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Commercial Outdoor Furniture - The Complete Guide

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At Trent Furniture, we know that having the right outdoor commercial furniture to battle with the unpredictable elements of British weather is a key element of any venue’s furnishings. Selecting the right furniture invites customers to make use of the outdoor areas at your establishment, although, with this summer’s heatwave sweeping the nation, we are sure they needed very little encouragement! 

What is Commercial Outdoor Furniture?

Simply put, commercial outdoor furniture relates to furnishings that have been specifically designed and tested for use in business, such as a pub or restaurant, where they will be used regularly or constantly be large volumes of people over long periods of time, outdoors. Typical outdoor furnishing materials include wood, plastic, metal and rattan, and are finished with hard wearing materials to guarantee durability. Although it may be tempting to use domestic furnishing, there are legal fire safety requirements that must be adhered to in commercial environments.

Outdoor Furniture at Trent

We a huge range available for you to choose from- making the most of your outdoor space has never been so easy.

The collections we provide are rigorously tested to the FIRA standards to ensure that your furniture will last as long as possible, without compromising on style and comfort. All of our outdoor tables and chairs are built with the contract market in mind and use only the best materials so you can be sure you are buying a durable product that will give you years of good use.

Arriving at your premises fully assembled, we ensure you are ready to go immediately after delivery.  Additionally, we are able to hold stock for long periods of time, ensuring that our customers will feel confident that they can get hold of additional matching items, such as chairs, tables and stools, as and when they may be required.

We’ve put together a guide to help make your decision that little bit easier, read on to find out more.

Metal Furniture

Due to its weather resistance properties, metal is considered the most popular choice for use outdoors. The lightweight materials of aluminium and stainless steel make for easy moving as well as easy storage. With little requirement for maintenance, our Alma Aluminium Poseur Table is created with durability in mind. 

The Alma Poseur Table has a ‘four claw’ design including adjustable feet to give extra stability on uneven surfaces, such as grass, pavement or patio. Easily paired with the Monaco Aluminium Stacking Chair, a bright and stylish aluminium is practical while offering water resistant finish, suitable for outdoor use. These chairs are exceptionally strong and durable with fully welded joints throughout. Practical and easily stored, our aluminium range makes for hassle free outdoor dining.

Wooden Furniture

A traditional and aesthetically pleasing choice, wooden furniture is a staple in any outdoor pub setting, and our Capra Square Table is designed specifically for outdoor use. The synthetic timber panels are water resistant and treated to reduce staining and fading from outdoor use. Available in either a rounded or square top, both can be combined to create a pleasing outdoor space. Pair with the Monaco Wood Effect Stacking Chair for stylish dining.

Plastic Furniture

Made from durable and water-resistant polypropylene, plastic furniture is perhaps the most versatile of options. Available in a range of different colours, the opportunities for you to customise your outdoor (and indoor) space are endless. Compared to other materials, plastic furniture has typically been seen as the lower budget choice, and to some extent, this remains true. However, the quality we provide at Trent is of the highest standard. Why not check out the Malmo Armchair, available in a contemporary red, white and black. Designed with high arm rests for extra comfort and functionality, the Malmo Armchairs make a stylish addition to any café, bar or restaurant.

Rattan Furniture

A strong, flexible material, Rattan is a close relative of the palm tree. Thanks to the weave pattern, furniture created from this material is comfortable, without the need for cushions. The Plaza range, one of the newer and most exciting additions to our collection, the attractive black finish will transform any outdoor space. The durable synthetic rattan is hand woven over a rust-resistant aluminium frame. However, they look equally as effective indoors and are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility and value for money. As it is lightweight, storage is easy and the UV and water-resistant coating ensures longevity, whatever the weather.

No two customers are alike, and we understand that each business has individual needs. When it comes to choosing furniture, we are here to help you get it right first time, with excellent quality projects and the customer service skills to match. View our entire range

3 of the best restaurant table and chair pairings

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At Trent Furniture, we have dozens of different tables and chairs for restaurants. That’s not to say that they all work well together, though. Certain chairs and chairs match and complement each other so well whilst others are best staying fair away from each other as possible.

