Summer in sunny South Africa is one of the best times to head outdoors with family and friends, which is why many SA families opt to host their annual Christmas dinners outside. An al fresco feast is a great way to enjoy the lovely weather and creates a laid-back atmosphere that can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike. However, if you choose to do so, there are a few things you should have in place to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch.
Here are our top must-haves that lay the groundwork for the perfect outdoors Christmas dinner in South Africa:
Plenty of Room
The first rule of hosting is to ensure that you have adequate room for all your guests to have a good time. Nothing can ruin the vibe of a festive get together faster than a cramped spatial situation. If you’re feeling unsure about the size of your stoep and might like to open up more possibilities for food stations (or a dance floor?), the addition of a stretch tent on your lawn could make all the difference.
A Stable Table
Next up – the table. Long tables are all the rage at the moment, but if you want to create a more convivial atmosphere, feel free to set up a variety of smaller tables where guests can congregate as they like throughout the evening. Whichever option you go for, make sure that your tables are well-balanced. An outdoor celebration is all good and well, but it tends to be a little tiresome if the table keeps wobbling on the lawn or cobblestones.
Summertime means mosquitoes. Depending on where in the country you find yourself, it could get really unpleasant if your guests aren’t provided with bug-repelling solutions. Have mosquito-repellent sprays and sticks available. Feeling creative? Mix a few drops of citronella oil into any commercial body cream, package it in pretty jars and give it as a welcome gift for each guest to use throughout the evening.
TOP TIP: If your family loves dining outdoors regularly, it may be worth your while to invest in a Stargazer tent from Tentickle. These high-tensile mesh units allow you to enjoy the breeze and star-spangled sky while keeping mozzies and other critters at bay. Apart from being a great space to enjoy dinner, it also makes for epic backyard camping sessions.
When it comes to ambiance, lighting plays a big role. You want enough visibility so everyone can see what they’re eating, but you don’t want it overly bright. Candles are lovely if you’re expecting a wind-free evening (but that’s pretty hard to predict), so we highly recommend clever solutions like Solar Jars or LED candles.
Following these guidelines will set the scene for a lovely outdoor Christmas dinner in South Africa. Keep your eye on the blog in coming weeks and months for more helpful advice on choosing eventing destinations and making the most of the great outdoors with Tentickle tents. In the meantime, feel free to reach out to the Tentickle team if you would like to know more about our versatile stretch tents and how it may be used to facilitate al fresco celebrations of all shapes and sizes.