Summer weather is here. Time to start dining alfresco again. This year, how about stepping up your game? No more flimsy paper plates, sitting on rickety folding chairs or eating the same ol’, same ol’.
Let’s resolve to picnic with panache. Grill like a gourmet. Make every cook-out a tad chic. For as we know, summer lasts but a season but good style endures forever.
Why, oh, why put a second mortgage on your house for a fab outdoor dining table and chairs when you can go to IKEA? The Malaro bistro table and chair set -in hip lipstick red- is made of solid acacia wood and steel, folds up for easy storage and is a mere $119.99.
Need to seat a crowd? IKEA to the rescue again. The Appalaro table, chairs and bench seat eight and is only $569, which is anything but pricey for that much seating plus a table. They’re also made of solid acacia wood, the bench has a comfort back rest and the table top has a center hole to keep your shade umbrella in place.
Melamine is back in fashion and such an improvement over paper plates I scarely know where to begin. Kaleidoscope dinnerware is a Boho beauty with its colorful medallion pattern. It’s more sturdy than paper plates (duh), is BPA-free and dishwasher-safe. This is sturdy stuff you’ll use for years. Worth the price of $4.95 (9″ plate) – $16.95 (15″ platter).
Checked Linen Coated trays are preppy cool and fun for pattern mixing (try them with the Kaleidoscope melamine dinnerware shown above). $18-$38.
Layer in some French country chic with the Antique Gray Wire solar LED lantern. Crafted of antique wire, it features 12 high-efficiency LED lights housed in a glass bulb. When charged eight hours in daylight, this lantern delivers six hours of illumination. $24.99.
Last year, the Galvanized Metal rolling wagon party bucket was one of my top picks for summer. It is again because nothing newer I’ve seen beats it for function, fashion or price–$159. This cart will save you time and is built to last. Load it up, wheel it out and then relax. No more running back and forth.
The Mini Pizza grilling set kicks dough over the coals up a notch. It’s comprised of a pair of 8″ pizza stones with stainless steel domes. Practically, the domes allow intense heat for quick, even cooking without hot spots. Stylistically, they add a gourmet sensibility that’s to the manor born. $35.
Granted, the iGrill® mini thermometer seems a curious pick for a style story. Try it and you’ll understand why smart is the new chic. Built with Bluetooth technology, this thermometer lets you remotely monitor food that’s cooking up to 150 feet away, then alerts your smartphone when target temps are reached. Compatible with iPhone, IPad and Android devices. $39.95.