When refurbishing your restaurant, it’s important to consider how the tables and chairs that you’re buying will work together. The two pieces of furniture could have similar elements, colours or characteristics meaning that they work harmoniously rather than compete. 

In this post, we take you through our three favourite restaurant chair and table pairings.

Abruzzo Chair and Shaker Table

The Abruzzo Chair is a popular choice for high-end restaurants because of their stylish and elegant design. As well as attractiveness, they offer diners a high level of comfort, too. To accompany the chair, we recommend the equally as stylish Shaker Table. 

The solid hardwood construction throughout the table creates a high quality dining table suitable for luxury restaurants. The table comes in three different finishes: walnut, dark oak and light oak. The choice should match the finish of the Abruzzo Chair leg and upholstery fabric.

Bella Chair and Farmhouse Table

If your restaurant is looking to create a shabby chic décor and appeal to casual diners, this combination will work wonders. The Bella Chair’s colourful metal appearance looks great when paired with a traditional wooden table such as the Shabby Chic Farmhouse Table.  

The table’s contrast of fresh white and warm walnut is a popular look and works well with a variety of chairs, but few more so than the bright Bella Chairs. This shabby-chic pairing adds enormous character to a restaurant.

Clarence Chair and Wellington Table

The Clarence Chair is a new addition to our wooden dining chair range. The chair oozes elegance and the charming finish in rich dark oak makes it a strong piece. The Wellington Table, with its turned legs and matching dark oak finish, is a perfect combination to create a traditional setting for a timeless look.

American Diner Chair and Chrome Table

For a 1950s/60s American diner appearance, Trent Furniture has plenty of options. But with its dual colour upholstery, the American Diner Chair is a must-have for a retro diner theme. To complement the chair, the Chrome Pyramid American Diner Table (available in red, white and black) is the table of choice.

Restaurant furniture

Each restaurant will have different needs and requirements depending on the image they’re trying to present and the budget they have. Our furniture experts are able to advise you on possible chair and table combinations for your restaurant.

Whatever interior your restaurant is looking to create, Trent Furniture can help. Call us now on 0116 2864 911.

4 unique chairs your café must buy

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Just when you thought there were enough cafés and coffee shops, more and more continue to pop up. As such, it’s becoming difficult for café owners to differentiate theirs from the competition.

Specialist coffees, quirky menus and original interior are all sure-fire ways to make your café stand out from the rest, but furniture’s role in creating an overall feel of a space is often underestimated.

In this post, we take a look at four unique chair options for your café to help you stand out:

Munich Retro Chair

The Munich Retro Chair is a true gem for creating a distinct vintage style in your café. The classic brown leather upholstery and sleek metal tubular frame project a robust appearance fit for an industrial-inspired interior. The unique frame on the chair is influenced by German designs and specifically Bauhaus Chairs and offers excellent stability and comfort.

Take a look here.  

Warwick Chair

The Warwick chair is a classic café chair that comes in a choice of wood colours with either a polished wooden seat or upholstered fabric seat cushion. The tapered legs and frame create a mid-century look.

Stacking chairs are often limited to metal framed chairs which don’t always provide the aesthetics for an elegant café interior. The Warwick Chair, however, is a sophisticated and stylish option with all the stackable practicalities, too. Perfect!

Take a look here.

M Stool

It’s always recommended that cafés have a mixture of seating furniture: chairs, stools, armchairs and sofas. At Trent, we cover all of these options, but in terms of a unique piece to compliment the chairs, we’ve selected the M Stool.

The M Stool is a modern piece of furniture in which its style comes from simplicity. The contemporary stool has smooth lines that create a stunning design, perfect for cafes.

Take a look here.

Bella Chair

The Bella Chair is a chair that we always recommend for cafés looking to add some colour to their interior. Accent furniture is an easy way to add a selection of colours to a café and the Bella Chair, which comes in six different colours, is a stylish way to do just that.

The only trouble you’ll have is choosing from red, white, yellow, blue, black or silver!

Take a look here.

