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Top tips for choosing table tops – A how to guide

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Which is the best table top for your business?

Different tables have different uses, even in the same establishment.  If you have a long table, it may be more conducive to eating comfortably, whilst a small but high round table may be more suitable for a bar situation.  In the same way, the tops of tables are different based on their purpose, too.

What are the main types of table tops?

You can choose from a great selection of table tops, using the Trent Furniture website.  For each of the options below, there are different colours and finishes available, too.  We even recommend the best types of cleaning products to clean each type!  Our types of table tops, include:

• Solid oak table tops
• Solid wood table tops
• Laminate table tops
• Melamine table tops
• Veneer table tops

What are the best table tops for bars and pubs?

The main purpose of a table in a bar or pub is to provide somewhere for people to put their drinks.  From a poseur table to a dining table and whether your patrons are stood up or sat down, it’s always handy to have a table to put your drink on whilst you’re socialising.

For this reason, bar and pub table tops need to be waterproof, easy to wipe down and ideally, stain-proof.  The best types of table tops for bars and pubs are usually therefore made from a laminate, veneer or melamine material.  However, particularly for pubs where people are dining, wooden veneer table tops are also a popular choice.

What are the best table tops for cafés and bistros?

Veneer table tops are a great choice for cafes and bistros, where tables are well protected from bumps, knocks and even falls.  Available in dark oak, walnut and light oak finishes, these types of table tops are compatible with a vast array of seating options, too.
We also supply American diner table tops in a laminate material, with colours ranging from red, white and black.

What are the best table tops for restaurants?

The best table top will vary depending on the type of restaurant you have.  Some will suit a solid oak table top (stained with a choice of colours) whilst others will work well with an oak finish, constructed using a melamine finish for lower cost durability.

Where can you buy table tops?

Whether you’re looking for a bar table top or a solid wood table top, we have a wide variety of options with accompanying chairs and seating options, available.  To find out more, visit the table top section of our website or call us for help and recommendations, on 0116 2982 711.

Poseur table FAQs – all you need to know

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What is a poseur table?

Commonly used in pubs and bars, a poseur table’s most defining characteristic is its height.  They’re too high for regular chairs but perfect for use with bar stools, which makes them the ideal place to rest a drink with or without sitting down.

How do you pronounce poseur table?

The closest way to describe the pronunciation of poseur is ‘Po-zurr’.

Where are poseur tables used?

Poseur tables can commonly be found near the bar of a pub or restaurant, as somewhere you can rest your newly poured drink.  They are also used in some restaurants and cafes, where they are often placed near a window to present a busy yet intimate atmosphere.

What types of poseur tables can I buy?

There are many types of poseur tables available to buy, depending on the style that suits your establishment.  For example, for a more traditional or homely feel, wooden poseur tables are extremely popular.  For a more contemporary or modern look, poseur tables made from chrome work very well.

Types of wooden poseur tables:

Wooden tables can add style, class, luxury or just a sense of comfort and homeliness to a pub, restaurant or café.  Whether shabby chic or traditional, there are lots of types of wooden poseur tables available to choose from.  These include:

• Single wood poseur tables
• Double wood poseur tables
• Square wooden poseur tables
• Rectangular wooden poseur tables
• Twin wooden poseur tables

What other materials are poseur tables made from?

For a more contemporary, classic or just simply different look and feel from a poseur table, there is a wide variety of other materials to choose a poseur table in. Moreover, these designs can often incorporate wooden poseur table tops, for a combination of wooden and non-wooden in a poseur table.

Examples of alternative materials that poseur tables can be made from, include:

• Cast iron poseur tables
• Black steel poseur tables
• Chrome poseur tables
• Aluminium poseur tables

There are various benefits to be gained from using different materials.  For example, an aluminium poseur table is ideal for outdoor use due to being waterproof, whilst a cast iron base is going to be heavy and secure – ideal for not getting knocked over in a busy bar area.

What types of bases are available for poseur tables?

We always aim to provide pieces of furniture that fit perfectly with the look that a business is looking to achieve.  For this reason, we like to offer a vast selection of choice in poseur table bases, so that you can select your ideal table based on how it looks from all angles, as well as for how well it fits the purpose you deign to use it for.

The types of bases that we stock poseur tables in, include:

• Chrome poseur table bases
• Pyramid poseur table bases
• Art deco poseur table bases
• Aluminium poseur table bases
• Disc poseur table bases
• Lionhead poseur table bases

Where can I find poseur tables for sale

Trent Furniture is the trusted supplier of all manner of tables to pubs, bars and restaurants across the UK.  With 20 different styles of poseur tables, many of which are customisable by colour or finish, you can find a competitively priced poseur table quickly and easily, on our website.

What’s more, is that you can find complementary bar stools and chairs to match!  For more information, explore our tables section or call us for helpful and friendly advice, on 0116 2982 711.

Why cafés and bistros are set to boom in 2018 – UK café trends

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It seems that the UK’s love affair with coffee isn’t finished yet. In fact, it’s still yet to peak. In 2017, the coffee shop market grew in turnover by 7.3 per cent to £9.6bn, according to a new report from Allegra World Coffee Portal.

