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Knowing how to open a cocktail bar is easier when you take a look at the best cocktail bars in your area as inspiration.

A cocktail bar lounge should be comfortable and inviting, and it's often smart to include some plush armchairs or luxurious leather bar chairs to give the best first impression.

Modern bar furniture works well with all kinds of cocktail bar themes. For example, brown leather stools can form part of a vintage cocktail bar furniture theme even when you buy them brand new.

That way, you get the look and feel of the best cocktail bars, but also the performance and low maintenance of bar furniture that is newly built to a high standard using robust materials and methods.


Seating at the bar

Like most bars, it's normal for good cocktail bars to offer several different types of seating and tables, including some taller tables around the immediate bar area itself.

For example, tall poseur tables offer a sense of height and ensure that there is somewhere for customers to sit where they are close to the bar to place their orders, but without taking up valuable space at the bar itself.

For smaller venues, offering tall cocktail bar stools and poseur tables like this allows you to make the most of the space where larger rectangular tables might feel crowded, as well as transitioning the height down from the bar area to your lounge area for a more aesthetically pleasing look.


Seating in outdoor areas

Many modern cocktail bars double as relaxed cafes and bistros during the daytime. Even if you don't plan to cater to this kind of customer, some outdoor seating could be a good idea in the summer or to clearly define a safe and legal smoking area.

Like the furniture inside your bar, there are several different options for outdoor seating, ranging from metal tables and chairs to composite wood that gives the appearance of timber with extremely hard-wearing, low-maintenance performance.

If you need to bring your outdoor furniture inside overnight for secure storage, consider stacking tables and stacking or folding chairs, all of which can be packed away in minutes at the end of the day with minimal storage space required.


More cocktail bar themes

Choose a cocktail bar theme before you start decorating your space and you can make sure that all of your interior design and bar furniture matches.

That might be a vintage cocktail bar theme as mentioned above, with luxurious paints or wallpaper, brown leather chairs and comfy Chesterfield sofas.

Or you could go more modern with a lighter, brighter colour scheme accented by zoned lighting so you can bring the light levels down later in the evening.

Bar furniture is designed to be versatile so whether you choose leather, wood, metal or furniture with bespoke upholstery options, there's something to suit all tastes when it comes to opening a new cocktail bar that's dressed for success.

Exterior of a cocktail bar showing indoor decor and furniture through the window

For more ideas or if you'd like to discuss a particular cocktail bar theme and the type of furniture you need for it, call Trent Furniture today or contact us via the website.


Coffee shops are some of the most diverse spaces when it comes to customers, serving everyone from families coming in for a bite to eat to commuters getting their morning caffeine fix. While more and more people are getting their coffee to go these days, choosing the right furniture to cater for all of these customers at once can be the key in getting them to not only stay but also come back again, creating a welcoming atmosphere that reflects the high quality of your food and drink.

When furnishing your coffee shop, having different furniture combinations doesn’t need to be limited to just shabby chic styles. Here at Trent Furniture, we have a wide range of options available to ensure every one of your customers’ needs are met while still adhering to your overall style or theme, whether that is sleek and modern or classic and cosy. Utilising over 60 years’ experience selling furniture for cafes, pubs, and restaurants, we’ve put together a simple guide to choosing chairs for your coffee shop that your customers will love.  

Sofas for a relaxing coffee shop atmosphere

Big, comfortable sofas are perfect for customers wishing to spend a long time in your coffee shop, such as those coming to meet up with friends. They are also ideal for families, allowing them to spread out and relax without worrying about getting in the way of other patrons or trying to get young children to sit still in uncomfortable chairs.

Leather or faux leather sofas such as our Chesterfield Two Seater Sofa are great to not only provide comfort for your customers but also have the added benefit of being easier to clean and maintain than fabric alternatives. 

Comfortable coffee shop armchairs

Armchairs and tub chairs are other great options for ensuring your customers are as comfortable as possible, while also offering them more structure than a sofa. These chairs provide brilliant versatility when furnishing your coffee shop, as they can be used alongside both coffee tables for more communal and social seating areas, or standard height tables ideal for customers who are eating, working, or looking for a more intimate atmosphere.

