Lighthouse Watch Summer Al fresco Tablesetting

Lobster Rolls and Potato Salad on table covered with red and white checked tablecloth
Lighthouse Watch Tablesetting

When you live on an Island and are never far from water and fine beaches, it’s not hard to find tablesetting inspiration. Red and white is the color scheme for this Lighthouse Watch al fresco tablesetting which features lobster rolls and potato salad on the menu.

Let’s break down the composition of the tablescape.


Red and white checked tablecloths are timeless and are always a good choice for summer events. However, the pattern can make them a busy canvas and difficult for other elements of the tablesetting to stand out. One way around this is to place a plain-colored runner down the center of the table or, alternatively, as I have done here, overlap plain-colored dinner napkins diagonally in the center of the table to ground the tablescape.

Red and white themed tablesetting
Lighthouse-themed Tablesetting

White dinner napkins have been folded into simple sailboat shapes in keeping with the nautical theme. Plain white is always crisp and goes with just about any color scheme.

White napkins folded into sailboat shape
Sailboat Napkin Fold


The red and white lighthouse lantern, replicating the lighthouses commonly seen around PEI, is the centerpiece anchor for this tablescape. It works well on its own as a decorative piece but also transitions well as a lantern in the evening.

Red and White Lighthouse-shaped Wooden Lantern
Lighthouse Lantern

All other elements to this tablescape support this theme – the miniature lobster traps, shells, and starfish. It’s always important to stay on point with tablescape design and resist the urge to add disconnected or unrelated items just because you have them! Sometimes, too much really is too much.


A tall elegant jug filled with water infused with strawberries and cucumbers adds both a flavorful and visual component.

I have chosen basic water glasses but glammed up the tablesetting with cut glass stemware.

Glassware on table
Mix of Glassware on Al fresco Table

This is often an option I choose as the outdoor lighting bounces attractively off the cut glass and adds sparkle to the setting.


I am a huge fan of white dinnerware because food presents well against a plain white background and the dinnerware does not compete with other elements of the tablescape.

A simple white tin bucket makes a suitable wine bucket for an al fresco meal.

Bottle of Lavender Mead on ice in white ice bucket
Lavender Mead on Ice


Continuing with the sea theme, my menu consists of lobster rolls on homemade rolls with sides of my potato salad and a green salad with a simple vinaigrette.

Close-up of Lobster Roll
PEI Lobster Roll

And, for dessert, I have made butter tarts, always a hit! (Both wheat-based and gluten-free butter tart recipes can be found on my website.)

Plate of Butter Tarts
Homemade Butter Tarts

I often like to include a bowl or box of fresh local seasonal fruit on the table and, of course, in this case, the bright red strawberries match perfectly with the color scheme.

Box of Strawberries

The local wine I have chosen to pair with this meal is the Lavender Mead from the Island Honey Wine Company in Wheatley River, PEI.

Is al fresco dining part of your summer dining experiences?

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Red and White Summer Tablescape