Bring Alfresco Dining Indoors, A French Inspired Dinner Party

Setting Up an Alfresco Dining Party Indoors

Posted on: Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The idea of alfresco dining is a beautiful one.  Beachside or far out in the country, sipping on local wines from a nearby vineyard while dining on farm to table rustic style foods.  Alfresco dining is extremely popular in areas where outdoor space is highly valued and the weather is temperate.  But what do you do when you want to dine alfresco but don’t have the outdoor space?  Here is a great alternative for you small city dwellers who want to bring the magic of alfresco dining indoors.

Alfresco dining ideas on Art in the Find

Today marks the first of a series I’m working on with a lovely, darling Texas food blogger, Cara, of Caramelized Blog.  Cara and I met, if you can believe it, on Twitter, and developed a fabulous blog friendship from there.   We’ve picked great food themes and she, being the food blogger, will develop a menu around the theme, and I, the stylist, will style the table, and/or a stylish look, around that same theme.  It will be a fun co-blogging take on how to style your next dinner party.


Today, the theme for our At the Table series is Alfresco dining indoors with a rustic French inspired table setting.  The inspiration is a bistro gathering of food, friends, and style.  Think of Tartine as family-style, rustic Provence, France, with earthenware plates and simple serving pieces.  Cara is showing you how to plan a menu for our lovely alfresco dining fete.  Head over to Cara’s blog to see how to plan a menu for A Tartine Affair.

What happens when you want to dine alfresco but have no outdoor space? You bring alfresco dining indoors. See how on Art in the Find

what do you do when you want to dine alfresco but don't have the outdoor space? Here is a great alternative for you small city dwellers who want to bring the magic of alfresco dining indoors. Click to read.

  • Setting the table: A simple, clean, and chic bistro table setting for alfresco dining starts with clean lines, white plates mixed with earthenware-colored plates & rustic style napkins.  To create an indoor alfresco table setting, pair wood cutting boards with parchment paper laid out under the food to add  soft detail to the table.

Bring alfresco dining indoors with these bistro inspired tips on Art in the Find. Click to read

Oil & Vinegar bottle with wooden stopper: West Elm

Appetizer ideas for alfresco dining on Art in the Find. Click to read

Wooden cutting boards & bistro napkins in stone white/iron: West Elm

  • When integrating pops of color, think of adding bright fruits and vegetables for a natural yet vibrant setting.  Bring seasonal fruits into the menu which will add to the alfresco dining feel.  Build a menu off of small appetizers that you can spread out along the table, bringing that outdoor feeling inside.

Here is a west elm inspired dinner table with alfresco dining at the heart. Click to read.

Glassware| Organic Shaped Crackle Dinnerware: West Elm

Setting the table? Here are a few french inspired alfresco dining tips to bring to the table on Art in the Find

Bistro wire baskets & dBo serveware bowls: West Elm

  • It’s okay to partner up mis-matched plates, napkins, and serveware within the same neutral color palettes of white, cream, camel, and brown.  It gives a more authentic, rustic alfresco dining feel.  Sometimes an imperfect table can make for the perfect setting!

bistro napkins

Caramelized Blog

Cara and I will be bringing you more fabulous settings At The Table in the months to come!  In the meantime, find Cara at Caramelized Blog, on Instagram, and Twitter (where we found one another!).  I hope you plan and enjoy alfresco dining indoors with a dinner party of your own.  Let me know if you do! If you’re looking for more dinner party inspiration, head over to my pinterest board, setting the table, for ideas and ways to make your table come together!

Photography:  Kevin Falk for XOXO Wedding Photo

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