Stools for quick coffee shop stops

Many customers in coffee shops are by themselves, wanting to quickly get a drink or snack on their lunch break or while waiting for a train for example, and for these customers, stools are the perfect seating option. Having stools lined up along a bar gives patrons enough counter space to eat, drink, and work if they wish, without taking up a whole table, and they are also a great space-saving solution for you. By placing these seats along the length of a window, a more pleasant atmosphere is created than if they were against a wall and the illusion of a larger, more open space can be created.

Side chairs

Simple side chairs such as those traditionally used for dining chairs are a brilliant choice for a more formal option, while still maintaining a relaxed atmosphere. Plain wooden chairs work well for more minimalistic approaches, with light wood forming a cool, ‘scandi’ design and darker wood creating a warmer, classic style. This type of chair can also be easily upholstered, bringing added comfort for your customers, and with the option to provide your own fabric when ordering your chair’s here at Trent Furniture, you can make sure they completely match the rest of your décor.

Woman sat outside coffee shop  

Outdoor chairs

Making use of any outdoor space can be key to drawing in customers in the warmer months, or even people wandering past as they walk their dogs. Investing in outdoor furniture that is durable enough to withstand any inclement weather while still offering comfort and usability, such as our Monaco Wicker Stacking Chairs, is something your customers are sure to thank you for with additional sales. By doing this, you can make al fresco dining just as appealing as sitting indoors, instead of it being seen as an unpleasant necessity.


Whatever the chosen style of your coffee shop, we have a wide variety of chairs to suit almost any requirement, offering high quality at an affordable price. All of our café and bistro furniture is contract quality, meaning it adheres to all commercial guidelines and fire safety regulations, as well as being long-wearing and durable enough for daily use. To find out more about our coffee shop furniture or any of our other ranges, get in touch today to speak to a member of our expert team.

The colourful history of the humble burger began, as these stories often do, with the ancient Romans. They loved to eat what we now call “street food”, and one example of the delicacies enjoyed by Romans and their subjects – along with peacock tongues and baked dormice – was Isicia Omentata, which translates roughly as “stuffed minced meat”. A recipe book dating from around 1,500 years ago – towards the end of the Roman empire – includes a recipe for this dish, which today would be instantly recognisable as a kind of burger: minced meat (they used pork rather than beef), pine kernels, fish sauce, juniper berries, coriander and ground pepper, mixed together to form a patty, and then fried.

Fast-forward to the 18th century, when Hamburg was the centre of a thriving trading network. It was also famous for one food item in particular: the Hamburg steak, known locally as the frikadelle or bulette.

This was made from minced or ground beef, with spices and onions added, made into a patty and then cooked on a grill or a flame, or sometimes served raw. Here, then, lie the origins of what eventually became known as the hamburger, the simple patty of ground beef flavoured with onion and spices, and bound with egg and milk, that is now consumed by billions worldwide.

Raising the steaks

So how did the Hamburg steak make its way from Germany to what is now known as the home of the hamburger – the USA? In the 19th century, migrants and sailors from Hamburg and along the Baltic coast of Germany made their way to New York, where they were given a taste of the home country by food outlets selling Hamburg steaks – the oldest document referring to it is a menu from a New York restaurant, Delmonico’s, in 1873. But still, it was served on its own; there was no mention of bread or buns. Meanwhile in Britain, Victorians were eating something called minced collops, which closely resembled the hamburger.

Food to relish

There are several different stories telling how the Hamburg steak came to be placed between two pieces of bread, or toast, or in a bun. But what is certain is that between 1885 and 1900, the habit of eating burgers this way caught on in several US cities. Today it seems like a perfectly natural thing to do; what’s remarkable is that it took so long for it to catch on.

By the early years of the 20th century, the Hamburg steak had become known as the hamburger (and, later, simply the burger): a patty of grilled beef and other ingredients, served in a bun. As time went on, other ingredients were added, notably cheese, as well as pickles and relishes. In 1921 a US chain of restaurants was born: White Castle – the world’s first hamburger chain. At the time, many Americans saw hamburgers as unsafe, a lower form of food, so White Castle ensured that its restaurants, and staff, were spotlessly clean. White Castle still trades today, with nearly 400 branches across the US.

McDonald's burger restaurant sign with golden arches logo

Other chains followed, notably McDonald’s, which started business in California in 1940. Meanwhile Wimpy bars brought the hamburger to a hungry UK in the 1950s. The first McDonald’s restaurant opened in the UK in 1974, located in Woolwich in south-east London. There was some resistance to the growth in the UK of McDonald’s: local campaigners in upmarket Hampstead, north London, campaigned against the opening of a branch on the high street. When it eventually opened in 1993, it had tasteful frontage and décor to fit in with the surroundings.

