The Romance of Outdoor Dining

It’s early April here in New England – that time when winter coats are still needed despite our desire for spring – and galoshes – because it will not stop raining! There was even snow this week! Okay, in truth once it gets warm I’ll immediately go into “it’s a little bit hot” mode. New Englanders – we’re always complaining about the weather! But, one thing we do love to do (because the season is so short) is enjoy a lovely meal al fresco. There is nothing like the romance of outdoor dining, no?

Speaking of romance, many a romantic movie features scenes of outdoor dining with lavish settings. In the movie Under the Tuscan Sun, Diane Lane’s character builds her dream house (amid lots of drama and heartbreak) and realizes at the end, she’s created the life she wants. Now, that’s romance!

5 Outdoor Dining Under the Tuscan Sun Diane Lane Outdoor party
Under the Tuscan Sun outdoor wedding party

The 2017 movie Home Again features many family style meals both indoors and out. I covered the movie’s set design extensively here.

Outdoor Dining Home Again Reese Witherspoon Michael Sheen
Home Again movie outdoor dining scene

Going back to 1990, the movie Green Card, starring Andie MacDowell and Gerard Depardieu, feature’s a gorgeous co-op apartment with amazing outdoor conservatory in the heart of Manhattan. The story is that the co-op board wants only married owners, so Andie’s high strung character marries Gerard Depardieu’s French slob character who is looking to stay in the US. Chaos and love ensues. Not to mention some beautiful indoor/outdoor dining scenes.

Green card

Everyone’s favorite series Downtown Abbey certainly featured several romantic outdoor dining and tea scenes.


2 Outdoor Dining Downton Abbey Elizabeth McGovern Nora Tea on the lawn parasol
from Downton Abbey – tea time in the yard

The movie Cold Mountain was mostly brutal and, well, cold. But it did feature some lovely and gentle dining scenes on the lawn of the house owned by Nicole Kidman’s character.

1 Outdoor Dining Cold Mountrain Renee Zellwegger
from the movie Cold Mountain


1 Outdoor dining Cold Mountrain Nicole Kidman Donald Sutherland
from the movie Cold Mountain


Linda Merrill design by AI a_beautiful_outdoor_dining_table in a field
Created by Linda Merrill using AI


Linda Merrill design by AI a_beautiful_outdoor_dining_table overlooking city
Created by Linda Merrill using AI


Linda Merrill design by AI a_beautiful_outdoor_dining_table overlooking paris skyline
Created by Linda Merrill using AI


Linda Merrill design by AI a_beautiful_outdoor_dining_table
Created by Linda Merrill using AI

Take advantage of Serena and Lily’s outdoor sale event going on now!

Outdoor Dining Serena Lily Crosby Dining
Serena and Lily

On my outdoor dining bucket list is to attend an Outstanding in the Field dinner – have you heard of them?

Outstanding in the Field logo Outstanding in the Field website photo

Outstanding in the Field is a “roving restaurant without walls is rebuilt every morning and disappears every night. It is a momentary experience and a joyful celebration of human connection. Together we gather at one long table to share the most fundamental and universal human conversation: a meal.” They move from location to location all around the country setting up a community table with local chefs and farms providing the food.  They get the romance of outdoor dining!

Outdoor dining pin

You may also enjoy:

Outdoor Entertaining with New England Home magazine

8 thoughts on “The Romance of Outdoor Dining”

  1. We just set up a “small” (lacy wrought iron) bistro table & 4 chairs on our upper deck…I even put a painting (print) on the outside wall…we have coffee, snacks, etc. “Playing house” is fun!!! franki

  2. The images you created with AI to demonstrate this post are so beautiful, Linda! And I love seeing you label the image itself, too. Thank you for being transparent about that. I’m sure that transparency is one reason your clients love working with you.

    I’m a BIG fan of outdoor dining and right now, on the TX Gulf Coast where I live, is the perfect season for it, so thank you for inspiring me!

  3. I can’t wait to uncover our patio dining set and eat outside with candlelight Linda! I never heard of Outstanding in the Field but every year we rent a home in the south to spend a week with our children. There are many coastal luxury picnic companies in the area that set up a picnic on the beach – now I just have to convince my husband that it will be worth every penny to hire them and treat ourselves. 🙂


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.