Outdoor Table for Two + Link Party

By Kate Riley June 13, 2011

Hello!  I hope you had a lovely weekend, we sure did!  I thought today the perfect day to share a few images from our anniversary picnic from last year.  We were married on September 5th which is Labor Day weekend, so naturally we celebrate every year on that weekend as well.  We decided to keep it close to home last year, so I thought rather than dinner at a local restaurant, why not style an elegant picnic right in the center of the Sonoma Plaza for just the two of us?

Here are a few scenes from our outdoor table for two.

sonoma picnic cg

sonoma picnic tablescape cg



The spring green chairs are extra seating we keep around for entertaining so I brought them along; the pillows I borrowed for the occasion from my little boy’s room.

The pleated tablecloth (layered over a simple folding table) I stitched out of a painter’s canvas.  I love painter’s tarps for all sorts of projects, they’re inexpensive and can be used in so many ways, from their intended purpose as a drop cloth to drapes or even tablecloths like this one.  The canvas adds a rustic texture and the pleats a flirty feminine detail, so pretty right?

Dinner was three courses, including an olive medley and local cheese plate served with warm sourdough, followed by farmer’s market greens and chilled tri tip as an entrée, then finished off with my homemade lemon tart.

sunflowers on table cg

Candle, bowl and napkins found last year at Anthropologie.  Both of the dinner plate and salad/dessert plate are not ceramic, and get this, they’re indestructible.  I discovered them in a local shop ~ they’re Le Cadeaux triple weight melamine.

yellow napkin pear tablesetting

I walked into a favorite local shop iLeoni and inquired about melamine plates for a picnic basket I was putting together for our anniversary.  I was amazed when the owner pointed them out to me because I passed them by thinking they were ceramic, but no!  They’re both sturdy and pretty, so I thought them the perfect plate to tuck into our picnic basket.  If you love them too, you can buy them online, the yellow dinner plates are available here, and the rooster dessert plates here.

I assembled this collection of plates and napkins with every intention of our picnicking often and we have!  I keep them tucked inside this vintage picnic basket I found at an antique store, ready to go whenever we feel the urge to head out on an adventure and dine outdoors.  My little girl is now in the habit of grabbing the basket when we announce we’re on our way to have a picnic ~ it makes for a lovely memory for all of us and I plan to hand it down to her someday.

vintage picnic basket cg

The Sonoma Plaza has grandfathered consumption laws, so it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a glass of sparkling wine under the trees as we did that evening.  Yet another reason why you need to visit Sonoma someday, if you haven’t already!

It was really enchanting, people all around stopped by to admire the table and inquire about the reason for the formal outdoor picnic.  Our reply was always “It’s our anniversary!” which was followed by smiles and congratulatory wishes.

sonoma picnic table for two

I’m so happy to have finally had the chance to share this table with you!  Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can create a romantic table right at your local park?  I say just do it.

Create magic when the opportunity exists because life is too short not to. Be brave, take risks, carpe diem!  Seize the moment and then make it special for your loved ones.  Whether you choose to do it in a public plaza or your own backyard is up to you.

outdoor table for two cg

Do you have an inspiring picnic or BBQ idea you’d like to share?  Link up friends, I can’t wait to see it !


  1. What a lovely and romantic way to celebrate, Kate!! :) Our 10 year anniversary is coming up in August, and we don’t have any plans yet. I’d love to take a big fancy trip, but I don’t think that’s in the cards for us right now. :s This is such a great idea–spending special time together is really what counts, right?

    Thank you so much for hosting. I shared one of my very favorite cake recipes. :)

  2. I love your Tablescape! Blue, Yellow and White are so fresh! Thanks for hosting the link party, I have added a link to our porch party! LOVE your Blog, you have inspired me!!

  3. Your anniversary picnic just inspired some ideas for my own summer anniversary. We were married on the grounds of a gorgeous old mansion, and until we had our boys, we would picnic there each year to celebrate. Time to drop the boys off!

    Thanks for hosting the link party; I can’t wait til everyone is linked up later today…

  4. Absolutely gorgeous! I love the plates, but the link for the yellow ones isn’t active.

  5. I cannot, cannot believe you did that! That’s fantastic! I’m impressed with myself when I buy a particularly good anniversary card, let alone doing something as impressive as a magazine worthy picnic! Very nice indeed. ~ karen

  6. Nothing better than dining al fresco in style!! Beautiful pictures! I would love one of those drop cloth table cloths….I really need to learn to sew.

  7. Oh I don’t think my man would go for a public picnic like that (and I am not sure I would either). But it sure does look nice! Wonderful table and the romance is just oozing out of it.
    Thanks for the party I had fun revisiting one of my early posts for this.

  8. This is such a FUN link party topic, thank you! Your romantic park date is so unique and PRETTY. I love the colors!

  9. Hi Kate! Love your table and the setting is so pretty. Melamine these days is truly amazing. I have a set that no one believes isn’t ceramic until they touch it, too! good stuff!
    Thanks for hosting a fun linky this week! I also added one from last year (when I first started blogging….) we haven’t had nice enough weather yet to have much alfresco eating! :( I’m getting some great ideas on what I’d like to do for this year’s party!

