AT HOME | SUMMER GATHERINGS
A L F R E S C O
The summer season turns our thoughts to the outdoors, to alfresco dining and creating beautiful outside spaces for gatherings large or small. The term al fresco derives from the Italian language and loosely translates to ‘in fresh air.’ Dining alfresco can resemble anything from a simple picnic or barbeque to a beautifully refined tablescape. It can take place in any outdoor setting, from the garden to more elaborate locations further afield. However it unfolds, alfresco dining is an opportunity to gather together in nature and create memorable experiences.
The main reason we enjoy having meals outside is that it’s truly lovely to feel a breeze on our faces, observe trees and plants around us and to make a meal feel just that little bit more special and out of the ordinary. There is much to be said for a simple picnic, in gathering blankets and a trusty basket and heading outdoors for adventures with family and friends.
Beautiful tablescapes can be created using simple crockery, glassware and linens and by bringing in fresh flowers and candles to add ambience. We aspire to a more thoughtful way of life and value simple yet useful pieces made to be enjoyed and stand the test of time.
IDEAS | A Simple Alfresco Meal
- Fresh bread and crackers.
- A small selection of cheeses and cured meats.
- Olives and chutney or other pickled preserves.
- Seasonal fruits such as berries, peaches or cherries.
- Homemade scones or classic Victoria sponge cake.
- Chilled elderflower cordial (see recipe below).
RECIPE | Elderflower Cordial
The soft white lacy blooms of elderflowers start emerging from countryside hedges in June. Gathering fragrant blooms and bringing them in to the home is a wonderful summer ritual. Small flowers and lemon chunks can also be added to ice-cubes, not only being aesthetically pleasing, but also keeping drinks cool.
Ingredients for 2 litres of cordial
25-30 fresh elderflower blossoms
3 medium to large lemons peeled
1kg white sugar
1.5 litres water
2-3 large bottles or jars
Gently shake the flowers and cut the stems but avoid washing to retain natural flavours. Bring the water and sugar to the boil before adding the elderflowers, lemon slices and peel. Remove from the heat and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the liquid to infuse for at least twenty four hours in the fridge or cold, dark place, stirring once or twice. Strain the liquid through a sieve or muslin cloth, bring to the boil and decant in to bottles or jars. Store the elderflower cordial in the fridge and use within one month.
S U M M E R E D I T
From top left: handwoven basket, grey herringbone blanket, handmade ceramic bowl, ceramic side plate, ceramic dinner plate, linen tea towel, natural check blanket, table glasses and ceramic utensil holder.
We hope this journal post will inspire simple and memorable alfresco gatherings throughout the summer season.
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