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If this was a case of choosing between Manhattan and Chesterfield, for most, the choice would be relatively simple. Manhattan would nine times out of ten come out on top. That’s nothing against Chesterfield, it’s just that the draw of the Manhattan lights can be hard to resist for the majority. 

However, what’s slightly harder to decide on for café, pub and restaurant owners is the choice of sofa: a Manhattan sofa or Chesterfield sofa? 

Where do the names come from?

You’d think that if anyone would know then it would be Trent Furniture, but we don’t. In fact, no one does; not for sure, anyway. The research that we have done shows that there are plenty of possible scenarios for the naming of the Chesterfield sofa but our favourite explanation is to do with the 4th Earl of Chesterfield.  

Unfortunately, the same can be said for the Manhattan sofa. No one is actually quite sure where the name originates from. 

Chesterfield sofa

If you are looking to create a classy, stylish interior, adding a few Chesterfield sofas will work wonders. The Chesterfield-style sofa is an iconic piece of furniture and its classic design is a popular choice for bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels.

The luxurious appearance is created by the upholstered arms, thick foam, brown faux leather and buttonhole pattern. The detailing on the back and arms create a truly traditional feel and look which is unique to the Chesterfield.

Manhattan sofa

The Manhattan sofa range has increased in popularity over recent years. As such, it is now available in black and brown leather to match with your décor.  

Comfort is paramount for Manhattan sofas. The comfortable padded cushions and thick upholstery make the sofas the perfect addition to any casual dining and drinking area as customers can relax comfortably whilst enjoying a drink or a bite to eat with a low table such as the Rectangular Shaker coffee table

Which should you buy?

Both sofas offer ample seating for customers to relax in and are the perfect option for casual seating in a restaurant, waiting areas or hotels as well as being a great option for bars and pubs. Which you choose ultimately depends on the goal of your interior design. 

If you are looking to create an upmarket, classier interior, we would advise you side with the Chesterfield sofa. But if you are striving for a casual bar or restaurant, the comfort that the Manhattan sofa brings means that it’s hard to go against. 

Buying sofas

Both the Manhattan and Chesterfield sofas are available at Trent Furniture as an armchair, two-seater or three-seater sofa. Whichever sofa you chose, adding sofas helps to make customers feel at home and more likely to while the hours away in your café, bar or restaurant

Dry January is a month-long health kick that sees individuals stop drinking alcohol for 31 days. It’s estimated that over five million people in the UK take part in Dry January every year. That’s a significant amount of people for pubs and bars to contend with loosing for a month. 

January is already notorious for being a difficult month for pubs and bars. People are still feeling the pinch from Christmas and plenty have New Year’s resolutions to save money or to lead a healthier lifestyle. 
With plenty of customers taking up dry January, too, how can pubs and bars appeal through January?

Support the campaign

One of the worst things that pubs and bars can do is to completely disregard the Dry January campaign. Show your support for the campaign by maybe collecting money for the charities that the cause supports. Whilst other pubs nearby you might not change anything, you can differentiate yourself by embracing the event and helping those who are taking part to achieve their goal.

Give them a reason to visit

It’s true that most associate a Dry January with a month that is dull and will mostly involve them sitting at home. Socialising in Britain often involves a pint or glass of wine in hand, but why not change that stigma?

By hosting events, you can coax the non-drinkers out of their home and bring some cheer to their quiet month. Quiz nights, games nights and entertainment are all ways of bringing a crowd in.  

Embrace their needs

Now, it’s likely that you’ll already have soft drinks on offer, but what sets you from the other cafes and bars that have exactly the same soft drinks? To maintain custom with those who are ceasing their alcohol intake, create alcohol-free cocktails, alternative soft drinks, artisan coffees and speciality teas. 

The best thing that you can do is to ask those who are taking part in Dry January what drinks they’d like you to serve. Be sure to promote your plans, too. There’s no use in investing in new stock if nobody knows it’s there. 

Improve your interior

To attract customers and keep them in your bar or pub for as long as possible, you need to have an appealing, cosy interior. With bad weather outside, throws, cushions, warm lighting will make people feel right at home. Browse our collection of bar furniture

Michelin’s annual Pub of the Year for 2018 has been announced and it has been awarded to The Pointer, an 18th century pub in Brill, a village in Buckinghamshire. 

