How to Lay a Summer Table

As the sun shines brighter and the evenings stay lighter, there's nothing quite like gathering around a beautifully set table in the garden to savour delicious food with family and friends. Setting the scene for an al fresco summer lunch or dinner involves more than just arranging plates and glasses.

Here are our 7 tips  for laying a summer table:

how to lay a summer table

1. Be Creative with Colour

You can have lots of fun with the linens, napkins, glassware and ceramics.  Don’t be afraid to use vibrant colours, such as yellows and greens which look great when eating outdoors in the summer months.

2. Layer Your Plates

We enjoy layering plates on a table and placing the side plate on top of the dinner plates for dimension. This also makes for more space on the table for glassware, jugs, sharing platters and candles.

layer plates on a summer table

3. Fruit and Candles

Take advantage of the gorgeous seasonal fruits that we get in the summer. Lemons, grapes, plums and peaches all look so lovely in bowls placed in the centre of the table. In the evening, candlelight sets the scene perfectly. 

4. Serve Food on Sharing Plates

Let your guests choose what they like to eat and how much of it. Dessert is a personal preference — I love to put out bowls piled high with chocolates, dates, nuts, tangerines, chocolate-covered strawberries and goodies for people to pick at. 

lay a summer table with jugs of water or lemonade

5. Plenty of Refreshments and Water for People to Help Themselves

During the summer, there should be plenty of water and refreshments for your guests to help themselves to. Our Glug Glug jugs look so pretty scattered down the table and hold just under a litre, perfect for water. Our water jugs with chunky stripes make great pitchers for freshly-squeezed lemonade. 

6. Tablecloths Set the Scene for the Time of Year

A checked or gingham tablecloth makes the setting informal and casual. Use a pretty floral with light colours in the summer months as this keeps the setting feeling fresh. 

7. Bring a Scent to the Table

I love to have small pots of lavender, rosemary and mint down the table. This heightens all the senses and adds to the experience of the delicious food and brings a lovely scent to the table.

Ready to set your summer table? Our unique, handmade tableware are designed to bring a touch of the Mediterranean to your home and look wonderful combined together.

Shop the Villa Bologna Pottery tableware collection today.