outdoor garden furniture

6 Great Outdoor Dining Sets For Al Fresco Feasts

Published 23rd June 2021
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With the warmer weather finally making an appearance, it’s time to start thinking about al fresco feasting, and the outdoor dining furniture to match! Over the past few months, it’s hardly surprising that we’ve turned to revamping our interiors, what with the numerous lockdowns and increased time spent at home but, here at OnBuy, we think it’s about time your garden deserves a refresh too! Yes, with just a few chairs and a gorgeously welcoming table in your accessory arsenal, you’ll never have to worry about house-barrassment again.

In this helpful guide, we’ll introduce you to some of our best-selling dining sets that’ll truly help to spruce up your space this sunny season. By taking you through some of the most important factors to consider before the shopping spree begins, we hope you’ll feel better equipped to make an informed decision. Showcasing a range of suites for every budget and buyer, we’re sure you’ll find your next patio companion on our extensive online shelves. All that’s left to say is… let’s get started!

Which dining set material is the most durable?

which dining set

The key decision-making criteria for buying new patio furniture is pretty simple really. Ultimately, you want it to look good, suit (and fit) the space you have available, and be incredibly durable - but none of this will matter unless the material is weather-resistant (especially throughout the unpredictable British seasons). It only takes a second to find your perfect textile, which can truly make all the difference when it comes to long-term protection and care, so browse the options below to find your favourite furniture fabric.

  • Metal: Perhaps the most resilient and hard-wearing of materials, metal dining tables and chairs are often available in a variety of styles, and are extremely low maintenance. What’s more, most models are now also specially coated in a rust-resistant resin, leaving them shielded against the effects of heavy rain.
  • Timber: You can’t beat the look of natural wood, particularly when it comes to outdoor furniture. Robust, sturdy, and able to stand its ground in the wind, timber also doesn’t retain heat like some metal accessories, so it won’t reach too high a temperature in the summer sun. On the downside though, it’s much heavier than cast aluminium or PVC, so may not be the best choice if you’re prone to regular re-decs.
  • Plastic: PVC furniture has made great strides in recent years. Yes, gone are the days of hideous plastic chairs and cheaply-made patio sets… thank goodness! Overall, the advantages of this material are well-known: it won’t rust, is lightweight and, crucially, is relatively inexpensive compared to some of its competitors. Best of all, any debris or stains can be easily removed with a quick wipe of warm, soapy water – it really is that simple! Of all the plastic models available to you, synthetic rattan is probably the most popular.

What should I consider before buying my garden table and chairs?

garden table set

Patio furniture plays a crucial role in how you use your outdoor space, so you need to make sure it meets your needs properly. But, with so many designs to choose from, it can often be tricky to find the best option for you. If you’ve already spent some time researching garden fitting ideas, you’ll know that there’s so much more on offer than the humble wooden bench, so it’s important that you first decide on a style to suit your theme. The aesthetics can make or break an area, so be sure to consider the overall vibe of your plot before any final decisions are made. 

Whatever your penchant and preference, we’re certainly here to help. The list below details some of the most significant factors to contemplate, before the buying begins.

  1. Maintenance. As we’ve touched on already, long-term durability is worthy of extensive deliberation when browsing the online selection, especially if you’re planning on forking out for a new and expensive model. For ultimate easy-protection, opt for examples with fully-waterproof covers and cushions, that can be left outside in the odd rainfall or shower.
  2. Go environmentally-friendly. Eco-friendly furniture is always good to bear in mind. If you’re opting for wood, for instance, think about where the material was sourced from, and if it’s totally sustainable and recyclable. 
  3. Size. This is a very important issue, and one that warrants careful measuring and planning. Furniture comes in a variety of shapes and sizes, from 12 seater dining sets to duo mini bistro bars, so perhaps first consider how many chairs you require. In the case of outdoor tables, we advise accounting for an extra metre within your total capacity, so that seats can be pulled out comfortably around the edge.
  4. Weight. If you’re looking for versatility and convenience, one of our top tips is to think about how heavy your suite is. Easily overlooked but nonetheless important, picking lightweight furniture gives you the flexibility of simple, fuss-free transportation, should you wish, if more guests arrive or you want to chase the evening sun.
  5. Colour. This is another crucial aspect, and can totally change how your accessories sit in a space. If you’re looking for a failsafe option to complement your plot, it’s best to go for neutral tones. Soothing shades such as greys, browns, and muted hues blend seamlessly with any outdoor space or area.

