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When the weather starts warming up, it’s time to dust off the old grill and host a backyard barbecue. But before you set up the charcoal, think about how you’re going to serve your guests. Dining al fresco doesn’t just mean a fresh batch of burgers and bratwurst. Creative outdoor dining ideas, from cozy barbecues to romantic picnics to roast dinner Cheltenham, will keep your friends coming back for more.

This is how you host an outdoor dinner party: by embracing the natural world around you, and turning your yard into a one-of-a-kind dining spot. The key is to go beyond just setting up a table and chairs, and create an entire atmosphere. From subtle touches, like candlelight and flowers, to more elaborate props and themes, these outdoor dining ideas will inspire your next backyard shindig.

Sit outside at night

Instead of serving dinner in the middle of the day, host your parties outside in the evening. Not only will this give your guests a chance to experience the outdoors at a more relaxed time of day, but it will also create a more intimate atmosphere. This is especially helpful if you plan on serving a more casual menu, as it will allow guests to try unfamiliar dishes while still being close enough to their homes to feel at home.

Decorate with lanterns and lights

If you’re looking to host an outdoor dinner party and up the drama, lanterns are a great way to add light while also keeping the bugs away. You can also use lanterns to add a different look to your backyard, as they can be painted to match your décor. When choosing lanterns, keep in mind that yellow lanterns will help brighten the overall space, but they can also appear too bright against dark tones, such as wood or brick. Instead, pick lanterns in blues, greens, or other neutral colours.

Lights can transform your outdoor space, from providing lighting to creating an ambient mood. However, these lights can also help your guests more easily find their seats and can even illuminate their food. When choosing lights, keep in mind that overhead lights can cast shadows and overpower your space. Instead, look for lights that are flush mount, recessed, or that come with a diffuser to soften their impact.

Go for a gourmet dinner

Instead of serving burgers and chicken wings on your next barbecue, host a gourmet dinner and turn your backyard into a restaurant. To make this possible, you’ll need a few small things. For example, pick up a cutting board and knife to cut fruits and vegetables for your guests, and make sure to bring along a few plates and utensils to set up your station. When it comes to hosting a gourmet dinner, the sky is the limit. You can serve dishes from around the world, from traditional Indian meals to Italian pasta bowls, or you can opt for something more original, like a cupcake bar or s’mores station.

Go barbecuing

Turn a barbecue into an outdoor dining experience by hosting your meal al fresco. For example, find a spot under a tree where the lighting is soft and the branches aren’t blocking the view too much. Then, start a fire and let it burn down to embers. When it’s time to eat, set up a few chairs in front of the grill and relax while your food cooks.

However, you don’t need to stop with grilled food. You can also barbecue other foods, like sausages or tofu. For an extra fancy touch, you can even barbecue with a sauce. Adding a sauce to your barbecue will add a lot of flavour to your food, but it can also make for an interesting dining experience. From barbecue sauces with strong flavours, like jerk sauce or honey mustard, to barbecue sauces with more neutral flavours, like balsamic vinegar, you can find a sauce to suit your meal.

Serve finger foods and small plates

If you want to shake things up, consider serving finger foods and small plates as your appetizers. For example, create a Thai-inspired cocktail bar and serve your guests spicy shrimp rolls or a Thai-inspired dip, like this spicy cashew sauce, as your appetizer. From there, you can move on to a selection of other finger foods, like these vegetarian meatballs, or these veggie pizza bites. After your guests have started to eat, move on to serving your main course, like this grilled salmon. You can also opt for a mix of finger foods and plates, like these veggie nachos and these balsamic roasted chicken breasts.

Go all out with a buffet

If you want to elevate your next barbecue, host a buffet. This is especially helpful for large groups, as you don’t need to worry about setting anything up beforehand. All you have to do is buy a few dishes and set them up on a table. When it comes to hosting a buffet, you can go all out with a variety of dishes. You can also stick to a more traditional or traditional twist on a classic dish, like this pulled pork or this Italian sausage and peppers bake.


While you can host an outdoor dinner party in the spring and summer, this article will focus on hosting parties in the fall and winter. If you’re looking for ways to heat up your outdoor dining experience, consider lighting candles and adding a fireplace with some wood or you can choose among the best restaurants Cheltenham. These touches can provide a warm, cozy feel to your outdoor space.



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