Six Simple Tips to Dress an Outdoor Dining Space

20th June 2016

6 Simple Tips To Dress An Outdoor Dining Space |


I recently attended a delightful garden party at Eltham Palace organised by The White Company. The event theme was summer entertaining and guests were treated to several workshops ranging from ‘cooking the perfect food for your summer party’ with Tim Maddams, former Head Chef at River Cottage, to ‘dressing your outdoor dining space’ with The White Company.

During The White Company session, I enjoyed hearing tips about using household items in a number of ways. For example, a champagne coupe could double up as a stylish bowl to serve a summer dessert. As someone who dislikes unnecessary clutter, I enjoyed learning ways to make my stuff work harder. So, today I’m sharing a few tips on dressing your outdoor dining space and utilising what you have.

6 Simple Tips To Dress An Outdoor Dining Space |


If you’re planning your summer entertaining I would recommend giving your outdoor space a tidy. This may include mowing the lawn, sweeping, weeding, clipping and removing anything that someone could trip over after a few glasses of fizz! After all, the best parties usually involve a little dancing. In my previous home, I found spending an hour or two gardening helped me to unwind at the end of a busy day.


Now is the time to dust off your garden furniture. And if you’re expecting lots of guests you may wish to utilise the chairs and tables in your home. Don’t forget deck chairs or camping chairs, after all a garden of eclectic and mismatched furniture gives off a fun and informal feel. Be inventive if you need to, I once hosted a large birthday party and used my wallpaper pasting table with a table cloth as additional serving space.

6 Simple Tips To Dress An Outdoor Dining Space |


When planning table settings have a look at what you have before considering buying new. Table linen, napkins, plates and bowls can all be used in the garden and after seeing how nice the white set looked I’m utterly hooked! It’s also interesting to consider alternative and inexpensive ways to serve drinks, especially if you’re expecting a lot of people. I love jam jars with stripy straws, a simple idea that looks delightful. 

You could use large bowls, containers or even a bucket to keep wine and bottled drinks cool. The White Company were using a large wine cooler and suggested it could be used to display houseplants when the summer is over. The perfect way to style up your green friends during the winter months.


I love table centrepieces, especially if they’re unusual and inventive. The White Company were using a large glass lantern holder filled with plants in glass jars. It was like a modern take on a traditional terrarium.

It’s a good idea to wander around your garden to see what you have. You could fill a jug or vase with leaves or small jars and bottles with pretty sprigs of flowers. Another idea is to make use of your household plants by displaying small succulents or cacti.

6 Simple Tips To Dress An Outdoor Dining Space |


To add atmosphere (if there’s no chance of rain!) try using fairy lights to help your party sparkle as the sun goes down. You could also hang lanterns or retro bistro lights, all of which can be used again at Christmas. Bunting or ribbon work well and I really love The White Company silver tealight holders because they’re great for both indoor and outdoor use. Enjoy getting creative with the space you have.


To create a place for guests to relax try laying out a picnic blanket, throw, cushions or even seat pads. This is a good idea if you’re short of chairs and you could even cover an airbed with a blanket or throw. Although be warned, if you make your guests too comfortable they may never leave!

I hope you have a wonderful summer of entertaining.

I was invited to attend The Garden Party by The White Company. All views are my own.

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  • Reply Jess @ Along Came Cherry 21st June 2016 at 7:28 am

    We really need to sort out our garden, we’ve recently moved house and we want to have a huge clear out. There are so many bushes and trees that need to go. I’m looking forward to when it’s done! These are great ideas 🙂 x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:22 am

      Thanks Jess. I remember that feeling all too well. The garden in my previous home was a jungle when I moved in, it took a couple of years to tame it! x

  • Reply Slummy single mummy 21st June 2016 at 11:23 am

    This all looks fabulous! Brave length of skirt for a cellist!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:23 am

      Thank you. Oh yes, you’re right there! x

  • Reply Victoria Eales 21st June 2016 at 12:02 pm

    My mum uses a lot of fruit in her table settings; I love how the pear looks against the white.

    Victoria x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Victoria. I’ve never thought to use fruit, such a lovely and simple idea. Have a great holiday. x

  • Reply Polly Davies 21st June 2016 at 1:46 pm

    great ideas! We often use our wallpaper pasting table as the buffet table when we have parties! Thank goodness for tablecloths to hide it!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Polly. I think wallpaper pasting tables often save the day! x

  • Reply beautyisallaround6 21st June 2016 at 7:06 pm

    great work. i just follow your blog.
    Greetings from Greece.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:25 am

      Thank you and welcome! Greetings from Oxford. x

  • Reply Emmaly Knecht 21st June 2016 at 9:11 pm

    Im planning a 4th of July party so these are definitely some great tips i will refer to.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 9:25 am

      Thank you, I’m pleased you found the post useful. x

  • Reply Alison 22nd June 2016 at 10:47 am

    What a gorgeous event this was – so so disappointed I couldn’t make it. Love the tips you got from it too.

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 22nd June 2016 at 10:49 am

      Thank you Alison. I’m sorry you missed it. x

  • Reply Eva 29th June 2016 at 10:42 pm

    What a nice event! Garden decoration was so nice. Happy Summer Natasha!

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 1st July 2016 at 10:05 am

      Thank you Eva. Happy 1st July to you! x

  • Reply laurasidestreet 3rd July 2016 at 2:59 pm

    I absolutely love The White Company and I am so glad there is one in Cardiff – everything they do is so chic and stylish and this al fresco event sounds amazing – and with music! Beautiful table setting

    Laura x

    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 3rd July 2016 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks Laura, it really was a delightful event! x

  • Reply Lara Moore 7th July 2016 at 4:17 pm

    Looks like a really beautiful event, Natasha. Thanks so much for your fab ideas – I really love the tip of using jam jars as glasses, so cute!

    I have my father-in-law’s 50th BBQ in a couple of weeks so the perfect time to put your ideas to good use. Let’s hope the weather is okay!


    • Candy Pop
      Reply Candy Pop 7th July 2016 at 4:23 pm

      Thanks Lara for stopping by. I hope you have a wonderful BBQ and the sun shines for you. x

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