How do you plan on using your outdoor space? Will it be mostly for relaxation or will you be entertaining a good deal? If possible plan for separate dining and sitting areas. This will create a flow for when guests gather outside. If youre entertaining a small group of people you can use the sitting and dining areas separately or together. You want your sitting area to be as relaxing as possible. You want your guests to enjoy some wine and hors doeuvres before moving over to the dining area to be seated for dinner, then afterwards, everyone may wander over to the sitting area again.
Or, if you plan on having a larger group of people you can utilize both spaces at once. The eating area should be closer to the door so that when you are bringing trays of food in and out you will be less inconvenienced. A gardening bench makes for a great prep area - consider placing near both the grill as well as the dining area - as well as a convenient place to place food and can be used for a buffet meal. A tea cart on wheels that can be rolled in and out of the house can serve as additional storage or service space.
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