If you are all about dining al fresco, Here’s a list of essentials to make dining outdoors a little more fun and relaxing.

dining al fresco

I have big plans for our new backyard area.



I can’t WAIT for you to see it.

If you’ve been following along then you’ve heard the back yard tale. We are installing a fence with part of it and then adding a patio with gravel and pavers and installing lights. Right now? It’s about 3/4 of the way done.

But I can already taste the corn. And smell the grill. And hear the crickets. And see the fireflies.

So to get ready for dining al fresco and all things summer, I wanted to share some of my favorite outdoor dining finds.

Especially this blue and white outdoor dining set that I found that I’m going to use inside, too.

And now?

Here are my favorite things for dining al fresco.

dining al fresco dishes

My Favorite Things I Use When Dining Al Fresco


Let’s start with this.


It’s non-shattering melamine, but it looks like Italian pottery.

It comes in a set here.

But if you don’t want the set, you could order just the plates here.

Or the bowls here.

And then?

There are all these serving pieces, too?

You could just use white paper plates these amazing serving pieces.

Like this platter.

dining al fresco serving piece

Serving tray

And this serving tray with removable pieces is perfect for dining al fresco.

I think this is my favorite piece in the collection.

You could even add chips around the dip and use those little pull out containers to serve your guests.

dining al fresco canopy

Canopy for dining al fresco

We aren’t going to have a cover over the patio at first.

Later we’ll build a pergola.

But I found this canopy from IKEA.

It’s super affordable and easy to attach to a fence or back wall.

dining al fresco monogrammed cups


I also found these plastic cups with monograms.

They come in a set of 25 and they are super affordable.

You can personalize them with a monogram or just words.

dining al fresco lights

Lights for dining al fresco

These are the lights we have for the corners of the patio.

We are planning on making four poles on each of the corners and stringing these lights.

But to get electricity out there?

It’s super expensive.

And then?

I found this.

It runs off a battery and has 300 watt for continuous output and it has 2 USB outlets for the lights.

You can see it here.

Problem solved.


I found this portable bluetooth speaker.

It’s amazing. It’s waterproof and the battery lasts for 30 hours and it got great reviews.

Plus? It’s under $35.

dining al fresco fan

Fan for dining al fresco

It gets really hot in Texas.

And even though the area we are in is shaded, I wanted to research some portable fans.

And I found these battery-operated fans that got great reviews.

dining al fresco mesh covers

Food covers

Food covers are a MUST around here because we have so many flies.

I found this set of three mesh covers.

I think I’m going to order two sets so I have everything “covered.”

Pun totally intended.


These are kind of a splurge for me because they cost a little more than plastic silverware.

But if I want to be fancy?

These are the outdoor silverware for me.

Drink dispenser

If you don’t have a drink dispenser yet for dining alfresco?

This is the dispenser I have and I LOVE IT.

It’s the perfect size, the spigot doesn’t leak and I’ve used it over and over again.

dining al fresco table clips

Table clips for dining al fresco

On the practical side, these table clips really work.

They look a little utilitarian, but they clip like no one’s business.

You can see them here.

Wood serving piece

This is the perfect serving piece for dining al fresco.

I actually use mine throughout the year.

It looks so pretty with blue and white.

It cleans up in a hot minute.

And it’s lightweight and easy to carry.

dining al fresco outdoor seating

I can’t wait to show you the patio and the new fenced-in area and the new landscaping.

It’s going to be an amazing summer.

Here’s to celebrating with a little dining al fresco.


And now? 

For more dining inspiration here are some other ideas for outdoor entertaining essentials from some of my favorite friends


Seeking Lavender Lane:

4th of July Sweets Charcuterie Board

Shades of Blue:

Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

So Much Better with Age:

Eco-Friendly Outdoor Entertaining Essentials


10 Fun Products for the Perfect Picnic

Maison de Cinq:

Seven Essentials for Outdoor Entertaining 

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  1. Image for Kris Kris

    It's more fun to look at the pretty dishes and flatware but I think the fan is the most genius idea. I recently read that they are great for blowing away mosquitoes and if it's battery operated, you can place it anywhere!

  2. Image for Gina Gina

    Such inspiration! Im spending so much more time outdoors. My string light solution, my lights look like yours, but are solar powered. Happy summer!!!

  3. Image for Lynn Lynn

    Those cafe patio string lights come in a solar version also. The solar panel can stick in the ground or clip to a gutter or top of the pole. So awesome and no ongoing cost!!

  4. Image for Barbara Barbara

    Fantastic! Just ordered ALOT of the puebla melamine. Love, love it! A Mexican restaurant in Austin, TX has very similar dishes I’ve been drooling over. Now I’ll have unbreakable ones. Thank you so much!! Barbara

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