A bbq in the foreground with a garden dining set in the background.

The guide to garden furniture you need if you're hosting outdoors

Published 12th January 2023
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There's nothing quite like eating outdoors. Whether it's in your own garden, on the beach, or out camping, for some reason food just tastes better when enjoyed in the fresh air, especially when you're surrounded by good company too!

Of course, part and parcel of enjoying an al fresco feast is having enough furniture to comfortably seat your friends and family - and that's where we come in!

Types of garden furniture sets

  • Bistro sets: Bistro sets are the perfect choice for smaller outdoor areas or balconies. These sets usually consist of two chairs and a small table and they offer a classic look that is perfect for intimate conversations or a light meal outdoors.
  • Lounge sets: Lounge sets are ideal for relaxing in the garden or on the patio. These sets typically consist of a sofa, two chairs and a table, and they are perfect for entertaining guests or just lounging in the sun.
  • Dining sets: Dining sets are perfect for large outdoor gatherings. These sets typically consist of a large table, chairs and sometimes a bench, and they provide a great way to dine al fresco with family and friends.

What to consider in garden furniture sets

When shopping for a garden furniture set, there are several factors to consider:

Size: The size of the furniture set is one of the most important considerations. You want to make sure that the set is large enough to comfortably accommodate all of your guests, but not so large that it overwhelms the space. Also think about whether it needs to be small enough to be stored away, or whether you can leave it out in the garden or on the patio.

Style: The style of the furniture set is also important. Consider the overall theme of your garden or patio and choose a set that complements the look and feel of the space. Rattan garden furniture has become increasingly popular thanks to its modern and natural appearance.

Material: The material of the furniture set is also important. Different materials will offer different levels of comfort, durability and style, so it is important to choose one that suits your needs. Learn about the benefits of the different materials in our garden furniture set buying guide.

Garden furniture sets for every space

Charles Bentley 6 Seater Garden Table Set

charles bentley

Pros: Compact set - perfect for small spaces, made from sturdy polywood and aluminium

Cons: Stools lack back support, you may need to add extra cushions for comfort

For chic al fresco entertaining, this simple yet sophisticated table and stool set from the garden giants at Charles Bentley is the perfect option. With plenty of room for all of your drinks, snacks, and plates (not to mention your guests), this is one of the best outdoor dining sets for group get-togethers.

This stunning set comes complete with a table and six stools, with a style that’s reminiscent of park picnics. The natural wooden slats that create the tabletop and seats pair beautifully with the contemporary black legs, blending in seamlessly with any outdoor décor you may already own. And, if you’re slightly more limited on space, you needn’t fret: it all tucks into itself for effortless storage, helping you to make the most out of your garden. 

The frame, made from sturdy aluminum with a powder-coated finish, is both durable and lightweight, so there’s no need to panic if the weather takes an unforeseen turn. It should battle the elements with ease, but if you’re concerned about the weather giving it a beating, or you don’t want to end your outdoor entertaining abruptly, you can effortlessly move it underneath a more sheltered area. 

Combining fashion and functionality, this superb set really is a must for all those who love to entertain - regardless of how much room you have to play with. While it does require a little assembly, it comes packed with everything you need to get it set up and ready to enjoy (including detailed instructions), so you don’t even need to be a dab hand at DIY to get the feasting fun started - perfect!

7pc vidaXL Solid Acacia Outdoor Dining Set

vidaxl 7pc outdoor dining

Pros: Ample room for friends and family, easy-to-clean oil-finished surface, durable and weather-resistant by nature, folds to maximise space

Cons: Large design - not suited to smaller spaces, solid wood chairs may be uncomfortable for long periods of sitting

Fancy being the host with the most this summer? Of course you do - and this delightful dining set from the homeware specialists at vidaXL will certainly lend a welcomed hand! Coming complete with a spacious table and six corresponding chairs, this gorgeous garden set is not only practical; it practically exudes sophistication. Crafted with solid acacia wood, this natural set is simply stunning, blending in seamlessly to any outdoor space. 

Acacia wood is a popular choice among outdoor furniture manufacturers, favoured for its weather resistance and durable nature. This means that you can rely on this set to provide you and your loved ones years of enjoyment, as it stands up firm against the fickle British weather. Finished off beautifully with an oil coating, you needn’t fret when an exuberant guest knocks over a glass of wine - simply wipe it down with a damp cloth and it’s as good as new! 

Although the larger size is perfect for hosting multiple guests at once, it does make this set unsuitable for the more modest of patios. However, if space is a concern, this superb set has even got you covered there, too! Simply fold the tables and chairs down, push them to the side, and make the most out of the space you have when it’s not in use. This nifty feature is particularly beneficial when the wet weather arrives, as it makes for effortless storage - bonus! 

5pc Rattan Modular Garden Corner Sofa Set

outdoor corner sofa

Pros: Contemporary rattan material, modular design lets you customise the configuration to suit your space, furniture cushions provide sink-in comfort 

Cons: Grey cushions may not suit all styles, glass top coffee table prone to fingerprint marks

If you like to keep on top of trends, you’ll already know that rattan is the must-have furniture this year! Stylish, sumptuous, and oh-so stunning, homeowners up and down the country can’t seem to get enough of this fabulously fashionable furniture - and it’s not hard to see why! 

When it comes to making the most out of your outdoor area, style is just one element; comfort is another - and this gorgeous garden corner sofa set has got you covered there, too! Each seat, from the 3 seater sofa to the single armchair - and even the pouffe - comes complete with a substantial foam cushion to provide hours of sitting comfort. Even better, the cushion covers are fully removable for effortless cleaning, so you don’t need to worry about the inevitable spills, splashes, and stains of al fresco feasts ruining your brand new set. 

