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photography by ASHLEY KELEMEN

For those of us lucky enough to live in milder climates, we can have dinner parties on the patio nearly year-round. After a recent (successful) dinner party in Berkeley, California, I’d love to share my thoughts on outdoor entertaining in winter, for those of us who have the climate for it!

  1. With winter comes less daylight, meaning that most of your dinner can end up being in the dark. I suggest string lights and candles (the newer LED ones actually look fairly realistic and let off a natural amount of light) and beginning a little earlier so that you can see your food (and friends!) and even transition inside if it gets too chilly as it gets later.
  1. If you don’t have, or don’t want to go to the expense of, an outdoor heater, having a bucket or basket with rolled up throws or light jackets is a great option.
  1. Warm and comforting foods like pastas, gooey appetizers and savory sweets will be perfect for the cool weather and will make your dinner party feel even more cozy!
  1. If it’s safe to build a fire, a fire pit is a great way to spark (no pun intended) conversations and make sure your guests don’t get chilly after the food is all gone. If your yard doesn’t have an outdoor fireplace or official fire pit, you can easily make one with a galvanized tub lifted on bricks (so as not to leave a burn mark on your grass).
  1. Don’t forget you can always move back inside. Having dessert, or decadent drinks like hot toddy’s inside at the end of the night before your guests Uber home is a great transition to begin the process of saying goodbye.


Ceramic Pitcher, Cutting Board, Fog Linen Hand Towels, Salt Bowl
Lark and June, larkandjune.com

Wine Glasses, Plates And Napkins:
IKEA, ikea.com

Flatware And Floral Glasses And Glass Pitcher, Vintage Farm Table 
A & B Creative, aandbcreative.com