Canadians really do know how to make the most of our short and sweet summer season. Use these four simple outdoor entertaining tips to prepare everything you will need for hosting outside this summer season!
It is no surprise that many of us turn to outdoor dining in the warmer months. Whether it is a tiny apartment balcony or full-bloom garden, incorporating a couple of key outdoor dining essentials will help enhance your favourite outdoor space to make it even more cozy and comfortable for guests and everyday use.
Image Source: www.veranda.com
Before we dive in, let’s review Toronto’s current COVID-19 regulations and guidelines.
Step 3 of Toronto’s COVID-19 reopening guide allows for larger outdoor social gatherings. Even if you are not ready to indulge in indoor or outdoor dining just yet, this is still great news, since social gatherings can now happen in private homes with people from different households. For friends and family who are still cautious of COVID-19, or those who cannot get vaccinated or have other health issues, outdoor entertainment is a welcome option. If your balcony or garden is large enough, social distancing can still occur safely.
For the next couple of months, it’s probably safe to say that we’ll all want to take advantage of these long, hot summer days. If you are planning on entertaining outdoors frequently this summer, follow along to find out what it’ll take to make you the hottest host on the block! And if you get too hot, just be sure to add a couple more ice cubes to your glass!
Go with Melamine or Stoneware Dinnerware
For outdoor dining, you want something that can be rough and tumble (literally). Shopping for new dinnerware based on material will help determine the time and place to use certain pieces so that they last you a long time.
The two best options for outdoor entertaining are either melamine (hard plastic) or stoneware (smooth, glazed clay). Both are durable and will withstand breaking and chipping, which is not the case with other dinnerware materials such as porcelain or bone China, which could break upon slight impact. Let’s avoid bringing out bone China for a 10-year old’s pool party! Both melamine and stoneware options come in an array of colors and patterns so it should be no problem finding a style that fits your vibe.
Avoid using paper or plastic! Single-use paper or plastic plates and cutlery usually end up too dirty or are too light-weight to get recycled properly and thus end up in a landfill. Investing in a specific outdoor dinnerware set is better for both the environment and your wallet. It is estimated that about 40 billion single-use plastic utensils end up in landfills in the US each year, and many more end up as litter or in waterways. For piece of mind, save yourself money and time in the long run by investing in a dedicated outdoor dinner set.
Check Out This 12-piece Stoneware Dinner Set from FLATO HOME.
Acrylic Drinkware and Accessories
Acrylic is another durable and wear-resistant plastic that you can count of for outdoor entertaining. Many find this material attractive because it is also easier on the wallet and looks just as classy as real glass but is far more shatter-resistant and lightweight. Acrylic pieces will not break as easily and if they do, you will not have dangerous sharp glass to deal with. Acrylic is also safer compared to other plastics since it does not contain or release Bisphenol A (BPA).
Using a couple acrylic serving trays will save you from constantly walking back and forth from the kitchen to your guests. Trays with handles are great, as they can be easily picked up and moved between the table, pool or wherever you decide to take the party! Use this adorable clear acrylic tray (with handles!) and strut your stuff:
Lucite Acrylic Rectangle Tray from FLATO HOME.
Assign acrylic glassware exclusively for room temperature or cold drinks. It is not recommended to heat acrylic materials in a microwave or serving hot tea or coffee in them. Just as with dinnerware, knowing the material and its specifications will help these pieces remain durable and safe to use for years to come.
Did someone mention a cold drink? Serve it out of this Ombre Acrylic Pitcher from FLATO HOME.
Keep Bugs Away from Humans and Food
You are planning to eat outside and then you remember, oh yeah – the bugs. If you do not have a meshed outdoor area for your table, use a mesh food cover for your dishes while you are setting up. Make sure the mesh is fine enough so that most bugs are kept out!
When the sun sets, the mosquitoes come out. While candles with DEET or citronella can be handy, there are many other options out there as well. If you already grow rosemary or lavender in your garden, pick some and place them around the table. Not only is this a subtle, pretty accent for the table, but it will also ward off those pesky bugs! These scents, along with geranium, peppermint and, of course, citronella are just some of the more well-known natural bug repellants. Burning incense or adding a few drops of essential oil of the above-mentioned scents to an existing candle will also help keep bugs at bay. You can even experiment with making your own bug-repellant candles (often a beeswax base) with any essential oils you prefer! Keep your guests close, and bugs far.
Add Outdoor String Lights
Image Source: www.mckaylighting.com
Create a cozy and warm atmosphere with some outdoor string lights! No outlet? Opt for traditional flame lanterns (or more candles!) or choose from a wide array of solar-powered string lights. One word of caution – your neighborhood animal friends (squirrels) may bite through plastic-coated wires. These are therefore more suited for balconies without squirrel access. Choose copper-wire string lights for your garden, which your furry friends will not be able to chew through. The placement of string lights will of course vary based on your space. One option is to place the lights so they run along the table and through glass bottles. The copper-wired lights are great for this because of their size and malleability of the wire.
Use this Textured Glass Bottle to accent string lights, or for your bouquet of bug-repelling herbs.
It’s Time to Experience Outdoor Dining!
These simple tips will help you scale up your outdoor dining experiences. It is all about choosing the right materials and accents that will make your outdoor space more functional and comfortable. Making your guests feel at home in a pretty atmosphere and using durable outdoor dinnerware will help the evening go smoothly and keep you from worrying about expensive dishes. Planning outdoor dining events does not have to be complicated, and we hope our condensed outdoor dining tips will help you host with ease!
You may even find yourself hanging on to the outdoor dining season and throwing on a couple of extra layers to enjoy your patio or balcony this fall!
Flato Home has a 30-Day Return Policy: Not loving it? We offer returns for most items within 30 days of delivery for a refund or store credit.