Ten must-follow tips for excellent summer dining

It is a truth universally acknowledged that food really does taste better when it’s eaten outdoors. With summer in full swing, it’s time to open up our store cupboard and take a look at the ingredients needed to make summer dining a truly delicious experience.

1. Keep it simple

Al fresco entertaining needn’t be a fuss. An outdoor setting creates a laidback atmosphere and with the help of our summer garden party guide is easy and fun too.

2. For a personal touch

Want to add an elegant touch to your next soirée? Write a place card for each of your guests – use plain white card for a classic feel and write each guest’s name using a black ink fountain pen for an elegant, old-fashioned look.

3. Stay cool

Who knew ice cubes could be this imaginative? For a final flourish, impress guests at your next outdoor soirée by popping a few of these pretty floral ice cubes into their cocktail glasses.

4. Moreish bites

Balmy summer evenings have us yearning for something light and fresh for dinner, so don't feel the need to prepare lavish dishes and slave over the stove (we can think of better things to do on hot days, after all). Instead choose fresh, seasonal fruit to pair with both savoury and sweet accompaniments like cheese or yoghurt. High-quality, organic produce is colourful and beautiful too - so will work wonders to beautify your table setting!

5. Light up

Twinkling lights set the mood for a magical summer evening party. Our Alzey Jasmine Scented Candle adds a touch of sweet, blissful light and a sweet summery scent on long nights.

6. Tea time

With juicy cherries now in season, we think this lovely cherry-topped chocolate licorice meringue from Rachel Khoo should take centre stage at an outdoor afternoon tea party with friends.

7. Cocktail hour

There’s nothing like a tipple in the sunshine, especially when it involves a bit of rum. Score extra brownie points with your friends at the next summer barbeque by concocting these easy-to-prepare cocktails .

8. Beautiful blooms

Fresh flowers at the table always add a pretty touch to any meal. Place wild flowers or freshly-picked blooms from your garden in an old glass jam jar or honey pot for a simple, rustic look.

9. An elegant spread

We’re big fans of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s commitment to seasonal, ethically produced food, not to mention his mouth-watering food combinations including this lamb, kale and quince recipe — fabulous fare for garden dinner parties.

10. Presentation is key

11. Make sure your food looks the part with simple, rustic kitchen accessories. Our Mediterranean sourced Vence Serving Board is crafted from high-quality olive wood, ideal for displaying delicious appetisers and antipasti at their best.

What do you think of our list of tips for summer dining? Is there anything important you think we’ve left out? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.