Behind The Blue Door

Statement Dining | July 18, 2016 |

Dine under the stars:

How to host a twilight garden dinner



Warm summer nights call for long, lazy dinners under the stars. It’s more than taking the indoors outdoors – this is your opportunity to create a truly memorable fantasy meal.

Italian exuberance


Even the phrase al fresco is Italian – so why not follow their lead when it comes to designing your event?

Begin by setting the table with Renaissance Gold: the inky blue and gold Florentine design will echo the deep night sky above you and bring fine Italian glamour to proceedings. Dress the table with a red and white checked tablecloth (or opt for scrubbed wood), add carafes of valpolicella, towering candlesticks and pots of lipstick-red geraniums for a look that screams viva Italia.


When it comes to cuisine, the trend for building pizza ovens in British gardens is gaining momentum – or invest in a wood-fired oven from The Stonebake Oven Company. They can be assembled in minutes and deliver an authentic pizza experience.

For an informal dinner, roll out your dough in advance using this recipe from The Londoner and load a side table with bowls of olives, mushrooms, anchovies, Italian meats and cheeses for your guests to choose their toppings.

Pre-pizza, Jamie Oliver’s beef carpaccio would make a simple but delicious first course,  serving the classic Italian dish with a marinated bean salad.

Middle eastern exotic


Image source: Zohar Productions

Bring a touch of glamour to your garden with an evening inspired by Arabian nights.

This theme is built on rich colour and print – and Wedgwood’s Vibrance collection delivers just that. Available in pigment-drenched turquoise, cerise, orange and yellow, all offset with matte gold floral designs, layer it up for a striking placement.


Continue the riot with plump cushions in warm shades and finish the look with pots of clashing bougainvillea or vases of lilies.

These tantalising dishes from Yotam Ottolenghi will provide guests with a taste of Middle Eastern cuisine at its finest; his harissa-marinated paneer kebabs, barbecued celeriac and thai-style lamb chops lend an exotic flavour to your evening.

The great British garden party


Her Majesty has already celebrated her 90th birthday twice this year – so why not continue the festivities with an utterly British garden dinner party?

Bring a touch of heritage to your dinner with Wedgwood’s Wild Strawberry collection – its delicate pattern evokes a country style garden but with an air of luxury. Pile onto a crisp white cloth and style the garden with strings of twinkling lights, homemade bunting and classic English roses and peonies.

The menu? British staples we all know and love – but with a modern twist. Dip into Great British Chefs’ array of savoury tart ideas or celebrate English heritage with Riverford’s beetroot and blue cheese salad with walnut dressing. Try this delightfully flower-strewn Eton mess from Duck & Waffle for your culinary swansong.

Serve with the best of English wine and cucumber, mint and strawberry-scented Pimms in Wedgwood’s Wild Strawberry Pimms hi-balls.


Share your thoughts and ideas


  • Hazel Lewis says:

    I love the idea of al fresco dining but our weather (especially this year) is so unpredictable we tend to dine indoors, maybe have pre dinner drinks outside if it’s nice enough and eat, leaving the french doors open. People then have the choice of taking coffee and liquers outside if they wish.

  • Sylvia says:

    Could never afford it but do appreciate your exquisite designs……went to the Wedgewood factory in Stoke many years ago & enjoyed a behind the sceans look.

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The Jasper Conran Tisbury collection offers a plethora of informal tableware and home accessories that allow you to mix the collection into your everyday living. The tailored shapes with renowned Jasper Conran precision combine with a resilient porcelain, glass and wood to withstand wear and tear of everyday use. Natural colour styles contribute to an effortless look and feel.

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