My sister is about to give birth to her first baby (my first niece!) any moment now. It only feels like yesterday we had the family around celebrating her gender reveal which was so much fun to host – a day we’ll never forget. So for obvious reasons, we’re staying local this bank holiday weekend. As soon as she arrives, we’re driving up to London quick as a flash to meet her!
So today I thought I’d do something a bit different. What better way to rein in my impatience, than to style up a little garden dinner for Neil and I, finished off with some Wild Blackberry sorbet we picked from the woods behind our house?!
↓ ↓Keep scrolling to see how I turned a grassy corner of our garden into a mini dinner party ↓↓
It kept me busy, and stopped me sending the millionth text to my sister saying “Any sign yet??” 😂
This is how easy it is to dress up a small area in any garden, even when you don’t have a patio. So if you like the idea of doing a little more al fresco dining at your place, keep reading.
First, a bit of background on our garden ideas…
We’ve been talking about how to make more of our garden for a while now. It’s actually pretty sizeable, but there are areas, like this little pocket at the bottom, which are small, have a good level of privacy, but no landscaping or hard patio to put garden furniture and dine in.
Like most renovations, we’ve had loads of ideas but our focus has been on completing the interior of the house first. We can’t justify spending money on the garden yet as we have a little bit left to do inside first.
That said, there’s no reason why we can’t make it a sociable little area how it is now, and today I’ve proven that even a small, grassy area can be revamped into a cosy little place to dine 😄
The importance of having a garden area you love…
Neil and I are big advocates of nature and the good it does for managing stress levels. We spend a lot of time going on walks in the country, and when we’re not pottering around doing household chores, we’re probably in the greenhouse watering seedlings and caring for tomato plants and cutting flowers.
You might also know that I’m a brand ambassador for Portmeirion, a company who share my passion for creating special moments with friends, family and loved ones. Their #GetTogether campaign began when their research discovered that surprisingly only 39% of families eat dinner together regularly. And so began their mission, and now mine, to get more families together to create more moments to remember. Mix together the relaxation being outside and in nature, together with family and friends, and you’ve got one perfect recipe for happiness, in my book.
How I made our small garden area perfect for dinner for two…
Truly, it’s amazing what you can do with a camping table, fresh flowers and this stunning Botanic Garden tableware. Gifted to us by Portmeirion for the occasion.
To prep this small garden area, I propped up a 4ft camping table to half height, laid some fabric over it as a table dressing, and dotted some blankets and cushions around the edges for seating.
Then, I focused on the important part, the table decoration.
Really, the most important part of al fresco dining is being completely prepared for a classic ‘Great British sudden gust of wind’ to knock all your lovelies onto the grass (typical!).
So, you won’t be surprised when I tell you I fell for the weight of these traditional Botanic Garden 10 inch plates and the Botanic Garden Mini Posy Vases before I fell for everything else, the fresh, garden inspired design, I love the whole Botanic Garden range. There’s no gust of wind knocking these bad boys!
And if (like me) you’re a lover of the wild blooms of the British countryside, quintessentially British designs like botanical illustrations, then you’ll appreciate just how iconic and timeless this range is.
You’ll spot that I paired the Botanic plates and Botanic Garden Low Bowls, with two pieces from the Atrium collection, the Atrium Embossed Large Jug which I used as the centrepiece filled with flowers, and (my favourite of the whole look) this impressively sized Atrium Sharing Platter to serve dips and flatbread on. I love the versatility of this piece, I’ll no doubt use it for lots of other occasions for perching cakes, canapés, and other snacks for big groups to grab from.
Don’t you love it when plate designs bring colour and happiness to every meal? I’m already looking forward to using some of these items again for more gatherings.
A closer look at the garden food…
Let’s talk a little about the food. As it’s summer right now, and we’re experiencing hot temperatures here in the UK, we fancied making a simple salad, easy to carry down to the end of the garden in this huge Botanic Garden Deep Square Dish that’s completely oven proof - and chip proof! I can vouch for that as clumsy me banged a plate against it, and not a mark in sight.
We toasted some flatbread and poured some delicious dipping sauces, guacamole, humous and olives into the cute, small dipping bowls to eat with them. Thankfully this useful Botanic Gauntlet was at the ready when the flatbread came out of the toaster so hot!! It will be great when I use the square dish for cooking things like lasagne and stews in the colder months.
It wouldn’t be a garden dinner without a little bit of fizz to cheers to! These Botanic Garden Crystal Wine Glasses come in a pack of 4 and are so delicate - perfect for summery drinks, or desserts!
It was so nice to hang out together at the bottom of our garden, making the most of this gorgeous sunny weather, while we wait for our lovely little niece to be born 💚
Oh, and just to make a lovely evening even better, Neil made Wild Blackberry, Strawberry and Gin sorbet for afters with all our pickings – delish!
I hope this inspired you to style up an area in your garden soon, and chill out with your nearest and dearest.
Big thank you to Portmeirion for allowing me to choose my favourite pieces from their website for their #GetTogether campaign. They’ve got some really beautiful ranges you should take a look at, including a brand new Sara Miller London Christmas collection (it’s never too early to start putting bits aside and getting prepared!) It’s so good to be making a conscious effort to do these kinds of things together and I’m really thankful to Portmeirion for inspiring us, it’ll be another evening we won’t forget.
Now… off to text my sister again to see if her waters have broken 😂
Thanks for reading,
Fifi and Neil xoxo
Photography all by Neil (visit his website here), items gifted from Portmeirion.