Not only did the market grow in terms of turnover, the number of coffee outlets in the UK also grew. It may feel like there are plenty already, with a coffee shop near enough on every corner, but over 1,200 new ones came to market last year. The growth has been substantial and it is predicted to only improve further with 7,000 more outlets and a turnover of £13bn expected by 2022.

Why are coffee shops booming?

We may be associated with our love of tea but coffee is fast becoming the drink of choice for many. Thankfully, cafés have a range of drink options, tea included, so no one goes without. But why and how have cafés taken over the high street and become part of our culture in the blink of an eye?

Through the 90s, drinking coffee was seen as a way to imitate the lifestyles shown in American sitcoms such as Seinfeld and Friends. Coffee shops began to take note and soon emulated the coffee shops on TV by adding wooden tables, bistro chairs and comfy sofas as well as better coffee, a far cry from the in-and-out greasy cafés from before. 

As technology improved and the digital age introduces laptops, mobile phones and tablets, cafés embraced the change by offering workers who were no longer confined to their desk a place to relax and have free WiFi. As the recession hit and retailers and pubs closed down, cafés and bistros filled in the gaps. They are now a place for workers, friends and families to retreat to to both socialise and work.
As the coffee-shop market has grown, shops have adapted to trends bringing in healthy options and diversifying into new areas.

Getting café environment right

Great coffee is, of course, vital. But if you want loyal customers that stay in your café for long periods, owners must create a homely environment. Fast and stable Wi-Fi, access to plug sockets, books and the right furniture all help to getting the right balance.

For all areas of your café’s furniture: bistro tables and chairs, stools and sofas, Trent Furniture can help. Explore our café furniture range to find the right fit for your café. Call us on 0116 2989 335 for more information.

A brief history of Church Furniture

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Is Britain still a Christian country? A 2012 opinion poll by YouGov suggested that a majority (56 per cent) believe that it is. But this is not reflected in our churchgoing habits: it’s reckoned that by 2020, around 4 per cent of the population (that’s less than three million) will be regular churchgoers. The number of regular Church of England worshippers recently dropped below 1 million. (In comparison, in 2001, 390,127 people listed their religion as Jedi on their census forms.)

However, some Catholic churches are seeing a rise in attendance thanks to the arrival of immigrant communities from countries such as Poland. And there are also a growing number British people who belong to the “British New Church Movement” – Pentecostal, charismatic and suchlike. So, while Christianity may be in decline, churchgoing will be with us for some time yet. And so, too, will churches. 

When churches were houses

The church buildings of today would be unrecognisable to churchgoers from a few centuries ago. For the first few centuries after the birth of Christ, churches were simply homes that had been adapted to become places of worship. One of the earliest known Christian churches, the Dura-Europos Church in Syria, was apparently a normal domestic house converted for Christian worship. And when Christians began building purpose-built churches, they were often very simple buildings with little or no furniture. Worshippers would stand during the service, often with the priest in the middle.

Around the 13th century, western churches began to introduce pews. These were made of stone and would be placed against the walls. By the 15th century, wooden pews had begun to appear. Often these were paid for by individuals and their families and were not owned by the churches. Wealthier churchgoers could buy seats that were more comfortable, more ornate, and situated where they would be seen by more people.

Then came a big change in church architecture and furniture: the Reformation. This emphasised the importance of the minister, the Bible and the sermon, with rows of seats or pews focusing on the raised pulpit, where the minister would read from the scriptures or deliver his homily. Nothing was hidden from view. This led to the model of church that many of us are now familiar with, many of which date back to the Victorian era.

More than a place of worship

More recently, churches have grown to become not just places of worship, but social centres too. This has been driven partly by necessity. Falling church revenues have driven a need to use church buildings more innovatively: as social centres, cafés, drop-in centres. A typical example would be in the plans that were published last year for All Saints Church in Little Bealings, Suffolk, to regenerate its buildings by opening a “hub” which would open for daily worship and also house a staffed café. Other proposals for the hub are for it to be used as a breakfast club for schoolchildren, as a space for toddler groups and for private venue hire.

St Luke's wedding reception

Open all hours

Churches around the country are now used for theatre productions, social functions, banqueting, classes and meetings, while also retaining their core purpose as places of worship. Some churches even host post offices. In many churches, smaller areas or rooms around the church have been equipped with kitchens, lavatories and so on, and furnished with chairs and tables, so that they can be used for group meetings, classes and to serve refreshments after church events such as Christenings.

The church hall is also a space that can be used flexibly throughout the week for a variety of community-based activities. Many of Britain’s estimated 25,000 choirs use churches and church halls for rehearsals and performances. The Church of England’s “Open and Sustainable” report contains many suggestions as to how churches can expand the use of their buildings; ideas include community banks, farmers’ markets, food banks and night shelters for the homeless. Many churches have found that by extending their opening hours rather than being locked up between services, they have reduced problems such as vandalism and theft.

