11 jazzy ways to style up your al fresco dining space
This summer, set your sights on outdoor living à la mode, says Sam Wylie-Harris
With a sunny weekend on the cards and blue skies beckoning us outdoors, chances are you’re checking out that precious patio – or gift of greenery – for eating in the open air.
From prepping your garden furniture to sharpening your table-scaping skills, here’s everything you’ll need for a fun-loving summer of colourful entertaining…
1. Sienna White Speckled Glass Jug, £29; Sienna White Speckled Glass Tumblers, Set of 4, £29, ProCook
Can’t wait to proffer your first jug of Pimm’s? Neither can we and this stylish speckled jug is just the job for all those tasty strawbs, sliced oranges and sprigs of mint.
2. Nectar Outdoor Sofa Set – Green, £799, Dobbies
It’s not every day you splash out on a sofa to soak up the sunshine, so may as well make it one to set the tone for comfy outdoor living with a lick of luxe. This one features a single chair, large L-shaped double sofa with two cushions, single footstool and attractive terrazzo top coffee table.
3. Lemon Picnic Platter, £10;
Set of 4 Summer Fruits Picnic Dinner Plates, £15; Set of 4 Summer Fruits Picnic Side Plates, £15; Large Lemon Picnic Bowl, £10; Set of 2 Lemon Outdoor Cushions, £25; rest of items from a selection, Marks & Spencer
Lemons are currently basking in the limelight and trending on tableware – they not only look mouth-watering, but are an instant summery update.
4. John Lewis Salsa 2-Seater Garden Sofa, Two Tone Yellow, £165, John Lewis
Surely the brightest way to pimp up a patio is with a posh polyweave statement sofa in sunshine yellow. Designed to be outdoors all summer long, it will look just as sultry in a sun room or conservatory.
5. Ooni Fyra Pizza Oven, £299, Dobbies
Billed as the next best thing to a traditional stone pizza oven, this Ooni Fyra fuelled by energyefficient wood pellets turns out the tastiest pizza – and promises to put the pow-wow into your pepperoni and nicest into a Neapolitan. Super speedy and versatile, it also loves fish, veggies and burgers.
6. Natural Slogan Straw Effect Outdoor Cushion, £14; Orange Reversible Outdoor Cushion, £14, right; Orange Leaf Outdoor Cushion, £10, far left and far right; Multicoloured String Lantern, £25, Matalan
An easy update, a handful of scatter cushions in sunny shades will breathe new life into tired garden furniture… and channel some holiday vibes teamed with a colourful lantern.
7. Flamingo Plastic Picnicware: Set of 4 Tumbler Glasses, £16; Set of 4 Wine Glasses, £18;
Jug, £18; Set of 2 bowls, £18; Yellow Lemon Picnic Serve Platter, £15; rest of items from a selection, Next
When life gives you lemons… team them with pretty pink flamingos to cheer your friends.
8. French Pink/Antique White Stripe Large Tassel Fringed Beach And Garden Parasol, currently £220 from £235, Staycation! Vintage Style Parasols
A showstopper of a sunshade, this candy stripe parasol imbibes thoughts of laid-back beach holidays and long, lazy lunches. With 32mm solid beachwood pole, multi-position tilt function and matching fabric carry bag, this A-list accessory offers UV50+ protection from the sun’s harmful rays.
9. Boutique Camping Fire Pit, currently £139 from £149, Boutique Camping
Combining function with form, as we spend more evenings outside, the warming flames of a fire pit not only look radiant, but soothe the soul with their mesmerising flame. Just add wood or coals to the steel bowl.
10. John Lewis ANYDAY Mase Indoor/Outdoor Rug, Blue, L180
x W120cm, £100; Palm Grove Indoor/Outdoor Cushions, Cobalt, £12 each; John Lewis ANYDAY 2-Seater Metal Garden Sofa, Light Blue, £129; John Lewis ANYDAY Metal Garden Lounge Chair, Light Blue, £79, John Lewis
When you want to slip into a relaxing, Mediterranean vibe, this pale blue seating with woven rug made from recycled water bottles is one way to visualise light breezes and beautiful views.
11. Sur La Table Bamboo Salad Bowl, £25;
Bamboo Salad Spoons, £12; Green, Orange and Blue Cereal Bowls, £9 each; Pasta Bowls, £11 each; rest of items from a selection, Pure Table Top
This Colour Me Happy range of striking serveware is another way to treat yourself to a colourful menu…