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Al Fresco Style

Coastline shops hold surprises for every al fresco host
Photography by Susie Cushner. Stylist, Diana Hartman

Gathering with friends and lingering for hours over a good meal outdoors is a thoroughly American ritual. It was the Europeans, however, that celebrated the meal as the main act before we did. Humorist Art Buchwald thought we were becoming more French in this regard, saying, “Dinner is not what you do in the evening before you do something else. Dinner is the evening.”

Whether you’re doing a beach brunch, s’mores on an open fire, or fine dining on the porch, warmer weather lends itself to any number of locations to entertain, and bring your personal style to each cooking scenario. Each setting also requires accouterments that are both functional and chic. With this in mind, we have scoured the coastline to bring you beautiful wraps to warm you when the sun goes down, vintage beach chairs that uniquely take on the classic form, as well as hats, umbrellas, pitchers, and plates.

Style is subjective. The good news is that eclectic is in and, as the adage goes, “If you like it, it works.” Next time you’re thinking about a bit of entertaining, dress up your outdoors, let the sunshine in, and let the candles dance in the moonlight.

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