The charming pub beat of competition from 469 other venues across the UK to be bestowed with the accolade of Pub of the Year by Michelin's new Eating Out in Pubs guide 2018. 

The traditional red-brick inn sits in a picturesque English village. There is plenty of history behind the pub’s walls and legend has it that the Great Train Robbery was planned there. It was also where the stolen money was divided up, too.

Why did The Pointer win?

So, what was it that differentiated The Pointer from all of the other potential victors? The editor of the Michelin Eating Out in Pubs guide, Rebecca Burr, said: “Not only is it a delightful place, but it is exceedingly well run by a young, personable team. They really pay attention to detail and nothing is ever too much trouble for them.

“The frequently changing à la carte menu offers a good range of modern dishes. Presentation is first rate, refinement and precision are there in equal measure, and much use is made of organic ingredients from their farm.”

Food is very important in winning the Michelin award. Although paramount, the assessors look at much more than just the food. The award incorporates everything including food quality, atmosphere, drink offerings, service and interior décor. 

We can’t help you with all of these areas, but we can certainly help to improve your pub’s interior décor with our range of furniture. 

The Pointer’s interior

You can get a taste of The Pointer’s interior by looking at their Instagram page. In a nutshell, the interior décor is modern and unfussy. Although erring on the side of minimal, the pub has plenty of character, with several lounge areas warmed by open fires and an outside terrace and garden for sunnier days.

Buying pub furniture

At Trent Furniture, we have been working with pubs for many years. We know what lasts well and in what circumstances, as well as what fits best with a pub’s interior and existing atmosphere. 

For advice about which pub furniture would work best for your pub, give us a call on 0116 2986 866 or email us at

Christmas Opening Times at Trent Furniture

Well it has reached that festive time of year again and all of us at Trent Furniture will soon be taking a Christmas break. We will be closed from 5.00pm on Wednesday 20th December 2017 until 9.00am Tuesday 2nd January 2018.

You will still be able to place orders via the website and deliveries will be scheduled for week commencing 8th January. When we return on the 2nd we will be contacting all customers who have placed an order online to advise of a delivery date. If you have any questions or queries please e-mail us at or use the contact form in the ‘Contact Us’ section of the website. All e-mail and enquires will be responded to when we re-open on the 2nd January.

Thank you to all of our customers for your custom this year, we hope to work with you again in the future and would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2018!

We all know that Christmas has 12 days, but no one is sure exactly why; the reason is lost in the mists of history. For most western Christians, Christmas is the biggest celebration in the religious calendar, and the number 12 has special importance, appearing many times in the Bible: the 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 disciples, and so on. So it seems likely that Christmas’s 12 days are simply an expression of its importance as a festival.

In most Christian calendars, the 12 days of Christmas begin on Christmas Day, December 25, and end on January 5, the Feast of the Epiphany (when the divine nature of Jesus was revealed to the Three Wise Men).

In some traditions, a gift is given on each day of the 12 days of Christmas (hence the popular carol). So, in the spirit of this tradition, here are 12 furniture and interiors ideas for owners of restaurants, bars, pubs and cafés, for Christmas – and beyond.

1: Be generous

Over the Christmas period, small inexpensive gestures can go a long way, creating goodwill among your customers. So: if you run a café or restaurant, have a row of candy canes hanging somewhere on your counter and offer them free to children on their way out (but check with the parents first: some might not appreciate giving their children a sugary treat). Have a big basket of Christmas crackers on your counter and offer to pull one with selected customers. Perhaps, too, you could team up with the charity of your choice and donate a percentage of all sales of, say, a particular type of coffee – and afterwards, let your customers know how much you have raised.

2: Rein it in

Let’s face it: Christmas can be overdone. Too many decorations, too much tinsel and suchlike – it can all become overwhelming, cluttered and naff. So don’t go overboard. Tinsel is tacky. Concentrate on the colours of Christmas – red and green – and introduce these through table linen, napkins, plants and flowers, candles. Glass containers filled with coloured baubles and pine cones are attractive and tasteful. Christmas lights, if they are done well, can look properly Christmassy.

3: Set out your stall

If you have space outside the front of your café, you could set up a stall selling Christmas treats – cups of hot mulled wine, mince pies and coffee. All that’s needed is a trestle table or two and some festive-coloured paper tablecloths, perhaps with fairy lights draped around it (see below). You could also offer free samples of items such as your brownies or cakes. It’s a good way of attracting passing shoppers and getting them to linger and take note of your establishment.