OnBuy’s top six outdoor dining sets

garden party

Now we’ve established the basics, let’s delve straight into our selection of the top six patio dining sets available. Packed with a plethora of chic and stylish options, including a bistro duo, rattan bar table, and gorgeous solid teak banqueting suite, we’ve hand-picked a range of al fresco accessories to suit every budget and buyer and, with so many desirable designs to test and explore, you’re sure to find the perfect collection right here… or at least snap up some homeware inspo along the way! After all, there’s never been a better time to regenerate your green space!

For cosy catch-ups and chinwags | Outsunny Patio Bistro Set

outsunny patio bistro set

Pros: Adjustable backrest can be set to four different positions, folding design makes the chairs incredibly easy to move and store when not in use

Cons: Table surface area isn’t the largest, item is flat-packed for assembly at home 

Dimensions: Table (60cm diameter x H70cm), Chair (H90 x L83 x W54cm)

At the cheapest price on our list, this Outsunny patio bistro set is the convenient suite of furniture you’ve been looking for! Ideal for cosy catch-ups with your chums, tea and coffee on the lawn, or simply some restful R&R at the end of a long day, the chairs’ adjustable backrests can be set to four different positions for optimum comfort - a massive bonus if you enjoy reclining in the sunshine.

The handy folding design makes this set incredibly easy to transport for travel purposes, and crucially won’t take up too much room in your shed or garage during the wetter months. Showcasing a sturdy table base that features four claw-shaped legs as standard, you’ll never have to worry about toppling teapots again. 

Unfortunately, the surface area of the table (60cm diameter, to be exact) isn’t the most generous if you like to present a spread of goodies at your al fresco feats. While it’s more than suitable for a romantic dinner for two, it may not be the best for larger gatherings or buffets. The same goes for the set as a whole, as it comes complete with two chairs. Again, this is more than enough if you’re looking for something a little more intimate, but for larger families or hordes of guests, you may be better off with a bigger set. Conveniently, we’ve got an incredible selection to choose from for that exact purpose in this guide! 

This model is also flat-packed for assembly at home, which may cause issues if you’re not a dab hand at DIY!

For traditional class and sophistication | vidaXL Solid Teak Garden Set

vida xl teak garden set

Pros: High-quality finish is exceptionally strong and weather-resistant, four chair capacity is perfect for families and small gatherings

Cons: Vibrant teak hue may not be to everyone’s taste, thick and heavy wooden design limits portability

Dimensions: Table (85 diameter x H76cm), Chair (W47 x D60 x H89cm)

When it comes to outdoor furniture, teak is often hailed as the best material out there. Exceptionally strong and durable, it can last for generations in a wide variety of climates, with little to no maintenance (fab for those who have neither the time, nor inclination, for lengthy preservation techniques and treating). The high rubber and oil content of this wood leaves it completely impervious to rain, bad weather, strong winds, and pests, making it virtually immune to rot and unattractive splintering over time. What’s more, it actually regulates its own temperature, allowing you to stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter. How handy is that?!

This gorgeous garden table and chairs set from vidaXL is ideal for small family gatherings and parties, boasting a four chair capacity and generously-sized table top. Crafted from miracle teak hardwood, which lends itself to durability, this set has been seasoned, kiln-dried, and fine-sanded, to give the illusion of an incredibly smooth appearance. Offering plenty of room for plates, crockery, and serveware galore, it’s an ideal option for frequent al fresco diners. 