  10. Kate, that’s such a lovely setup! I wonder if people thought you were there as part of a movie set? That plaza is lovely – I visited last year. Great little shops around it, too!

  11. Your table setting was beautiful! That was such a romantic thing to do. I would have thought your plates were ceramic as well, they are so pretty.
    Thanks for sharing.


  12. You are amazing. Sonoma is such a relaxing place and a perfect choice for a picnic. Well done – again!!!

  13. This is soooo pretty! Thanks for the lemon tart recipe. I just bought a tart pan this weekend, perfect timing!

    Those plates are gorgeous but I’m too thrifty for a splurge like that. Wish I could get them but I’ll have to make do with something from Target or the dollar store.

  14. What a great idea! My grandparents live in Sonoma, and every time I visit we go to Sonoma Plaza – I love it there!

    Love the plates too – it’s inspiring me to put together a chic picnic basket :)

  15. Do you recall the name/brand of the green paint on your chairs? I have a chair project just waiting for that color!

  16. What a nice way to make your anniversary special. I bet it was hard to leave. Everything looks so pretty and delish – as does all of the linked up fare. I am getting hungry just looking through all the links. I am going to a BBQ tonight. Now I can’t decide what I want to take there. So many ideas to choose from.

    Thanks-My best – Diane

  17. That’s the prettiest picnic table I’ve ever seen, Kate! What a special date that was.

    Jack and I love to picnic, and I just made a take-along picnic supply kit to give him. One of our favorite things to do when we visit a new city is to have at least one meal in a park or garden. I find it fascinating to visit the local grocery stores, and we always find fun foods to try. Last year we went to Paris for our 25th anniversary, and we had such fun shopping at the Bon Marche for picnic food!

    Thanks for hosting a fun party!

  18. What a delightful setting for a picnic for two? My anniversary is in September too. Perhaps my husband and I can do a picnic dinner. I have everything I need. I’ll just have to remember to bring along bug spray for him. Thanks for the lovely post!

  19. It’s winter here so we won’t be having too many picnics for a while but I am bookmarking this post and will be referring to it in a few months! Thanks so much.

    Best wishes,

  20. That is a first class picnic, Kate! Beautiful, romantic and yummy. I love that spot on the Sonoma square. That tablecloth is so pretty. I need to step it up a notch with sewing. I’m still at the beginning stage.

  21. How beautiful and romantic. I don’t know how I would feel being “out there” where people were looking at me, but I think I should just get over that and do something like this soon!

  22. That is such a special anniversary memory! I know your husband must have felt very pampered! I esp. love that awesome tablecloth. Do you sell them?

  23. That looks amazing. I could see me stressing over getting everything there though and in the end not having a good time because I was so stressed. Anyone else ever have problems like that? :) This is beautiful enough to be in a magazine, seriously.

    I’m starting a linky party on Mondays for my “Make a List Mondays”. If you miss a Monday, you can do it near the beginning of the week. I would love if you could join!

  24. Your table was beautiful and what a fun setting. Love this idea for a linky … I can’t wait to go through all the posts.

  25. OK, now this post (which I somehow missed) explains why everyone was suddenly posting about the outdoors in the last few days! Thanks for the linky party. Your table, as usual, is beautiful and inspiring.

  26. I would love it if you did a drop cloth tablecloth tutorial! I have a 6 foot banquet table that could use one!

  27. Our anniversary is Sept. 5th too, except this year will be our 30th! We have big plans for this milestone but I love your romantic celebration.

  28. Wow!! Beautiful and romantic!! What a beautiful park, Sonoma is on my short list of places to visit, this makes me want to visit even more.

  29. another Sept 5th anniversary here – and it’s our 30th, too!

    We typically visit Sonoma county in September for our anniversary, but this year our oldest child is getting married in October, so no trip for us this year. Maybe I this will inspire me to create something beautiful here in Georgia…

    Thanks for your inspiration – I enjoy my daily visits to your blog!

  30. What a wonderful little setting!! My post is an older one but I thought I would share it anyways.

    thank you for the party!

  31. I absolutely love how idyllic it is! My husband and I went to Sonoma on our honeymoon, rode bikes to the wineries, and took naps in the square. It was amazing. It was actually only a couple weeks after your anniversary.

  32. I thought that building looked familiar! My husband and I used to live in the Bay Area and would have picnics in the square all the time. We live in New England now, but travel back every couple of years to visit old friends and old haunts. In fact, we were just in Sonoma a couple of weeks ago.
    Your tablescape looks beautiful. Our picnics never looked that good!

  33. So charming~ I love Sonoma too… planning a little getaway soon over there. I love the idea of the table in the park- how fantastic and sweet! I would love for you to come over and share at Feathered Nest Friday sometime! :)

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