Backyard Summer Al Fresco Dining Tips

by Tonya Staab
Published: Last Updated on

Al Fresco dining is the perfect way to entertain family and friends this summer and we have all the tips you need for a spicy Thai food inspired table.

Disclosure: I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

We love dining outdoors, especially over the summer. It’s too hot during the daytime, but in the early evening when the backyard is shaded, the temperature has dropped just a little and we can watch the sun setting, it’s perfect.

If you are entertaining friends or family this summer, you don’t need to go all out to put together a fabulous table that your guests will love.

Looking down over an outdoor table with a half pineapple filled with pineapple fried rice, kabobs in a glass dish, flowers, and dining ware.

Preparation is key when it comes to entertaining at home.

How to Set An Al Fresco Dining Table At Home

The first step is to decide on a theme. You’ll need a color scheme, a menu, and table decor that will go with it.

Looking down over a table set up with assorted Asian foods, flowers, and a table setting.

Keep your menu simple. Serve a combination of homemade and store-bought dishes. Not everything has to be made from scratch. Nobody wants to spend the entire time in the kitchen preparing dish after dish.

When you think of Thai food you generally think of warm dishes, but during summer offer cold dishes too; a build-your-own lettuce wrap tray is perfect for cooling things down a little.

An outdoor dining table with a tiered tray containing ingredients to make lettuce wraps

Plan your al fresco dining table decor. Choose a color scheme that works for you and them mix and match items from around your home. I normally base my color scheme on the napkins or table runner I’m using, and then pull in a variety of pieces. Remember everything doesn’t have to be too matchy.

For this table I went with yellow (for summer) and blue (to add a cool touch to the spicy food).

a blue vase with white flowers on an outdoor table surrounded by Asian food

Fresh flowers or potted plants are a must for any table, especially for outdoor dining as it keeps with the natural elements.

Don’t forget candles, as the sun goes down you will want to cast some light over the table. Or place your table in a space where lights can be strung overhead.

white flowers with yellow and pink on them

Al Fresco Dining Thai Menu

Lettuce Wrap Tray

You can find my delicious Asian Chicken Lettuce Wrap recipe here

a tiered tray on a table filled with ingredients to make lettuce wraps
a hand holding a lettuce wrap filled with chicken, carrot, and other toppings


These were my store-bought portion of the meal.

potstickers on a white tray

Chicken and Beef Satay Skewers

skewers with chicken and beef in a wide glass vase

Pineapple Fried Rice

This ham and pineapple fried rice served in fresh pineapple is the perfect accompaniment to summer al fresco dining. You can find my Pineapple Fried Rice recipe here, and it makes enough to fill two half pineapples.

a half pineapple filled with fried rice


  • Gloria Ferrer VA de VI Sparkling Wine
  • Gloria Ferrer Blanc De Noirs Sparkling Wine
  • Bottled, chilled water

Both of these fabulous Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines pair perfectly with Thai food.

A bottle of Gloria Ferrer Sparkling on an outdoor table with Thai food.
a hand holding a glass of sparkling wine

About Gloria Ferrer Wines

Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is Carneros’ original sparkling wine house, owned and founded by the Ferrer family of Spain. Named for José Ferrer’s wife, Gloria, the winery opened in 1986 in the breezy, now-famous region in southernmost Sonoma County. Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was the fulfillment of a longtime family dream: to make world-class méthode champenoise sparkling wines in an exceptional New World terroir.

Convivial, social, elegant, fun — the sparkling wines of Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards are a perfect match for any occasion and are arguably the most social beverage.

Gloria Ferrer wines have earned over 400 gold medals and 50 90+ scores in the last 5 years.

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