Essentials for Entertaining in the Garden

by olivia hoffman

© Photo by Kindra Clineff

One of the best things about the arrival of warm spring days is the opportunity to welcome guests into your blooming backyard or garden. The grass is glistening green, the flowers are emitting a delightful fragrance, and the sun is seemingly begging for us to come out and enjoy it.


To fully appreciate these longer and brighter days – and to share the beautiful bounties of spring with guests – an outdoor entertaining space is essential. But note, this does not have to be an extravagant display. Drinking and dining al fresco is a cherished activity in French culture, and like everything else the French do, it is seemingly effortless.

Read on for some of our recommendations for pulling together a perfect outdoor dining space with links to shop the products by simply clicking on the photos.

Check out the May/June 2023 edition of the magazine where we spill all the secrets on how to dine outside like the French! Subscribe to the magazine here to get your copy or see page 58 if you already have your magazine in hand.

Outdoor Dining Table

An outdoor dining table is an essential element to a backyard garden so that guests can feel at ease with a drink and a snack in the outdoor space. If you prefer smaller, more intimate gatherings, a small, rounded table works wonderfully in a garden. However, a longer table will likely encourage you to have more meals outside.

Outdoor Chairs

Table or no table, garden chairs provide the necessary call to action for visitors to sit, relax, and take in the beauty of their surroundings. Simple, steel chairs are very français and go with almost any table while not standing out too harshly against the garden. Patio chairs are also a nice option to make the environment more cozy.

Neutral Table Linens

Outdoor table linens work best if they are in a neutral color to allow the colors of the garden to take center stage. On the MFCH Boutique, we have beautifully embroidered French linen tablecloths with matching linen napkins that are perfect for dining al fresco.

Wicker Bread Baskets

Dining like the French will always mean there will be a side of bread! Baguettes, croissants, brioches, and country bread are staples at every meal of the day. The most traditional – and aesthetic – way to present bread is in a wicker basket. These options from our boutique will look spectacular on any table.

Wicker Bottle Carriers

To really impress your guests, pull out a wicker glass carrier or cocktail basket to present the drinks and glasses. You could even use it as a centerpiece to hold little vases of flowers and dry snacks. This versatile piece is both efficient and show-stopping.

Short Glassware

For drinkware, it is best to have shorter glasses so there is less risk of breaking in the garden. You can go the eco route and put out these fun glasses that are made from repurposed wine bottles, or you can get colorful with acrylic cups that are highly durable. Keep little ice buckets out on the table so that your guests can re-chill their drink as necessary.

Floral Plates & Serving Sets

Floral plates are a perfect accompaniment to a meal in the garden. These antique dishes and serving plates on the MFCH Boutique will have your outdoor table setting looking sophisticated and refined while blending into the natural surroundings.

Wooden Cutting Boards

It’s not a French meal without a little cheese and charcuterie! Present your favorite cheeses and meats on a wooden cutting board for a perfectly stylized apéro treat. The wooden aspect also ties together the nature setting.

Vases for Flowers

Of course, a garden party is the ideal opportunity to showcase the little bouquets you can make out of your backyard bounties. Take multiple small vases to dot the table with individual flowers or use a glass vase or pitcher to present a larger bouquet.

Use these tips to pull together an unforgettable moment dining en plein air. Don’t forget to subscribe to the magazine to learn the secrets of dining like the French as well as perfect recipes for an al fresco meal in the May/June 2023 edition.

Read Next: How to Wear French Florals for Spring

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