Food, Life, Out & About, Romancing the Home

Romancing the Home – Alfresco Dining: a good old South African braai

I’ve added a glossary below for all the South African slang & Afrikaans words.

Alfresco dining: Cool evening breeze, relaxing ambiance, good conversation with friends and family… There is nothing quite like it! When alfresco dining was thrown out as one of the ideas for our September #romanicingthehome series, I just knew that it would be so much fun to do. I may not be original in my idea for my version of alfresco dining, but I was lucky enough to secure a location with the most fantastic view!

So, what is my version of alfresco dining? It’s a good old South African braai of course! Sides that can be pre-made, lamb chops and boerewors over the coals, kids running riot and friends and family catching up. Nothing fancy, but, man, was it good!

I set up on the little picnic table outside, using what I could in my aunt’s rather extensive collection of tableware. It’s always fun for me when I’m granted free reign on other peoples decor items πŸ˜€ . I did keep it simple though, because, well, there wasn’t enough space on the table to get fancy!

Alfresco dining table setting - Sawdust and High Heels
Table setting with a view… I brought my Threads That Bind Us “Fynbos” napkins because I just knew that they would work well in this setting!

I had initially set the outside table for 4 (the alfresco dining part), for those who wanted to actually sit outside and eat. This was because that by the time the food would be ready, it would actually be quite chilly.

I soon realized, however, that there wouldn’t be enough space for all the food for me to even put a simple tablescape together. I therefore decided to scrap that idea altogether and just set the table up buffet-style. Everyone could serve up their food and then find a spot to sit. At the end of the day, although this didn’t go with the initial plan in my head, this is how we usually host a braai. There are always more people than seats at the table, so we just find a spot in the vicinity and make ourselves comfortable!

Buffet table setting - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
A much more practical table setting for what I needed to achieve. And yes, there is a kid and a beer bottle in the background – par for the course in our alfresco dining experience!

Right, so we’ve sorted out that I didn’t do a set table and let everyone have free reign on where they would be most comfortable to sit. Now let’s get to the food. Anyone who knows me, knows that I don’t really cook. I’m not very good at it. To be honest, I don’t know if I’m not very good at it because I don’t do it (and therefore, don’t practice it or try out new recipes) or if I’m just simply not a good cook. Maybe one day I’ll be inspired to learn more, but for now, I have too much on my plate to even think about it. (Too much on my plate; hahaha – it’s okay, you can roll your eyes if you want to!) Anyway, back to the food….

I decided to do a butternut, red onion and feta salad from Pinterest. I had found it a couple of years ago and thought that it had worked well. That was as fancy as I got! Pretty fancy, hey?!

Butternut, feta and red onion salad - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Butternut, feta and red onion salad – it was delicious!

Added to that was a standard green salad, a potato bake from mom-in-law and cheese and onion braai broodjies. I mean, what is a braai without a lekker braai broodjie?!

Braai broodjies with a view - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Braai broodjies with a view πŸ˜€

And that was it. Hubs did the braai work…

Loved that Hubs' shorts matched the table cloth - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Check it out! Hahaha – insert another eye-roll here!

We made sure that we took the obligatory selfie…

Obligatory selfie - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
I love this time away from the hustle and bustle!

I shoved stuff on the table and took photos…

Braai with a view 2 - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Love my photobombers!

The kids ran wild and terrorized their aunt…

Terrorizing our aunt 1 - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Lets jump over Aunty S! (Or, more accurately in this case, use her as a spring board!)
Terrorizing our aunt 2 - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Launching herself over her brother and her aunt… Aunty S is very brave!

And the rest of our family kuiered with Ouma Grootjie on the stoep (not pictured).

Once all was done, dinner was served. We all dished up and found ourselves somewhere to sit and eat and chat. We also of course all made our way back for seconds. Because, Yum!

Buffet with a view - Alfresco dining - Sawdust and High Heels
Dinner is served. In the dark, so not the best shot, but I can guarantee you that the food was delicious!

So, while our gathering might not have been traditional in the sense of alfresco dining, it most certainly was traditional in the sense of our family braais! It got too dark to take any more good photos, so no fancy plate styling was done, but I promise that the food was fantastic!

Don’t forget to check out my friends awesome posts as well!

I’ve shared mine, so now share yours: What’s your version of alfresco dining? How do your family gatherings usually go? I would love to hear from you!


For my international friends, here is a glossary of some of the South African slang and Afrikaans words that I used in this post. If you feel that I’ve missed something, let me know and I will add it to the list!

  • braai – barbecue
  • boerewors – a type of sausage made with ground beef, sometimes mixed with ground pork, and a mixture of herbs and spices.
  • lekker – nice, yummy, sweet… it’s a multi-use word!
  • braai broodjie – a sandwich toasted over the coals. I usually do cheese and onion, sometimes cheese, tomato and onion. Hubs likes cheese and apricot jam as well. We butter the outside of the bread to prevent it from sticking to the grid. You can basically put anything on a braai broodjie!
  • kuiered – visited with
  • Ouma Grootjie – great-grandmother
  • Stoep – porch

2 thoughts on “Romancing the Home – Alfresco Dining: a good old South African braai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.