The burger backlash

The burger had become a staple part of British culinary and cultural life. But it had also become associated with low-quality fast food: a soggy bun, a thin burger, served in functional surroundings which, legend had it, were sometimes uncomfortable enough to encourage diners not to linger. “Burger flipping” jobs became synonymous with the worst aspects of the service economy, and burgers themselves were in the spotlight for their alleged contribution to planetary degradation, as well as the obesity crisis. Morgan Spurlock’s 2004 documentary Super Size Me saw Spurlock’s health deteriorate as he followed a purely fast-food diet, taking restaurants up on their offers to “super size” his orders. Branches of McDonald’s have been targeted in France and other European cities by anti-globalisation and anti-American protestors.

A Byron burger meal on a restaurant table

Born-again burger

But in 2001 the British burger began its rehabilitation. Gourmet Burger Kitchen, set up by three New Zealanders, started serving quality burgers made from high-quality meat and “global” ingredients such as pineapple and kiwi fruit. A few years later the Byron chain took the burger back to basics, serving simple but high-quality burgers and other dishes in attractive surroundings. Others that followed included Five Guys, Shake Shack, and Beer + Burger.

Beer and burger meal

Going out for a burger has now become a destination, an event, rather than a quick and easy way of getting some food and drink. Chips these days are fat and crispy. Proper ketchup and mayonnaise are served from bottles at the table. Brioche buns have become widely used. These restaurants boast of the quality of the beef and other meats used in their burgers. The veggie burger has grown in popularity, as has the vegan burger. These days, the veggie or vegan burger is appetising and substantial enough to be an option chosen by many meat-eaters. Some vegetarian burgers try to emulate the texture of meat, even down to including beetroot juice to replicate the blood of a rare burger.

The surroundings, décor and furniture in these restaurants are likewise a huge improvement on their mass-market counterparts: this is not exactly fine dining, but the chairs, banquettes, benches and tables are solid, tasteful and comfortable. In some instances, such as Ed’s Diner and Five Guys, the retro fittings, tiled walls, chequered floors, cosy booths and benches and red-and-white colour schemes hark back to the glory days of the American diner.

The old man and the burger

So the burger has journeyed from Europe to America and back, and has undergone a transformation from junk food to proper fare. Today’s diners have a wealth of choice, and can eat their burgers (with their hands, or using a knife and fork? Always a dilemma!) in stylish surroundings.

Curiously, none of the new higher-end burger restaurants have seen fit to revive a hamburger recipe written by the great American novelist Ernest Hemingway. It was found among thousands of his papers years after he died, and is typically extravagant, using capers, wine and spicy sauces.

And finally, among some historians and political scientists, the burger is associated with something of far greater importance than its nutritional value: peace. The “golden arch theory” of history says that there is no example in the history of the world of two countries with branches of McDonald’s going to war with each other. So, for all its negative associations, the humble hamburger might have been a force for good in the world.


Enjoyed this blog? Why not read more? Discover the history of bread and the origin of breakfast, just a selection of the great articles available in the Trent Furniture blog.


Whether you run a pub, restaurant, hotel or club, spillages and wear and tear are a fact of life. As a result, your upholstered furniture is likely to require regular spot cleans as and when accidents happen as well as periodic all-over cleaning to keep it looking fresh and well-maintained.

Here are some top tips on how to keep your upholstered furniture looking as good as the day you bought it.

1. Vacuum first

Dust is never a good look, so it’s important to incorporate vacuuming upholstered chairs into your cleaning routine. For fully upholstered armchairs and sofas, begin by checking down the sides for any loose change or crisp packets that may have found their way down there. A powerful vacuum cleaner with an easy-to-use upholstery attachment and crevice tool is a must to remove surface dust and crumbs. For best results, use a slow side-to-side motion to pick up crumbs and dust before switching to the crevice tool to tackle the seams where everyday detritus tends to accumulate.

2. Check the label

Before you tackle a stain, you need to make sure you know what products can be used on your upholstery, so you don’t make the problem worse by using an inappropriate product on your furniture. At Trent Furniture we offer a wide range of upholstery on many of our ranges of furniture including our comfy chairs. We have something to match every décor scheme, including hard-wearing fabrics that will withstand constant use and the resulting need for regular cleaning.  

