Alfresco dining ideas from across the globe
April 4, 2021
We may not have Italian weather, but what we lack in Mediterranean temperatures, we make up for in raw British determination. After a year of waiting, the British public will not be shut indoors by torrential rain, whipping wind, or ice-cold nights! Oh no, we will bravely battle the elements with our six favourite shivering friends, prosecco cocktail in hand because it is our right, nay our duty, to enjoy our new alfresco freedom and will not be deterred! (Pretty sure Churchill would have said something along those lines…)
To get you in the mood we thought we’d share some fun international outdoors ideas to warm the heart because the rest of you might be a popsicle.
Alfresco? Here’s how the Italians do it…
It wouldn’t be Alfresco without the Italians, but did you know they don’t actually call it that? Fun fact: the Italian word for outdoor dining is all’aperto, which means ‘in the open’. If you’re dreaming of balmy Italian nights and ice-cold beverages then why not have an Italian-inspired beach break? It may not be the Sardinian sea but even wrapped up in blankets, watching the waves and smelling that salty air will do wonderful things for your soul. Fill your cool bag with a few bottles of prosecco, goats cheese, pea, courgette, mint and orzo salad, sexy bread, Italian meats and cheeses, fresh fruit and a pot of honey for dipping. For dessert, you could buy a pre-made blackberry Crostata de Frutta, which would pair beautifully with a glass of prosecco spiked with a splash of our Drunken Berries Blackberry and Brandy Prosecco Mixer, delizioso.
Backyard BBQ American Style
One thing that American’s are pretty good at is a backyard BBQ, so why not have your own little themed American alfresco evening. One of our team is an authentic American, and we asked her to share her quintessential American BBQ Menu:
- Home-made burgers made with beef mince, one egg, breadcrumbs, minced red onion, chopped parsley and Worcestershire sauce. Mix it up with a bit of salt and pepper, make it into thick patties, and get grilling. Extra points for using floppy American cheese.
- Posh potato salad made with boiled and chopped baby potatoes, French brie, mayo, whole grain mustard, parsley, and salt to taste.
- Zingy Apple Slaw: Shredded red cabbage, sliced apple, grated carrot, and sliced red onion. A tiny dollop of mayo and a drizzle of apple cider vinegar.
- Mexicali Butter – Big knob of butter, squeeze half a lime, dollop of mayo, chipotle powder, and grated parmesan mixed together until creamy. As with most butter, this is good on almost anything, but whack it on to hot grilled corn on the cob with a sprinkle of fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime for a ‘Wow’ moment.
- It wouldn’t be Americana without a sassy S’mores treat, but she has a little twist for you. Fill a kebab skewer with chocolate brownie, marshmallow, and fresh strawberry and roast over an open flame…whaaat? We thought the same, but then we tried it. Game.Changer. Not to worry, if an open flame isn’t your game, or if this is just a bit too mind-blowing, you can always use the oven and grill some marshmallows right onto a chocolate digestive, delicious.
A Great British picnic with a twist
Is there anything more British than a Garden party? Not really, no. So let’s embrace our heritage and take it one step further… what about a walking garden party? The Dowager Countess would definitely not approve, but she also didn’t just walk the length of England during the lockdown, so we can handle a tssk or two. Make up some cucumber and smoked salmon sandwiches (crust optional), a few fresh scones with clotted cream and jam (or jam and cream jeez), one giant flask of tea, a slightly smaller flask of gin, a bottle or two of tonic, and possibly some mini bunting to string on your backpack, and start walking. Get out into the bluebell forests, the rolling downs, the paddocks, and take a big deep breath of that freeing fresh air. Now find a perfect spot, take out your mini bottle of Drunken Berries Raspberry and Gin cocktail mixer, pop a dollop in your freshly made G&T and cheers to making the most out of your alfresco weekend.
Dreaming of España
Oh to wander the streets of Barcelona with the Spanish sunshine on your face, with nothing on the agenda except to find a sunny spot to enjoy your little tapas picnic with a glorious glass of sangria or five. We may not be able to fly just yet, but thankfully we can still enjoy a Spanish inspired picnic. Fill your basket with Spanish olives, marinated anchovies (boquerones), manchego cheese, grapes, chorizo bites, and perhaps even a beautiful serrano and rocket sandwich (bocadillo). No Spanish picnic would be complete without a splash of sangria, you can even whip it up the night before to get the fruit nice and drunk. For a little something special you can even top it off with a pour of prosecco before you serve.
Classic Sangria Recipe
- One bottle of Dry Red Wine (Tempranillo)
- Chopped Apple
- Sliced Orange
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- ½ cup of orange juice (more to taste)
- ¼ cup of brandy
- ¼ cup Orange liqueur
- Served with ice and a splash of prosecco for a fizzy finish
It may not be the Med, but at least we will be surrounded by the warming smiles of our nearest and dearest again soon. As the saying goes ‘it’s not where you are, but who you’re with, that really matters.’ So cheers to you and your favourite six, and we hope you enjoy every second of your new-found alfresco freedom together, Saluti!