How do you make the day to day dining Covid 19 lifestyle more interesting at the eating table? How do you set the outdoor table quick and easy?

Due to those who choose not to be vaccinated how do we create our own restaurant setting? In Italy and France, you cannot eat at restaurants unless you have a green card. In France, you cannot even enter a shopping centre either. So to preserve my mental health and sanity. Here are my Alfresco Italian tips.

This can be created anywhere in your homes and gardens. Nothing is going to stop me from choosing what to put in my body. If it means boycotting restaurants then so be it.

Restaurant Dining At Home

This is where I live and reviewing food for many years. I can now recreate my own alfresco culinary right within my villa. I can eat the best food that my cash can buy. I know when I do what ingredients there are in the food I eat. I am the chef.

Hire Your Own Chef

If you can’t eat out then get a chef in. Invite your friends and even host business guests. You can speak freely not be on a time schedule. People now have so much more time to listen to your business requests. The chef can tailor the food to your guest’s requirements.

This is Michelin star dining now. I am finding most restaurants are limited in staff and food supplies due to Brexit and the shortage of staff driving food around the country.

Whilst these issues will take many months to solve. Don’t sit around create your own wine and dining experiences at home.

Why Set The Table?

Time is on our side now due to working from home. Our home is our office, our homeschooling area of play. So this is the perfect moment to teach us all the lost art of setting the table. Get your dusty plates out and make a real effort. If you home schooling to teach your kids to set the table.

“It’s about making a moment more beautiful. “When you make the Al Fresco table more beautiful, it sets the tone of being united as a family. Everyone appreciates beauty, good food and it changes the atmosphere for the better.

During this time of anxiety of being homeless, jobless or not being able to see loved ones.

The table tone is the best mental therapy one has control over.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (10)

What Is The Point?

The point is to enjoy the time together rather than to admire the table, but it can play such a big part in adding to the occasion.”

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (6)

In Italy, al fresco is where business is done too for hundreds of years.

Al Fresco Dining At Home

My Villa is called Casa Maria and the Al Fresco area is a stunning large marble table. I use it for everything. Due to me not being vaccinated i have to recreate my own restaurant and dining pleasure within the home. Easy to do when you have an estate like this in Tsucany.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (6)

We celebrated my husbands birthday by buying a pistachio cake made here in Lucca. Delivered at my doorstep this is a wonderful way to invite friends to celebrate life itself.

My mission is to maintain as much freedom and normality for my family, in this crazy world of Covid.

Gracie Opulanza Al Fresco Dining Tuscany 2020

This winter is going to be more lockdowns across Europe, so I am making sure we have plenty of Michelin star eating created by us. Down the road is wonderful local salami being made. What more can I ask for? A 600 hundred-year-old tradition!

Quality Life Means Top Cakes

What ends up on the lips transfers on my hips. At fifty maintaining a slim figure means eating top quality cakes. I burn this off on my trampoline it really helps to balance my weight.

This is also down the road from my Tuscan villa.  I am supporting my campaign Made In Italy. These patisseries are suffering too due to the green car rule enforced here by the Italian government.

a small Asian tree (Pistacia vera) of the cashew family whose drupaceous fruit contains a greenish edible seed cake (1)

Look at this for a restaurant celebration!

Napkin Tips

Napkins are the easiest things to add a touch of colour and it’s not difficult to have a selection of colours to hand for different options. A tablecloth in a printed colour like red can be used with either bold or subtle napkin colours.

For me everything red is all about living life with passion. But depending on the way you feel? You choose your napkin colour in what you want to achieve?

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (1)

Flowers From The Estate

I chose something from my garden today it was flowers. But here there are 5000 olive trees and rosemary everywhere. So my options are endless such as a piece of greenery or a beautiful piece of wood. Also, don’t forget to wear eyewear outdoors.

It’s  about the use of brighter tableware, but it’s all about working in harmony with the setting.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (10)

Depending on your Villa make sure you work towards cutlery, plates and table cloth ambience.

Milan Design Week 2021

Dior, Versace, Hermes were all showcasing for the first time their furniture for the homes. Including plates, and table cloths. These luxury brands know that lockdown life is here to stay and people are buying furniture for their homes now. Those that choose not to be vaccinated have to create their own dining and home.

How You Set Your Table?

How you set your table is partly driven by what you have access to?

The size of your table and how many people you’re hosting plays a part. My marble table is 3.5m long. Even if it is just four of us. I use the space at all times.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardo outdoor eating (1)


Tablecloths are wonderful and I use huge ones that touch the floor.  I have had a tough few months and I am living each day as if it’s my last. Have a look at what I have been doing in Italy in the last three months.

We must be diligent in creating our own like-minded community. When I do it is all about the love of food and friendship.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardini 2020 MenStyleFashion Luxury stay Tuscany Lucca (2)

I am very rustic in my cooking and it has to be quick and tasty. You can see my Tuscany lifestyle and what I choose to do.

Fattoria Mansi Bernardini 2020 MenStyleFashion Luxury stay Tuscany Lucca (2)

La Dolce Vita

For the sake of my mental health and quality of living. I have not sat still in creating the life I want to lead here in Italy. No one is going o help you unless you be proactive and help others.

Fiat Balilla Gracie Opulanza Tuscany Italy classic car (9)

As our freedom is slowly been taking away due to Covid 19 rules. No one can ever take away your home freedom. Create as much wellness and calm within your home. Don’t let Italian governments get in the way of why I chose to live in Tuscany.

wool moss green gracie opulanza

Mental health during these times has to be our prime focus. I pick manyflowers during lockdown life and sleep with them too.