Buying the right café furniture

If you are looking to give your café a refurbishment to make it stand out from the competition, Trent Furniture has a range of traditional, contemporary and unique chairs, table and stools for cafés. Browse our full café furniture range today to see what’s available. 

What are the bar furniture trends for 2019?

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Another year has gone by and we again look ahead to what furniture trends are expected in the coming year. In the fast-paced hospitality industry, change is constant. Change can come from drink trends, forced change through competition opening up nearby, or new interior design and furniture styles taking the sector by storm.

Bar design has evolved dramatically over the past decade and there is change and continuations of certain trends every year. Knowing what the biggest trends are going to be is down to a mixture of guesswork, experience and research.

Through 2018, we saw the bar industry undergo refurbishments with industrial metals and dark coloured wood combinations, but what does 2019 hold?

Multi-use, eco-friendly furniture

There is undoubtedly increasing pressure on the hospitality industry as a whole to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Customers are now more likely to support establishments whose footprint aligns with their environmental views.

Not only do bars need to ensure furniture comes from renewable sources, but the furniture should also be capable of serving multiple functions. This includes chairs that are capable of indoor and outdoor use, stools that can also be used as make-shift coffee tables or a coffee table that can easily convert into a large communal table.

Multi-use furniture allows a bar to adapt with busyness and desired layout whilst reducing material usage.

Retro

The retro furniture trend has come a long way in recent years. More and more bars are taking inspiration from decades gone by. With so many trends to choose from, it’s easy for a bar owner to choose an era and put their own stamp on it, theming the bar around this era.

In 2019, we expect that there will be more inspiration drawn from the sixties and the seventies period. Burnt orange, yellows, rich browns and wooden elements. To bring the décor into the modern day, softer tones could be used to make the bolder colours stand out.

Art deco

Art Deco interiors are making a big comeback. The luxurious and glamorous tables, chairs that go with this period are full of intricate details that and elements that give a nod to the style. Clean stylish furniture upholstered in patterned, colourful tones will be a winning combination. 

A Brief History of Bread

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The history of civilisation is closely connected to the history of bread: the two go together like... well, like bread and butter. In the hippy slang of the 1960s and ’70s, “bread” meant “money”, and it’s easy to see why. Bread throughout history has been used as a currency: in ancient Egypt, for instance, workers were paid in bread and beer.

Across the ages, bread prices have been a barometer of social stability – or otherwise. In ancient Rome, the price of grain – and therefore bread – was fixed by the governing authorities to keep the populace from rioting. The Roman satirist and writer Juvenal scathingly observed that the common people were easily pacified with “bread and circuses”.

The Jewish practice of eating only unleavened bread during Passover harks back to the Israelites’ liberation from Egypt, when they left in such a hurry, it is said that they had no time to allow the bread to rise.

In Britain, schoolchildren are taught the story about King Alfred letting the cakes burn – in fact, it’s now thought that they would have been small loaves of bread. In London in 1666 the Great Fire of London started in a bakery in Pudding Lane. Bread has also been the cause of riots, such as the Boston bread riots of the early 18th century and the Southern bread riots that swept across the American Confederacy in the 19th century.

The origins of bread

But let’s go back to the beginning. It’s known that ancient people in what is now the Middle East gathered wild grains and made them into flatbreads – unleavened breads which were simply rolled out and cooked on a hot surface. In present-day Jordan, archaeologists have found the charred remains of flatbreads from more than 15,000 years ago, made from barley, wheat, oats and tubers.

Around 12,000 years ago came the beginnings of agriculture and the cultivation of grains. Traces of bread have been found at Neolithic sites dating back around 9,000 years. These would have been unleavened flatbreads, made without yeast. It’s not known when yeast came into the equation but it’s likely that it was discovered by accident: yeast is present everywhere – in the air, and also in flour itself. All it takes is for flour mixed with water to be left sitting around for a few days for the yeasts to activate. This is how the ancient Egyptians made their bread (it’s also how we make what is now known as sourdough bread). The Egyptians left behind ample evidence of their bread-making in the form of ovens, pictorial depictions of bread-making, and loaves of bread in tombs.

