Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve waved a very enthusiastic goodbye to what seemed like the longest winter since records began! The summer sunshine has been streaming down, the dodgy tan lines are back, and the cocktail pitchers have been filled with tutti frutti treats once more. Finally, summer is here, and we want to make the most of the sunny season this year!
There’s nothing better than enjoying an al fresco feast on a balmy blue-skied day with your nearest and dearest before settling down for a cheeky glass (or two!) of your favourite summertime tipple. Whether you’re eating as a pair, drinking with a group of friends, or enjoying your own company, it’s time to get back outdoors and soak up some sunshine.
As per the government roadmap, garden parties are back on the agenda - and now’s the perfect time to upgrade that sad, old garden furniture and spruce up your outdoor space for the better! With the unexpected arrival of hotter weather, furniture has been flying out of stores faster than we can light the BBQ! Luckily for you, our online shelves are full to bursting with gorgeous garden furniture, ready and waiting to be snapped up and enjoyed - and we’ve compiled a list of our favourite, fully-loaded furniture sets right here in this guide. From day drinks to barbecued banquets, sun-soaking to snuggle sessions, this hand-picked list has got all your al fresco activities covered. So what are you waiting for? Dive in and discover this year’s seasonal staples!
You can’t beat a BBQ. No, really!
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. But why is that?
Well, it’s not due to some kind of sunshine sorcery making the food molecules more tasty... It actually might be a combination of different mental factors instead, such as lowered stress enabling you to ‘be in the moment’, a culmination of good memories, and even just the excitement over a more fun and novel way of eating.
Studies have shown that regularly spending just 20 minutes outside can have a significant impact on our stress hormone, cortisol. When we’re less stressed, we can take the time to appreciate the little things and find more enjoyment in them. With the average BBQ lasting between one to two hours (or more with good company), it’s no wonder that just taking time to enjoy the food more contributes to us believing it tastes better.
The novelty of eating outside is another factor which might come into play. It’s a break in routine and gives most of us a feeling of child-like glee in anticipation of enjoying tasty food somewhere ‘new’ and exciting. The novelty helps to alter our perception of the meal in a similar way that getting drive-thru or eating in front of the TV as children was fun and exciting, thus making it more interesting and tasty.
The third and final factor to why al fresco dining seems to taste better is a bit of good old positive association. Memory plays a huge role in whether we enjoy something, especially food, so it stands to reason that memories of long, warm afternoons, summer holidays, and delicious food, will all contribute to our perception of eating outside being better. Whether you have fond memories of eating gourmet food at a French bistro, packing up your homemade lunch and heading to the beach, or chowing down on burgers and hot dogs at BBQs with all of your friends, past memories are one of the main contributors to how you enjoy outdoor dining now.
Garden furniture sets for every space
Of course, part and parcel of enjoying an al fresco feast is having enough furniture to comfortably seat your hordes of hungry guests - and that’s where we come in! Below, we list off six of our favourite outdoor furniture sets, spanning a variety of sizes to suit every need, taste, and space. So, whether you’ve got acres to play with or a modest patio, you’re sure to find something to spice up your summer among this suburb selection. Fire up the barbie, it’s going to be a scorcher!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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!
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!
Now that you’ve decided to replace your garden furniture set, there’s only one thing left to do - eat and enjoy! Make the most of the blazing summer sun with your loved ones this year with some good food, great company, and a garden furniture set to help you make some magnificent memories.
Need some extra inspiration? Check out our entire garden furniture range and don’t forget the BBQ tools! After a little help on the grill? We’ve packed a blog full of BBQ tips and tricks to up your grilling game! In fact, we’ve got a whole host of outdoor living blogs to inspire your summertime fun this year. From staycation ideas to party hosting hacks, there’s an endless list of ways you can make the most out of your garden. You can find everything you need for an amazing summer with your loved ones here at OnBuy!
If you’re on the lookout for more rattan garden furniture sets, check out our ultimate guide to this fancy and functional furniture here. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a comfy chair just for you, why not explore our guide to comfy garden chairs to help you enjoy the sun to the max? And don’t forget to browse through our entire catalogue of garden furniture guides to find the perfect pieces for you.
The sun has got its hat on, and there’s no better time to give your outdoor space a refresh!
The information in this buyer’s guide is correct at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.