During our social distance days, I longed for travel and the experience of a different culture, so I decided to recreate my Moroccan experience in my backyard with a couple of friends. Socially distanced, of course!
I am a real textile freak, but my collection of fabrics and linens surprised even me. However, I had a lot of fun rummaging through them and putting together patterns and colors to create the look. You will be surprised what you can find in your old blanket, sheet, rug and pillow storage that can work together to create the atmosphere.
Here’s how to set the mood for your Moroccan outdoor dinner party:
Look for a place in your backyard or patio/deck that you can set up a table. For example, I only had two guests and ourselves, so I used a coffee table and placed a 48×48 board over it that I borrowed from a friend (or you can do two 24×48). Since you want to create a cozy atmosphere, I chose to keep it close to the ground and sit on pillows stacked to create that relaxed unconventional seating.
Layer rugs on top of each other of different colors, patterns and sizes and place them around the seating area at different angles.
Add pillows of all shapes and sizes to create an area for lounging and to support the back while eating. The more, the merrier!
Layer table cloths on top of the tabletop board (or you could use a combination of sheets and table cloths, or just top sheets folded to mimic a table cloth). Whatever you have that creates that colorful bohemian vibe!
Rummage through your dishes to find some colorful plates or mix and match colors and patterns from different collections you may have. Thrift store plates work great. Look for glassware or mismatched vintage drinking glasses or coupes that are fun.
Hang a few outdoor lanterns or bring your indoor lanterns outdoors for the evening; remember to bring them in afterward to keep them protected from the elements. You can also use votives and string lights to set the mood.
You can also hang blankets from the trellis beam or lay them over the sides of the deck rails to promote a cozy feel and add to the privacy of the evening. Make sure they fit in with the other patterns/colors you have going on.
Don’t forget the music- I like to listen to 70’s rock and harken back to my bohemian days, but if you are in the mood for some Moroccan music, here is a Spotify playlist called Moroccan lounge.
So now it is time to plan the Moroccan Outdoor Dinner Party meal:
When I was in Marrakech, tagine was an everyday dish, and I wanted to keep it authentic, so I opted for tagine chicken. What surprised me the most about Morrocan food is that it was not as spicy as I expected it to be. I was also not expecting the abundance of root vegetables in tagine. Potatoes and carrots are standard in most meals, and the use of ginger, cumin, turmeric, garlic, preserved lemons and olives are common spices and condiments.
Organic pearl couscous in couscoussier –
Of course, if you don’t have a couscoussier making it in a saucepan is entirely acceptable, but if you have the time and want to make it traditionally, watch this video for step-by-step instructions.
Roasted carrots and potatoes in Moroccan spices
Pita bread (as fresh as you can get it)
Most of all, have fun with it and enjoy creating a travel experience to another culture without leaving your backyard! To read more on the history and variations of Boheme styling, click here to ensure respect and authenticity when executing the style in your own spaces.
Bon Appétit! Comment with results and feedback on the dishes at the bottom of the article. I’d love to hear your successes, struggles, discoveries and memorable experiences. I’ve also included a shop-able quick list of home goods below – to make your outdoor patio dinner that much more do-able in the foreseeable future!
These links below for the Moroccan Outdoor Dinner Party are affiliated with Reward Style.