Durable and sturdy by nature, this gorgeous set is crafted with high-quality PE rattan, providing years of enjoyment to come. On the subject of being robust, the coffee table comes complete with a toughened tempered glass surface, which is about four times stronger than standard glass. While the glass may be a little prone to sticky fingerprint marks, particularly if you have lots of little ones around, it’s simple to clean and maintain, and adds an opulent finish that really adds to the sumptuous nature of this set. 

The modular design is fully adjustable, allowing you to work this set into your space with ease. Whether you’d like the L-shape to sit to the left or the right, would like to house each piece together or place them strategically around your garden at various vantage points, or open up the area to add more seats when you have a larger gathering, you can do it all with this incredible set. Flexible, fashionable, and irresistibly comfy - what’s not to love about this patio furniture set?

5pc vidaXL Acacia Folding Outdoor Dining Set

vidaxl garden set

Pros: Compact, folding design is ideal for smaller gardens, table features a hole for a parasol, made from high-quality acacia hardwood

Cons: Small circle table may not be suitable for larger gatherings, only four seats

So you have a smaller space? That doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice style! Yes, say goodbye to plastic sets that you need to replace after one too many cracks and breaks render them useless, and say hello to the future of fine dining in your very own garden with this absolutely astounding acacia dining set from vidaXL!

Just like the other acacia set mentioned previously, this delightful dining set is durable and weather-resistant, and covered in an oil finish that’s wonderfully easy to clean. It also boasts that nifty folding design, making it the ultimate space-saving solution for smaller gardens. 

The round table is sociable by nature, ensuring no guest is left out of the loop at the head. This is ideal if you like to have a gossip over a glass of wine or a catch-up over a coffee, and makes for a wonderfully romantic environment for those outdoor date nights with that special someone. While it may not be the largest space to convene, it still provides ample room for al fresco dining with your family or friends, and makes a striking centrepiece to any patio. There’s even a handy parasol hole in the centre of the table, which is ideal if you need to take shelter from the sun (or the rain, if we’re being realistic!). 

Proof that you can still reap the benefits of a sumptuous furniture set in a smaller space, this smart and sophisticated garden table and chairs set is a solid choice - literally!

5pc vidaXL Rattan Garden Lounge Set - Grey

vidaxl grey outdoor set

Pros: Fabulously versatile, provides ample space for guests, trendy rattan design, cushions included

Cons: May be too large for small patios, dark grey cushion covers may make spaces without much sunlight seem cramped

Are you sitting comfortably? You (and all your guests!) will be on this luxurious garden lounge set! Yet another entry from the garden giants at vidaXL, this trendy rattan modular set is the pinnacle of stylish outdoor living. Covered from top to bottom in a chic and contemporary grey colour and coming complete with plush cushions, this set not only looks incredible; it feels it, too! 

Crafted from hardy PE rattan that’s been weaved through a robust powder-coated steel frame, this fashionable furniture set is sturdy, durable, and weather-resistant, offering years and years of enjoyment - despite what the British weather throws at it! Wonderfully low maintenance, the rattan is easy to clean, as are the cushion covers, which are removable for simple sprucing. 

The dark grey cushion covers complement the cool grey tones of the rattan beautifully, but be a little conscious when it comes to placing this sofa set somewhere shady: it can make compact, darker spaces seem even smaller. However, this slight downside can be effortlessly overcome with a few smart style choices. Pair it with a few vibrant outdoor cushions (mustard, teal, and lime green work incredibly well with this colour palette), and you can instantly transform any dull outdoor space into a chic and stylish recreational retreat. 

In this set, you’ll find two rattan corner sofa pieces, a centre sofa module, a rattan garden stool, and a charming coffee table with an eye-catching checked design - ideal for hosting your very own happy hour! The magnificent modular design allows you to customise the layout of this set, so you can work it to suit your space however you please - bonus!

4pc Rattrix Rattan Sofa, Armchair & Coffee Table Garden Furniture Set

rattrix garden table and chairs

Pros: The perfect set for snacks and catch-ups in the sunshine, complete with beige cushions with removable covers for washing, magnificently low maintenance 

Cons: Beige cushions are prone to getting grubby between washes, thin rattan legs don’t look the most sturdy

We’ve said it once, we’ve said it twice, we’ve said it a thousand times: rattan is this year’s summer staple - and it doesn’t get much more stylish than this fully-loaded garden furniture set from Rattrix! Coming with a smart 2 seater sofa, two armchairs (beige cushions included), and a tempered glass coffee table, this chic and simply stunning set offers ample room for you and your friends to catch-up over a cuppa (or something stronger, should you desire!). 

Crafted from high-quality PE rattan, this set is as trendy as it is durable, boasting weather-resistant qualities that means it needs little to no maintenance to keep it in pristine condition. When it comes to maintenance, although the beige colour of the cushions may concern you, you needn’t fret: the covers are removable, making for effortless cleaning. They may require cleaning more frequently than darker coloured cushions that are slightly more forgiving on spills and stains, but the handy removable feature will help you make light work of this. 

The coffee table boasts a robust tempered glass surface, adding to the long-lasting nature of this set. Generously-sized, it offers the perfect space to store your summertime essentials, whether that be sunscreen and sunnies or barbecued banquets and booze! A great all-rounder for hosting guests, enjoying some much-needed alone time in the sun, or snuggling up to your loved one, this superb set has got all your al fresco activities covered! 

Who needs the Bahamas? This year, summer staycations are all the rage - and this garden table and chairs set is sure to transport you to sunnier climes. The only thing it doesn’t come with is the promise of good weather!

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