


There is something romantic about eating outside.  I collected some Mason jars, seashells, starfish, snippets of branches from a backyard tree to create an easy breezy beach cottage table.  A favorite sun-bleached piece of driftwood created the perfect centerpiece.

I still have no idea what kind of tree produces these gorgeous little white flower clusters, but I love them.  The blooms are delicate so the light breeze blew a few little petals across the tabletop; which I left since they seemed to just add to the romantic affect of the setting.


I found a bundle of white linens at a local thrift shop a few months ago…25 cents for the stack.  They are all different sizes and have a delicate pattern embellished on them.  A few have been used for small table runners and others for napkins. The material is very soft and extremely washable – two of my favorite things.   Jute twisted around a fabric napkin, with a few seashells glued on the ends provide an inexpensive, unique and adorable napkin ring.





My white dinner plate is topped off with a favorite vintage seashell…



The combination of natural driftwood with ruffly white flowers flowing out of old glass jars just makes me happy.



A simple grilled chicken salad, sourdough bread and some fresh berries made a simple lunch menu. If you keep a basket in the house full of linens, candles, shells or whatever you want to use for outdoor dining then it makes it super simple to set up your table…in no time at all.

If you’re wanting to give al fresco dining a try then just remember…there is no right or wrong!  Use things that you love, that you already have and that make you smile.


p.s. Minnie is my little flower child – she always hangs out with me while I’m outside.  She has decided that she enjoys laying right in the center of our Lily of the Valley flower bed this year…she likes to hide in there like she’s a lion on the prowl or something (she is ALL bark and no bite!). I had to take a quick photo of her, well…’cause…she is so darn cute!


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