As well as looking at the colour and pattern, check the cleaning instructions before buying:

  • S or P: this means solvent-based cleaner only (dry clean only)
  • SW: this means water, solvent or steam are safe to use
  • W: this means can be cleaned with water
  • X: this means vacuum only – requires professional cleaning

3. Spot clean any stains

Ideally, spillages should be cleaned up as soon as they happen but in a busy pub or restaurant environment this isn’t always possible, not least because stains are not always noticed until closing time or the next day.

White vinegar works effectively to remove stains from most upholstery. Begin by making an equal parts water and vinegar solution, then use a clean cloth to blot the stain before gently wiping it with a spotlessly clean microfibre cloth and leaving to dry naturally. Some people like to complete the process by adding a final step of cleaning with a weak solution of mild detergent and tepid water.

4. Get rid of smells

A spilled pint of lager or glass of wine leaves an unwelcome mark in the form of smell as well as staining. Odour-neutralising fabric sprays are an option; however, a cheap and effective alternative is to sprinkle bicarbonate of soda over the affected area, leave overnight and vacuum off the next day. Even if you have no obvious stains on your upholstered chairs, this is a good habit to get into in order to keep your chairs looking and smelling as fresh as new.

Clean upholstered chair with fresh flowers

Quality upholstered furniture for the hospitality industry

Choosing upholstery for your pub, restaurant or hotel is an opportunity to make a style statement and create a unique atmosphere to welcome your guests. To discuss the wide range of options we have available at Trent Furniture call us today on 0116 286 4911 or fill in our contact form.

The modern officers’ mess should combine the traditional feel of this long-established British military facility with the needs of today’s army officers. As it is primarily a place for dining and socialising, bar and pub furniture is generally a great match and as a result, many of the rules of good pub furniture also apply to the officers’ mess.

Read on for some top tips for furnishing an officers' mess for maximum comfort, flexibility and respect to tradition.

The origins of the officers’ mess

The term ‘officers’ mess’ derives from the former use of the word ‘mess’ in connection with food which appeared in the English language in the 13th century. "Mess" was used to describe liquid food such as soup or porridge and is used to this today as the name for the pudding Eton mess.

Although today’s officers’ mess is not quite as formal an environment as it was in the past, it is still a place where protocol and tradition rule. As a result, the various functions of the mess must be taken into account ranging from relaxed socialising to formal dinners.

The dining environment

Flexibility is key when choosing officers’ mess furniture as the room needs to cater for occasions ranging from everyday meals to formal regimental dinners with invited guests. Elegant yet durable banqueting furniture is essential. Trent’s extensive range includes attractive stackable chairs and foldable tables that can be easily stored and configured to accommodate a wide variety of occasions and numbers of guests. It’s also a great idea to invest in a chair and table trolley to enable staff to safely and efficiently set up and clear away functions.

Traditional refectory furniture is also a great option for comfortable and flexible dining in the officers’ mess.

The bar area

This is the social hub for the regiment’s officers so it’s important to include a good variety of seating options catering for those who wish to enjoy a quiet drink alone to large social gatherings.

Poseur tables with tall chairs are a great contrast to lower tables. Our range of traditional pub furniture includes both options to ensure consistency in whatever style you choose. For added comfort, armchairs and sofas are a welcome addition for officers who wish to sit back and shut out the stress of the day. Chesterfield furniture with its deep padded cushions and leather upholstery combines comfort with traditional English country house style.

Clever use of zones

If your officers' mess is open plan, you can create instant zone boundaries using sofas, benches and settles, as well as by changing the height of your chairs and tables, for example, close to the bar or near windows.

This variety helps to make the space look more interesting and can also help groups decide where to sit by defining areas more obviously for different sizes of party.

Classic military style

The British officers' mess is a byword for traditional style and we have plenty of military-inspired designs among our bar and pub furniture.

Our rectangular Wellington table is available in standard height and as a poseur or bar-height table for areas alongside the bar, as well as square and round pedestal designs. For hard-wearing, low-maintenance luxury, our admiral's chair in dark oak is a great choice.

If you'd like to know more about our range of officers’ mess furniture, please get in touch with Trent Furniture today.

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