On the downside however, the warm brown colour of the wood may not be to everyone’s taste, and could potentially look out of place in more contemporary settings. The thicker design also makes for trickier transportation around your garden, as the table and chairs are heavier than many of their competitors. The entire set is foldable though, which is ideal for storage when not in use.

For family feasts and festivities | Brown Poly Rattan Patio Set

rattan garden furniture set

Pros: Coated steel frames make the table, chairs, and stool amazingly sturdy and robust, weather-resistant rattan furniture is very easy to clean and maintain 

Cons: One of the more expensive suites on our list, it may not be suited to every budget, polyester cushion covering may appear cheap and inferior

Dimensions: Table (L109 x W109 x H74cm), Chair (W52 x D56 x H85cm), Stool (L41 x W41 x H35cm)

Outdoor rattan furniture has become extremely popular in recent years, and it’s not very hard to see why! In a nutshell, it's elegant, versatile, stylish, low-maintenance, and multi-purpose, creating the perfectly relaxed aesthetic for evening sundowners and meals. One of its main advantages lies in flexibility, as the material can be weaved into a variety of shapes. This makes for truly unique and distinctive furniture, giving you numerous options when it comes to decking out your home. It’s also very light, while never compromising on durability, and can be carried around your space with ease.

This poly patio set from the homeware specialists at vidaXL is a gorgeous example of rattan at its best, with the added benefit of coated steel frames, which make the accessories extra sturdy and robust. The set also features a handy collection of stools, which can be used as extra seating (convenient when more guests arrive), or comfortable footrests, when unwinding in the sun. Far larger than some of the other suites we’ve introduced, it’ll also fit multiple people with plenty of spare room. Amazingly easy to clean and maintain, it’s also completely weather-resistant and long-lasting.

Despite these advantages though, it is one of the more expensive items on our list, so may not be an option for those with smaller budgets. The polyester-covered cushions may also appear cheap and sub-standard compared to other models, which is definitely worth considering if you’re a fan of high-end or boutique-looking aesthetics. Looking for something a little more upmarket? Check out our extensive selection of garden furniture cushions here!

For old-school charm and elegance | vidaXL Acacia Wood Dining Set

acacia wooden dining set

Pros: Six dining chair capacity is great for larger gatherings and a greater number of guests, high-quality Acacia hardwood is weather-resistant and durable

Cons: Far more expensive than some of the other models on this list, larger table and chair size may not be suited to every homeowner’s garden or outdoor space

Dimensions: Table (L160 x W85 x H75cm), Chair (W58 x D72 x H109cm)

The Acacia tree is known by many different names, but the quality of the furniture items made from its wood is always the same. Whether you call it a thorn, wattle, or mimosa, this Australian plant is now growing across much of the world, with over 1,300 species in existence, but it’s the Babul variety that often is turned into outdoor patio sets. One of Acacia’s main advantages is the fact that it’s a workable natural material. Very pliable when freshly cut, it can be shaped into a number of different features, including benches, chairs, tables, and footstools. Best of all, it’s a sustainable product to use, and accessible to almost every market in the world – bonus!

vidaXL’s stylish and contemporary dining set consists of one table and six folding chairs, and could become a great focal point, or centrepiece, in your modern or understated space. The larger seating capacity is fab for garden parties and busier mealtimes, and the oval design of the table means there’s no uncomfortable jutting edges or corners in anyone’s way. The high-quality Acacia hardwood material is weather-resistant and hard-wearing, and the dark oil-finished surface is also incredibly easy to clean with only a damp cloth. What’s more, the seats can be adjusted into five different positions, and have a smooth, soft-to-the-touch top, which means you’ll never feel uncomfortable or unsupported when relaxing in the chairs at home.

