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With lockdowns seeing the nation’s pubs, restaurants and other hospitality venues temporarily closed, many of us are finding creative ways to recreate the experience at home.

The popularity of the garden bar has risen rapidly in the UK. In fact searches for the term skyrocketed during mid-2020. Celebrities also jumped on the trend, including X factor star Sam Bailey who built her very own garden bar shed and furnished it with pieces from Trent Furniture.

The trend of tending bar from the comfort of your own home looks like it’s here to stay, so how do you create the perfect garden bar? We’ve put together some ideas to get you started.

Build a bar in your shed

Whether you have an existing shed or plan to purchase one, this is the best way to ensure you can enjoy your garden pub all year round. In fact, some home improvement companies are actually supplying sheds purpose-built for the job, complete with opening hatch and bar space.

With an indoor space you can choose furniture pieces, lighting, décor and equipment designed for indoor use to give the space an authentic feel. 

Create a fully outdoor garden bar

Achieve holiday at home vibes with an outdoor bar. This option is best if you are limited on space or want to keep costs a little lower. This is also the easier option to DIY and can be as simple or complex as you want – some people have managed to upcycle wooden pallets or old scrap wood into characterful outdoor bars.

Realistically, this option is only really suitable for dry days but it is ideal for the hotter summer months and as a centrepiece for BBQs and garden parties once these are possible again.

Choosing the perfect spot for your outdoor bar

Picking a location can be tricky. You’ll want to weigh up factors like sourcing electricity, whether you want to add a seating area to open out onto and how willing you are to dash through your garden in the rain for a pint!

Garden bar accessories

No garden bar is complete without accessories! If you plan to take the traditional pub route with your space, then beer mats, wall signs and even a dart board will lend that local feel.

If you want something a little more tropical, why not adorn your bar with colourful (outdoor safe) string lights, torches, and palm plants. Oh and of course you can’t forget to serve up your creations with colourful umbrellas!

Choosing the perfect garden bar table and stools

If you want a truly authentic bar feel, then picking out the right furniture is essential. Why not get your bar stools and tables from the same place that hospitality venues do! Trent Furniture supplies to both business and the public, so you can source authentic piped top bar stools and wooden poseur tables at low prices.

View our bar furniture range here or explore our collection of outdoor furniture here. If you have any questions just contact our friendly team who will be happy to help.

What does al fresco mean?

Al fresco is an Italian term which literally translates to ‘in the fresh’. It’s often used in English to mean in the open air or outside, hence terms like ‘dining al fresco’ being used to describe eating outside.

Should you offer al fresco dining?

It’s a great idea for restaurants, cafes and other hospitality venues to take advantage of any outdoor space available to them. Not only does it give diners an opportunity to enjoy eating outdoors when the weather permits, it also allows for an increase in the number of tables that can be booked.

Whilst you may not go as far as creating a unique al fresco menu to begin with, it’s important to create a welcoming and functional space for patrons.

Choosing al fresco dining furniture

When it comes to choosing outdoor furniture you need to be selective about which materials you opt for. Water and UV resistant aluminium, wicker and wood are all good options.

Our guide to the best long-lasting outdoor furniture features some of our most highly recommended pieces suitable for al fresco dining.

Traditional chair and table sets

Chairs for outdoor dining should be water resistant, hard wearing and easy to move and store. If space is very tight, you may want to opt for chairs without arms as these will be more compact and can be pushed underneath tables. However, arms do provide customers with added comfort, so it’s a good idea to mix and match with both

Our top pick is the Monaco Stacking Chair which are easy to pack away quickly in bad weather or overnight, making them an excellent choice for venues that are not fully secure. They can be stacked 10 high, so take up very little storage space and come in a variety of different finishes including Aluminium, Wood Effect and Wicker.

With tables you also need to consider how much space you have available. Selecting more compact tables will mean you can move and store them easily and seat more guests. You should always consider quality too when it comes to adding tables to outdoor areas which may have uneven ground and see a lot of foot traffic.

Our top pick is the Plaza Table which is not only compact but stackable so that it can be stored indoors. It’s also rust, water and UV resistant so you can be sure it’s a sound investment to bring out each year.

Stools and poseur tables

Create a holiday dining experience within a compact space by opting for a stool and tall table combo. This is an especially good option if you only have a tiny outdoor area but you still want to crate an alfresco dining space for patrons to enjoy.

Our top picks are the Monaco Tall Aluminium Bar Stool and Alma Aluminium Poseur Table which are both contract quality and water resistant.

Outdoor dining accessories

As the weather in the UK isn’t always reliable, it’s important to equip your outdoor space with accessories that add both flair and functionality.

Table umbrellas

Rainy weather doesn’t have to put a dampener on al fresco dining! Whilst customers are unlikely to choose to dine outdoors during heavy rain, a table umbrella can protect them from unexpected light showers and also offer shade on especially sunny days.


Lighting allows you to utilise your outdoor seating area into the evening and can be used to create a relaxing atmosphere for patrons.

Patio heaters

Patio heaters are especially important if you want to offer al fresco dining in the evening or extend your offering of outdoor seating throughout the cooler months.


If your outdoor space is located in front of your venue you may want to add fencing around the seating areas. This can give patrons more privacy from passers by and traffic and can also help to direct customers to a hosting stand to be seated.

Al fresco dining furniture delivered

Trent Furniture offers a wide range of affordable, high-quality outdoor furniture which is perfect for al fresco dining. You can view our selection of outdoor furniture here or if you would like to speak to one of our experts please get in touch.

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