So, an interesting picture is emerging of the church in the 21st century. On the one hand, the traditional role of the church as a place of once-a-week Sunday worship is vanishing. Instead, we are seeing churches and their associated buildings hosting all kinds of events, from yoga classes to concerts. St Luke’s Church in the City of London, for instance, is regularly used as a concert venue by players from the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as hosting functions such as wedding receptions. And the Union Chapel in north London is a working church that also hosts high-profile rock and folk music concerts as well as comedy nights. Perhaps most imaginatively, Holy Trinity church in Barnstaple has converted the inside of its tower into an indoor climbing wall.

Church furniture in the 21st century

What does this mean for furniture? In many older churches, traditional wooden pews are still in place and cannot be removed because they are fixed, or for reasons of heritage and aesthetics. Often, though, the nave is a flexible space that can be filled with church chairs or cleared if required. If it’s a space that is used for different purposes, it’s best that these chairs are stacking chairs. St Paul’s Cathedral in London, for instance, has used a design classic – David Rowland’s 40/4 stacking chair – since 1973 (the chair is so-called because 40 of them can be stacked just four feet high). But many other stacking chairs are available, such as Trent Furniture’s Cambridge Deluxe steel chair, which is available in a variety of finishes for both the metal frame and the upholstery fabric. Trent Furniture also supplies linking clips which will hold rows of chairs together in a neat line. These clips are easily removable if the chairs need to be moved away for stacking.

Stacking chairs at St Pauls Cathedral

Meanwhile there are other areas of a church and its associated buildings that might need furniture such as church tables. Reception areas, which are often used for social functions such as coffee mornings, can be furnished with sofas and armchairs as well as coffee tables. Many churches have a café area attached and these will need furnishing with chairs and tables – if there’s enough space, it might be advisable to opt for a mixture of high and low, with regular-height chairs and tables for those staying for a quick drink and a snack, and sofas/chairs and low coffee tables for those who are lingering for longer. If a church decides to host a farmers’ market, this will require tables, preferably ones that can be collapsed and stored away – Trent Furniture has a good choice of trestle tables. A community bank can be operated from a moveable counter (a trestle table will do the trick) that can be placed in a quiet corner to offer customers privacy. Church halls meanwhile need to be similarly flexible, with stacking chairs and perhaps folding tables to enable different activities. Churches that host events such as wedding receptions will require banqueting furniture – tables and chairs – that can be stacked away when not in use.

Churches go back to their roots

For some traditionally-minded churchgoers, the use of church buildings for secular events such as plays and concerts might seem somewhat sacrilegious. In fact, the idea of the church being used only for Christian worship is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating back to the 19th century. Back in the Middle Ages, churches were used as schools, libraries and courtrooms; they also hosted plays, debates, elections, festivities and other events. So, by expanding the range of activities they host, today’s churches are returning to their roles as multifunctional community centres.

A short guide to this years top furniture trends

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Furniture Trends 2018

If you are planning on revamping your bar or restaurant and need some interior decor or furniture advice then here is our quick look at the furniture trends tipped to be big for 2018!

We’ve seen the revival of retro style furniture in bars and the emergence of metallics combined with minimalist designs and natural materials but what is next in terms of bar furniture trends?

STYLE

As expected, the Vintage and Retro style of furniture is continuing to rise in popularity and it seems it’s here to stay in 2018. Think rustic wooden table tops with metal bases and seating in a vintage leather effect finish.  Mix and match different styles of chairs for a really eclectic look and feel that is totally unique. A combination of traditional wooden chairs with contemporary metal chairs is guaranteed to create a space full of character.

 

FINISHES

Next year we are set to see much warmer wood colours throughout commercial interiors and popularity is rising for rich dark oak furniture and more natural wood tones to sit side by side with trendy Scandinavian style that features plenty of white and grey painted finishes.  Expect to see a lot more of natural wood tones creating a stripped back style that compliments the elegance and character of vintage designs.  Combining different shades of wood is an easy way to add depth and character to any space and make your bar stand out from the crowd.

 

FABRICS

Although neutral tones like whites and greys will also still feature in fabrics for 2018, much bolder use of colour on furniture are set to be popular. Stay on trend with vibrant jewel tones like ruby red and emerald green in luxurious velvet and chenille materials. Feeling really bold? Opt for bright tropical fuscia pink or striking turquoise for an instant style injection on wooden framed furniture. Not for you? Go for more modest colours and choose a statement pattern such as monochrome dogtooth or tartan for an easy way to completely reinvent an otherwise ordinary style of chair or bench seating.

 

SHAPES

Furniture shapes are going to change this year with us seeing much more rounded and softer edges. Curved lines on sofas or turned legs on wooden chairs and stools adding interest to furniture and contrasting perfectly with edgier geometric accessories like industrial lighting and vintage décor that are set to continue dominating the interior design scene in 2018.

 

QUALITY

When buying furniture for your bar it’s important to get the aesthetics and styling right but what is equally as important is buying furniture that has been designed specifically for contract use. Your furniture should be an investment and domestic furniture just won’t cut it in a busy commercial environment.  Trent Furniture offers a huge range of furniture that is certified suitable for contract use with specific ranges designed specifically for bars and restaurants.

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