Welcome Fall with a Dinner Party Alfresco Tablescape

Host a dinner party alfresco for late summer or early fall entertaining at home. This beautiful rustic tablescape is the perfect setting for our alfresco dinner menu

You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party.

Dinner Party Alfresco Style

We’re ready for a dinner party alfresco as the weather is in it’s comfortable transitional stage of being not too hot and not too cold. If you’re anything like me, you don’t need much of a “reason” to entertain and get together with friends or family.

This is the time of year when the weather is just the right temperature by day, a little nippy at night, and just right for a patio dinner party or sunset supper.

I was excited to create ideas for an alfresco dinner party on the patio. I’ve included some fun styling tips for a rustic tablescape, along with a delicious menu that won’t leave you feeling too full afterwards. The idea is to incorporate fresh ingredients and showcase items that are transitional from Summer to Fall.

Use this as a blueprint for your next gathering or gain inspiration for any casual celebration. Check out all the details and dinner party ideas below.

You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. Welcome fall or summer with a dinner party al fresco. You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. Give each guest their own cheese board. Transitional Dinner Party - Summer into Fall / Celebrations At Home blog You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. Transitional Dinner Party - Summer into Fall / Celebrations At Home blog

Setting the Table

  • The table setting is casual but chic with a yard of fabric loosely tossed on the diagonal. The black and white stripe is a terrific background for any color you choose to incorporate. I chose a golden yellow accent to coordinate with the seasonal flowers. There are also hints of red throughout, which adds even more interest and keeps the eye moving.
  • Place settings are layered with rattan chargers, white plates, and individual cutting boards {a personal favorite of mine}.
  • Each guest gets their own portion of cheeses {Gouda, Chèvre, & ParmigianoReggiano) and grapes to whet their appetite. A communal bread bowl is in the center of the table in lieu of a centerpiece.
  • Name tags are tied on to the ‘handle’ of each mini cheese board. They can be used as take home gifts for your guests too, if you like.
  • Sunflowers are the flower of choice here since they represent the end of summer and beginning of Fall. They’re placed inside a white pitcher at the end of the table, instead of the center, to facilitate family style dining.
  • To continue the casual feel I used my vintage gold tumblers instead of stemware, to hold wine.

You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. Welcome fall or summer with a dinner party al fresco. You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. Transitional Dinner Party - Summer into Fall / Celebrations At Home blog You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party. You'll love this tabletop and menu for a dinner party al fresco. Invite your friends and use these ideas as your blueprint for a party.

The Menu 

All the recipes for this menu are linked at the top of the page. You may also want to check out 

  • Because the setting is on the patio, the food is set up buffet style by topping a planter box with wood planks and draping with fabric.
  • Seasonal mums and lanterns help dress up the makeshift table, while a small chalkboard sign welcomes guests.
  • Our menu consists of tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad, spinach-orzo salad, grilled lemon-herb chicken, and french baguette. Dessert is homemade apple pie.
  • For this menu I like a light Riesling {I love Chateau St. Michelle} to pair with the cheese course, and a Pinot Grigio {Cavit is a very affordable favorite of mine} with the main course. See more tips for serving wine here.
  • You’ll want to provide guests with towels for when they exit the pool or hot tub, and rolling them up in a wire basket is a great way to keep them at the ready.
  • Finally, send guests home with homemade freezer jam made from summer’s bounty of berries.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts

18 Comments

  1. simply gorgeous & my fave part is the individual cheese boards – genius! Your work is amazing my friend! =)

    1. Amanda, the table is from World Market and the chairs are ones I’ve had for at least 10 years.

  2. Absolutely beautiful!! I love everything about it. Its a perfect party for the fall. Fabulous!

  3. Wow, Chris I love this. I love fall and entertaining an outdoor party is a perfect way to celebrate with friends. Love the black and white colors with the perfect touches of yellows and woods to compliment. Super cute idea the cutting boards. Thanks for the great inspiration can’t wait for the recipes.

  4. Chris, I love that you didn’t cover the whole table up (or the chairs!) – the wood gives so much warmth to this setting.Love the rattan chargers and all the pops of yellow too. You’re amazing. As always.

    1. Carrie, those were a great find while I was out thrifting one day. I love the shape, size, and color of them.

  5. Love the whole look and feel of this and pretending I have a Jacuzzi. I’ve never wanted one more than I do right now, thanks to this! That would certainly be one way to get to know the neighbors better. : )

  6. We love entertaining outdoors and sadly it’s still way too hot in FL to dine al fresco. I’m adding these recipes and food ideas to Pinterest though, because as soon as it cools off I’m hosting a little dinner party on the patio!

  7. I LOVE this! Mixing black and white stripes with more traditional fall colors is beautiful and bold! I also love fall and the idea of a chilly yet cozy dinner party in the backyard. So so pretty! We’ve talked about getting a hot tub after we add our 3-season porch and deck (hopefully next summer). In Minnesota, hot tubs are amazing on freezing cold winter nights.

    1. Exactly, Jessica! We went snow skiing one year and sat outside in the hot tub as snow was falling all around us. So fun!

Comments are closed.