What do you picture when you think of rooftop dining? Depending on your preferences for décor, you might think of high-quality linens, a fire pit, a bottle of wine presented by a well-dressed waiter, propane-powered heat lamps, and wicker furniture.
Or, you might think of décor from a specific culture or period like the Renaissance or Medieval times.
Rooftop bars and dining have become a popular addition to restaurants, but you don’t need to own a bar to create an exceptional dining experience for family and friends. All you need is a little imagination and some simple décor.
What’s your style?
How you create your formal dining experience is purely up to you. There’s no right or wrong way to do it, but you do need to find decorations and supplies.
Décor for a variety of genres is relatively easy to obtain considering the variety of discount stores like Ross, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods. Amazon and eBay are great resources as well. You can probably create your dining experience for under a hundred bucks.
Popular decoration styles
French décor is a popular choice, and if you’re not familiar with it, check out these examples on Etsy. This style is perfect for those who want to go all out.
The French take the culinary experience seriously. The table setting, including linens, cutlery, and glassware are essential elements in the dining experience. Since it’s popular, you won’t have trouble finding decorations at discount stores.
If French décor is your preference, be sure to line your table with a French tablecloth. Keep in mind that French tablecloths aren’t just pieces of cloth made in France. They’re works of art specifically designed in accordance with the traditions from a geographical region called Provence and have an interesting history.
In 1650, Armenian immigrants from Marseille imported colorful fabrics from India and Persia. These printed fabrics became so popular that they threatened the traditional French fabric industry. The immigrants learned to create these materials on their own, and the French tablecloth was born.
The most beautiful French tablecloths are woven with intricate designs and are known as Jacquard tablecloths. The tablecloths are treated with Teflon, making them resistant to spills, yet soft to the touch.
Other French tablecloths are created by printing designs directly onto the fabric. Both types of tablecloths can be easily found, but the woven ones will make the best impression.
Care for a Medieval rooftop adventure?
It doesn’t take much to bring Medieval times to your rooftop dining experience: hang a few Medieval tapestries from the wall, serve your food in simple pewter bowls with limited utensils, and have everyone drink their wine out of decorative silver or wooden goblets.
Although historically appropriate, you may want to skip décor with references to Medieval torture.
When serving your guests, wear some replica (or real) swords and daggers around your waist for even more fun.
For decorating ideas from the Renaissance, look no further than the Renaissance Fair hosted all over the US each year. If you live close enough to attend, you can pick up some décor, jewelry, and even a costume or two. While the costumes aren’t cheap (they’re handmade), the décor is affordable for everyone.
Place some gargoyle statues along the edge of the rooftop for an authentic feel.
For the ultimate Renaissance experience, ditch the wicker furniture for real Renaissance furniture. You don’t need to buy the antiques. You can get replica furniture for the same price you’d pay for modern furniture. For this to work, you’ll need to cover your rooftop dining area with a water and weather-proof gazebo.
Make your rooftop dining experience interesting, beautiful, and entertaining. Combine styles if it appeals to you. It’s your rooftop, and you can design a dining experience any way you wish, as long as it makes you happy.