ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is Al Fresco Dining? The Meaning Of The Term & Recommendations

Updated on December 14, 2012

These guys are really feeling it..

Al Fresco literally translated from italian means 'in jail'. Italians don't use the term al fresco to describe eating outside, but to English speakers, al fresco means eating outside and most people think that is its Italian meaning.

Although technically incorrect, the majority of English speakers now associate al fresco with outside dining, as language evolves the majority vote is what counts, so that is now the meaning of the term. Just don't use it in Italy as they may wonder why you want to eat in prison.

Eating outside is one my favourite pastimes. In my opinion food just tastes better if it is eaten outside and I think it improves it further if that food is eaten with hands rather than utensils. This means I'm a big fan of barbecues!


The restaurant linked in the youtube video shown there is my idea of a great al fresco dining experience. Good food, warm weather, a sea view, no shoes, fish swimming around. I sometimes holiday in Thailand and that restaurant is a venue at which I really enjoyed dining. I think you can see why!

To get a good al fresco experience, you need to make sure that you have a good view, have good company, ideally have good weather, or at least not be uncomfortable and the last thing, is have good food. My best al fresco dining experiences have not always been related to the food I've eaten, usually the location and company are the most important things, but great food obviously makes the experience better.

Eating here is a treat!

My best al fresco dining experiences

I can remember some of the best outdoor dining experiences I've ever had.

One of those was in Melbourne in Australia. We rented a car and took a barbecue with us around the beaches south of Melbourne. On one of the beaches, we found a seawater pool that had been left by the tide going out. Although these sort of pools are normally shallow and warm, this was a wide, deep and relatively cold pool. Swimming across it took some time as it was several hundred feet wide. Of course when you're on holiday with several friends, then taking it in turns to do this is what you do and the appetite you build up afterwards is enormous! The barbecued steak and prawns we cooked still count as one my favourite meals ever eaten.

Another awesome meal came from a motorbike trip that I took with my friend around Thailand. We were riding out motorbikes around the south of the country. After a day on the road, we came across a restaurant that was on stilts over the water. They had a holding area by the side of the restaurant, which was in the water, netted off with fish swimming around in there. After we ordered a fish each, the waiters caught a couple of big fish from the holding nets, clubbed them to death in front of us, then served them up a few minutes later. Although my mate got horrendous food poisoning from his fish, it was still a very memorable occasion.

Not a bad venue for a feast...

Eating in the caribbean is excellent in my experience. The cuisine there is generally goat, sheep and fish based, with a lot of curries. On one memorable day, we had rented a boy with boat to take us to an island. There were a few of us there and once there we set about swimming and snorkeling around the island, while the boat boys set about making us a barbecued feast. When it came to eating time, we got stuck in to some fantastic curried goat, barbecued fish, fried plaintain and lots of other dishes. I couldn't get enough and after demolishing a fully piled up plate, went back for seconds. The man serving up the marvellous food seemed to appreciate my appetite for his local cooking and served me up another fully loaded plate while commenting on my desire for seconds; 'If it's nice, then eat it twice'. I still say this to this day and can still remember how delicious this meal was!

My last memorable meal was in India. After another day on the motorbike, we had come across a ferry crossing that we needed to get across to continue the journey. The ferry was not there. With some time to kill we ordered some food. If you have never eaten in India, I can highly recommend it. A meal each, including a drink, came to something like $1. They didn't have any bananas for our banana milkshake, so off went a boy on a scooter. 10 minutes later he came back with a fresh bunch hacked off a tree, a couple of minutes later they were mixed up and in front of us. I ended up tipping the place more than the cost of the meal, as it was absolutely excellent.

So what am I saying?

I think that eating outside enriches any meal. If you don't do it often, or at all, then try it the next time the weather is good.

You can eat any meal outside and something about sitting out in the fresh air, with the trees rustling and everybody laughing, just makes everything taste better.

If you have any comments, please leave them below.

Happy feasting!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Tolovaj profile image

      Tolovaj 

      3 years ago

      Al fresco sounds a bit adventurous, especially when you mentioned food poisoning. Well, everything what is going on outside can be risky, from uninvited guests to mosquitoes, ... It's part of the thrill, isn't it?

      Thanks for the stories!

    • lifelovemystery profile image

      Michelle Orelup 

      6 years ago from Houston, TX

      I had no idea that 'al fresco' referred to being in jail. I enjoy dining outside and I'm amused at how the term is so easily accepted!

    • Rain Defence profile imageAUTHOR

      Rain Defence 

      6 years ago from UK

      James, thanks! Barbecue season is nearly on us again, which I'm really happy about. This year I'm going to rent a boat and have a barbecue on it. I've never done that before, but it's got to be a winner!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      6 years ago from Chicago

      I enjoyed this very interesting Hub. Thank you for the good read and welcome again to the HubPages Community!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)