Now that the weather has brightened up and we are looking forward to some warmer evenings, we start thinking about al fresco dining. Inviting a few friends around for a barbecue is one of summer’s delights, but where do you seat everyone?
If your dining furniture has been left outside all winter and could do with replacing, have a read of our guide to see which ones fit your lifestyle.
As a rough guide, if you want to leave the furniture set outside in all weathers then it’s best to choose a synthetic rattan, as this is the most durable and can be kept undercover.
If space is a problem you might want to consider tables and chairs that fold up and can be stored in a shed or garage.
BEST BUDGET BUY
If you have a small garden or you are having a party and you suddenly realise you have no seating, this six-piece set from Tesco’s is perfect. You get a solid table, four chairs and a parasol. You do have to assemble the set but apparently it’s dead easy.
Comes in a neutral grey to suit any garden. The seats are made from waterproof woven textile and the parasol has a polyester canopy and tilting action.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
- Palermo 6-seater furniture set – £599.99
Homebase always offer good value for money, and this set from their Palermo range certainly hits the spot. It has a generous dining table and six synthetic rattan armchairs with back and seat cushions that you can push together to make lovely long sofas.
The manufacturers recommend a protective cover to keep this set in tip top condition.
For dining sets that are destined to spend their lives outdoors, you can’t go wrong with this Viena set from Habitat. Made from hard-wearing steel and designed in-house, the set features four chairs and one table but you can add to it.
Other colours include black and dark metallic grey. And unlike other metal chairs, these ones are really comfy.
- LG Outdoor Casablanca 6-Seater Round Table & Chairs Set with Fire pit & Lazy Susan – £1099.00
If you want to wow your guests then this is the furniture to do it with. First of all the two-tone mosaic tile design of the table is beautiful enough that you won’t want to eat off it. But then you can reveal that the centre is actually a fire pit, which you can use to cook food in, or simply keep your guests warm on a chilly night.
Al fresco dining will never be the same again with this dining table and chairs.
Fabulous design and worth forking out for.
BEST FOR SMALL SPACES
For those with a small courtyard or patio garden, this two seater and table set from Argos is ideal. Unlike other two seater sets, this one has chairs that actually fold up and can be stored away.
Made from durable steel which means you can leave them out in all weathers. A really beautiful design made this set stand out for us.
BEST FOR LARGE FAMILIES
Anyone with a large family knows it’s a real mare trying to get everyone round the table, especially when the food is outside. This table from Ikea comes with eight chairs and plenty of space to sit at the table. The table has drop leaves which means you can adjust the length.
There’s a hole in the middle for the parasol and you can buy pads or cushions to make the chairs more comfy.