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How to Create a Restaurant Patio Vibe in Your Backyard

Creating ambiance outdoors with the right serving tools, set up, and products is possible—even on a budget. Entertaining is all about the atmosphere and ease. Here’s a few tips to create your own perfect patio party setting.

1. Make Space for Entertaining

Whatever your setup—deck, patio, balcony, or garden—it can be transformed for entertaining. Low chairs and a coffee table make an intimate conversation space and a comfortable dining set with a higher table and formal chairs works great for a large dinner party. You can light some candles for extra ambiance—that’s a big crowd pleaser. A wicker serving set will bring an outdoor chic look to the table. For daytime parties, a cooling serving tray is essential and keeps food at the perfect temperature.

Candlelit Table on Patio

2. Cook for a Crowd

Durable serving ware is a huge part of outdoor serving, and a stoneware entertaining set brings a rustic glamour to your party. It’s made for cooking for the group and serving up anything from appetizers to main dishes without dirtying extra dishes for later.

Tablescape With Stoneware Entertaining Pieces

3. Mix a Signature Drink

Roll the bar cart outside and embrace trendy mixology. Serve your beverages in a large pitcher—whether it’s water infused with seasonal fruit or a rich red sangria. This bar set makes it simple for every guest to try out being the bartender. The set’s recipe card guarantees everyone gets a well-balanced cocktail. For an even more original party vibe, make homemade boozy frozen treats. Spike them with vodka or rum for the grownups or keep them kid-friendly for guests of all ages.

Pina Colada Quicksicles

4. Fire up the Grill

A grill is a summer entertaining must. In fact, we’d wager most outdoor parties have at least one grilled dish on the menu. A portable grill is great for balcony parties and smaller spaces. Whether the grill is portable or full-sized, entertaining requires a reliable set of grilling tools to cook, serve, and clean up. While steaks and barbecue chicken are always hits, impress party guests with something trendier, like a grilled pizza or sliders.

Indoor Outdoor Grill

5. Don’t Forget Dessert

S’mores are a staple dessert in the summer. S’more sticks are important because they keep your fingers cool while roasting marshmallows. If you’re gathering inside, you can use the sticks with a slow cooker to dip squares of cake and sliced fresh fruit into melted chocolate or cheese.

S'more Sticks Set

6. Pour Yourself a Glass

A host always deserves a glass of wine during a successful party. Use an electric wine opener to make opening a bottle quick work. Pour yourself a glass in a wine tumbler that  keeps your wine cold and the bugs out. Then, place the bottle in a wine chiller to keep it at the perfect temperature to serve to your guests.


This post has been updated since its original publication in May 2016.

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