We know what bread looked like in the days of the Roman Empire because intact loaves were found in excavations of the remains of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The Herculaneum bread, preserved in charcoal, is a round loaf, divided into segments, still bearing the imprinted mark of the baker. We also know what it probably tasted like, because – in an experiment in collaboration with the British Museum – Italian chef Giorgio Locatelli made a replica of the Herculaneum loaf, using buckwheat flour and a sourdough starter. A video of this fascinating process can be seen on YouTube.

A slice of history

In medieval Europe, serving and eating food was usually a very spartan affair: chairs were almost unheard of, and inns and taverns were mostly furnished, if at all, with crude benches, trestle tables and barrels. In those days, before the arrival of such luxuries as pub furniture and plates, food was often served on a slab of stale bread – the whole thing was consumed. In Britain, this bread was known as a “trencher”. Today, Sally Lunn’s, the famous historic eating house in Bath which dates back to the 15th century, still features “trencher” meals on its menu, though the meal is served on a plate to minimise mess.

Bakers were at the centre of medieval village life; it took seven years of apprenticeship to learn the trade, and they guarded the secrets of their craft fiercely. As a “thank you”, it was widespread practice for bakers to open their ovens to the village to cook their Sunday meals. This still happens in some European countries.

As time went on, bakers were better able to control and cultivate yeasts, which gave rise, if you’ll excuse the pun, to a more reliable and consistent product. By the 19th century many bakers were obtaining yeast from brewers, and then from commercial yeast makers; this was the start of the mass-production of bread, and with the invention of the slicing machine in the early 20th century, the white-sliced loaf had become ubiquitous.

Because white flour lacks some of the nutrients present in wholemeal flour, in Britain regulations were brought in after the second world war to compel bakers to fortify white bread with iron and B-vitamins – regulations that are still in force today.

Going against the grain

So, what does all this mean for anyone who runs a pub, café or restaurant? Today’s customers are demanding a wider choice of breads: it’s no longer enough to offer factory-sliced white bread or tasteless white rolls. Today we are witnessing a consumer reaction against the industrialised, mass-produced bread of the postwar era. As the American chef Julia Child once said: “How can a nation call itself great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?” Artisan bakeries are spreading across our high streets, while bakery/café chains such as Gail’s are offering organic bread and baked goods in stylish surroundings.

Italian breads such as focaccia (which dates back to ancient Roman times) and ciabatta (invented in 1982 by an Italian baker in response to the popularity of French baguettes) have become commonplace. Pitta bread, a partly leavened bread, is widespread. Wholemeal bread has made a comeback. Dark European breads such as rye and pumpernickel are gaining in popularity. Wraps, made using unleavened flatbreads, are also increasingly widespread. The Great British Bake Off has acquired a large following among younger people, who are witnessing the making of exotic breads from around the world – this year’s series featured korovai, an elaborate eastern European sweet bread often seen at weddings. More prosaically, contestants were also asked to make garlic naan during “bread week”.

Bread and butter business

And then there’s sourdough, which today is made, just as it was by the ancient Romans and Egyptians, using a “starter” containing naturally occurring yeasts, which give it its characteristic tangy taste. Its re-emergence in recent years reflects consumer desire for bread that has more flavour and a chewy texture (helpfully for caterers and retailers, it also lasts longer). It’s very popular toasted with scrambled eggs or (a favourite among millennials) mashed avocado. Because it rises more slowly, it’s said to have greater health benefits than regular bread.

Remember too that there is rising demand for gluten-free bread – made using ingredients such as rice flours, maize, flax seeds and potatoes.

So your menu needs to reflect today’s tastes. If you run a café, then bread will be... well, the bread and butter of your business, a staple part of your offering, so it’s worth sourcing a wide range of breads for your menu. Likewise in pubs and restaurants, where a good menu will offer a range of “proper” breads. Of course, there will still be conservative consumers who think that “focaccia” is a kind of Italian insult. But Britain’s appetite for new kinds of bread is, like a well-kneaded loaf, continuing to rise.

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