On a slightly more negative note however, this set is far more expensive than other models on the list, owing to its luxurious nature and premium overall material. With a table that stands at 160cm, it may, likewise, be too large for your backyard’s available capacity.

For boozy brunches and cheeky tipples | vidaXL Outdoor Bar Set

outdoor bar set

Pros: PE rattan and Acacia wood design is simple yet sophisticated, brown and light grey colouring seamlessly blends with many décor styles

Cons: Higher table and chair height may not suit the vibe of every garden, not the most appropriate set for lavish dinners and banquets

Dimensions: Table (L120 x W60 x H105cm), Chair (W42 x D45 x H90cm)

This blended rattan and Acacia outdoor bar set is beautifully constructed and different to many other suites on the market today. Showcasing a simple yet elegant design, the chic and sophisticated brown and light grey colouring is understated and unique, able to harmonise gorgeously with a range of al fresco spaces and sizes. The narrow table is perfect for cheeky tipples and bar snacks, and would expertly suit a range of drinks-themed events and boozy evenings. 

That being said though, it’s perhaps not the most appropriate set for busier dinners and banquets, as larger serveware and crockery simply wouldn’t fit onto the surface. The taller dimensions and shape may also not suit the vibe of every garden, as just the chair seat alone stands at a whopping 75cm from the ground. As such, it’s probably not the most appropriate choice for little ones and young children. It’s also recommended that you cover the set during rain, snow, and frost, to help preserve the textile, and this would come at a frustrating additional cost.

For the fashion-conscious folk | Azuma Barcelona Twist Dining Set

azuma outdoor dining set

Pros: Boutique-style design is luxuriously exquisite, showcases a built-in stainless steel ice bucket, ideal for champagne and cold soft drinks

Cons: The most pricey item on our list, it may not be suitable for everyone, home assembly required 

Dimensions: Table (W110 x H75 x D110cm), Chair (W60 x H87 x D56cm)

This boujee, boutique-style dining set is built for those who love the finer things in life. Showcasing a stainless steel ice bucket (yep, you read that correctly), unique twist table support in two-tone grey rattan, and aluminium frames, it’s certainly a showpiece for your garden. The Spanish-inspired suite includes a round table with glass top covering, and four stacking armchairs (which is a great added bonus for storage purposes during winter). 

The seats also come with matching grey cushions as standard, which are secured safely with hook-and-loop ties at the back. The subtle hue of this furniture is very pleasing to the eye, and won’t make too much of a statement in your backyard or outdoor space - ideal if you prefer to accentuate with pops of colour in your décor rather than your furniture. 

On the downside though, perhaps understandably, this set stands as the most expensive on our list. Home assembly of the table is also required, and a cover is necessary to prevent the effects of rain damage, rot, and corrosion.

Update your al fresco accessories

alfesco dining

We hope you’ve enjoyed this journey through the six best garden dining sets OnBuy have to offer, and now feel prepared to make a final decision. Looking for some more inspiration to spruce up your outdoor space? We’ve got you covered with our extensive selection of blog and buyer’s guide resources. Packed full of useful insights on everything from patio heaters to comfy lawn chairs, you’ll feel motivated to kit out your backyard in a heartbeat!

Cherry-picking your al fresco accessories can be such a fun and exciting experience, and shouldn’t just be limited to dining chairs and tables. If you’re looking for that extra splash of pizzazz, be sure to check out our Garden and Outdoor Living department, which is simply bursting with all the open-air fittings and paraphernalia you could ask for. 

So, whether you’re searching for a state-of-the-art barbecue to impress all your foodie friends, a string of solar-powered lanterns to illuminate your cosy corner, or a selection of handy furniture protectors to wrap up your equipment at night, OnBuy literally have you covered. With so many striking styles and delightful designs to choose from, you’re sure to find a plethora of elegant, user-friendly models that’ll help to enhance your garden for the better. 

The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change. 

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