Dining alfesco needn’t be a tasteless affair. Ditch the paper plates at your next barbecue and bring out the trendy tropical tableware instead. All of the suggestions below are light enough to put in the picnic basket if you’re off to the beach, and virtually unbreakable if accidentally dropped when balancing a plate, glass and napkin. And so much better for the environment than the plastic plates that get used once and then thrown away. These lovely plates, place-mats, trays, and serving dishes are much too stylish for that anyway. Totally on-trend too. And let’s face it, it’s been hot enough to believe that we’re in the tropics anyway.
How To Work It
- Choose one stand out piece and mix with plains to create a casually themed table setting. Either choose tropical dinner plates with plain bowls (they will look lovely at the start of the meal layered one on top of the other), or keep the plates plain and go all-out with the place-mats and the serving dishes. In this case less is most definitely more.
- Use real cutlery. There’s no other way to eat in my book.
- If plates or serving dishes are patterned and you are going to use a tablecloth, keep it plain. White is perfect for special occasions, but if you are worried about spills and stains black will look sensational against the tropical birds and foliage.
- I must admit to using paper napkins for casual alfresco dining but always in plain white and I’d go for the luxury ones.
- Rattan place-mats are perfect for this look if you have them. They add a sophisticated colonial element to the table.
- Finish the table setting with a flourish of tropical palm leaves in a vase.
Where to Buy It
- Jungle inspired printed melamine plates. Choice of four tropical bird prints. Printer + Taylor.
- Melamine dinnerplate, trio tray and side plate. All Creative Tops.
- Multicoloured melamine bowls and tumblers. Made.com.
- Aviary Table Mat and coasters. Divine Savages.
- Tiger tray and both place-mats, Eclect Design.