4: Sofa, so good

Beyond Christmas, it’s time to start thinking about the year ahead and how you can improve your interior. Do you have a large wall that seems somewhat empty or a space that’s not properly used? A sofa could be the answer. Increasingly, pubs, bars and cafés are using sofas – and armchairs – to create a homely, comfortable environment. Placing one against a wall, along with a low table, is a good use of space and will encourage customers to linger for longer. Leather and faux-leather are good materials as they are easier to clean when the inevitable spillages occur.

5: Case studies

Another way to encourage customers to stay longer is to install a bookcase and fill it with books for them to browse. Secondhand books are not expensive. You could even turn a bookshelf into a mini-libary. Cuts in public spending over the past few years have led to the closure of many public libraries. In reponse, micro-libraries have been springing up across the country, many of them located in small spaces such as old telephone boxes. They operate purely on trust: anyone is free to take a book away, as long as they return it, or replace it with another. So by encouraging your customers to borrow books, you are also encouraging them to come back to your pub or café.

6: High concept

The space alongside a window can sometimes be wasted in bars and cafés. A high shelf with a line of stools could help to fill it. The shelf of course needs to be stable and well secured so that customers feel that they can lean on it with confidence. High “poseur” stools give customers somewhere to perch. It doesn’t have to be super-comfortable; spaces such as these are best for people who are popping in for a quick drink or snack.

7: Space: the final frontier

New Year is a good time to take stock of your establishment and perhaps make some changes. Take a critical look at the way your furniture is arranged. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes and walk around. Do you find that you have to swerve to avoid bumping into tables and chairs? Is there a clear route to the toilets? Would you be better off with round tables rather than square ones? Would new pub or café furniture brighten the place up? Can you remember what it’s like to come home from holiday and suddenly you see your house with all its faults, almost as if for the first time? Try to repeat this with your pub/café/restaurant interior. It’s easy, for instance, to overlook scuffed and tatty walls. A lick of paint and some fresh new furniture will make a world of difference.

8: Great outdoors

At this time of year it may be hard to imagine those balmy days of spring and summer, but perhaps now is a good time to start thinking about your outside area (if you have one). Today’s outdoor furniture is durable, weatherproof and often stackable. And with many of Trent Furniture’s outdoor furniture currently being offered at a reduced price (such as the Monaco natural wicker stacking chair), now is a good time to invest so that you will be ready for the warmer months.

9: Take the lead

If you run a pub, is it dog-friendly? If not, have you thought about making it one? Britain has around 8.5 million dog owners. By making it known that you welcome dogs – through signage, advertising and social media – you could tap into this market. It doesn’t take much to keep dogs – and their owners – happy: place bowls of water around the place and make the dog owners (and their dogs) feel welcome – say hello to the dogs, pat them, offer them dog treats. Pub companies such as London’s Three Cheers make a point of publicising their dog-friendly pubs. You might need to think about your furniture: dogs will scratch and bite table and chair legs, so perhaps you’d be best with cast iron furniture – Trent Furniture has a wide range.

10:Sign up for a chalkboard

Chalkboards are a fun way of attracting the attention of passers-by to your pub or café. An amusing slogan, a joke or a clever phrase, changed frequently, will get people to stop, and perhaps take pictures. For inspiration and ideas, check online or scroll through these examples from The Poke.

11: Home comforts

There was a time when most pubs were austere places. The choice of drinks was limited to beer and spirits. The furniture was usually hard and unforgiving. The customers were mostly men. These days pubs are warmer, softer places; women and even children are welcome, wine, soft drinks and coffee are served. Customers are more demanding: they want their home comforts, softer furniture, cushions, perhaps even rugs. So when you’re having a New Year rethink of your interior, consider buying a batch of cushions – they add colour as well as comfort. A throw or rug will go well with a sofa (see above) or an armchair. Your customers will thank you for it.

12: Keeping the spirit of Christmas alive

Once Christmas is over, the world can seem bleak and cheerless. But while the decorations and lights may have to come down (should it happen on the 5th or 6th of January? Opinions differ), these days it’s common to have fairy lights twinkling all year round in pubs, cafés and restaurants. Today’s LED lights are reliable and the light from them is crisp and bright. Trail them around your counter area, along shelves or across walls to add year-round sparkle and brightness. And when the weather warms up, they can add a magical sparkle to an outside area, a garden or a terrace.

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