Now that the warm weather is finally upon us, there is nothing better than dining outdoors. In fact, it almost feels natural to sit there under the trees, enjoying the scent of nearby flowers and listening to the bees and cicadas doing their thing.
So, it’s understandable that you’ll want to enjoy many dining occasions this way – from family meals to romantic dinners, a get-together with friends and a formal business lunch.
As well as planning the food you’ll serve at these occasions, you will also want to think about what you’ll serve them with. For instance, which linen tablecloths, runners and napkins you’ll select together with plates and silverware.
If you like the idea of using a tablecloth for your dining table, a linen version is ideal for a look that’s well dressed but relaxed rather than overly formal.
Says Kate Cartwright @burleighpottery: “And while a linen tablecloth will drape beautifully if you use it across the whole table in a conventional way, you might want to try alternatives.
“You could drape it across the middle only, making soft folds in the fabric and creating contrast with the texture of the table top.”
Here at Solino Home we’ve done some of that prep for you, by listing our favourite linens for particular dining occasions:
A white linen tablecloth looks classy, professional and business-like. Using matching white napkins, with maybe a hint of a signature of emblem, keeps things simple and provides a sense of organised uniformity. Keeps plates simple and cutlery shining. A vase of simple wildflowers with a little colour can be the crowning touch.
Family lunch party
Things are always going to be far more informal at a family lunch party. That’s because there are usually little ones around. It also means that a linen tablecloth, with its quick absorbency quality when juice gets spilled, is absolutely crucial. Fortunately, linen always washes well too. In fact, unlike other materials, linen gets lovelier the more often it’s used.
Because it’s a family lunch you don’t have to stick to white or other neutral shades of linen. No, why not opt for lovely mint green or pink pastel shades? Both look great in summer. Add a couple of big overflowing vases of colourful flowers, complete with foliage.
Romantic dinner for two
With this dinner being staged later in the evening, it’s fine to bring out the darker linen. A deep burgundy, purple or even black linen table cloth can look amazing on a hot summer’s night. Just remember the candles to add a warm glimmer, together with sparkling wine glasses and add a very romantic touch with a full-budded red rose on each side plate.
Late supper with pals
Like dinner with family, a late supper with pals is always going to be a light-hearted occasion too. A brightly coloured linen tablecloth or runner is just the thing since it evokes a sense of fun and laughter. Why not go for a pattern too, such as rustic checks or sailing themes? Both are classic designs which are easy to find in high-quality linen. Then there are stripes – the thicker the better.
For inspiration, take a look at our fabulous collections of linen tablecloths and napkins at Solino Home today.