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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. 

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.

As part of the annual Birmingham NEC events and exhibitions, the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show gives lots of varied businesses and consumers direct access to one of Europe’s most successful leisure, hospitality and tourism shows.

At Trent Furniture we often attend the event to showcase some of our ranges of holiday park furniture from American Diner benches and chair, through to folding banqueting tables, stacking chairs and a whole lot more.

Exhibitors at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show included:

- A4 Apparel Ltd

- Bazooka Candy Brands

- Camplify

- Forbes Professional

- Global Teleports

And many more – you can see a full list of exhibitors at http://www.holidayparkshow.co.uk/exhibitors/.

Holiday Park Innovation Trade Show Exhibitor List
 

Getting to the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show:

Getting to Birmingham NEC is fairly straightforward by car, bus/coach or train (you just need to be careful not to accidentally follow the signs to Resort World).

Detailed directions, travel tips and advice can be found here.

Guest speakers at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show:

There are a broad range of topics covered in this years show including:

- Vicky Parr on tips to grow your business from VisitEngland

- Andy Sutton discussing maximising food and beverage in the holiday park industry

- Chris Hayes on why you should invest in hot tubs

- John Clement chatting about buying a Caravan as a Holiday Home and what could possibly go wrong

A full speaker guide can be seen on the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show website here.

Why attend the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show?

Whether you are an established business looking for new suppliers or partner relationships, or thinking of starting a new business venture within the leisure, hospitality and tourism industries, this event could just provide many of the answers that you are looking for.

The keynotes speaker slots, whilst often tied towards brand exposure and product promotion, do include some practical tips and advice that can help you mitigate some of the pitfalls within this niche as a new business, or speed up your learning curve with maximising your business opportunity.

Furniture suppliers for holiday parks:

As a UK based, long term established brand and business Trent Furniture can often be found at events including the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation Show, as this gives business and suppliers the chance to see first hand some of the latest and most enjoyed park home furniture ranges that we have on offer through our website and directly through our showroom in Leicester.

If you were not able to attend this years show, or would like to have a chat about out latest ranges of furniture which is ideal for the leisure, hospitality and tourism sectors, then our showroom in Leicester is open 5 days a week, or you can simply give us a call on 0116 2864911 and chat through your needs. 

Online furniture buying can be a great tool for furnishing your cafe or restaurant. However, many of us write off the idea of buying online without physically seeing the product, deeming it to be too risky. How do you know the piece will work in your space if you haven’t had a chance to see it first? How can you tell if what you see is actually what you get?

As experts in the furniture field, we’ve put together a fear-free guide to buying furnishing items online.

Measure your space

Measuring is crucial to the process of buying online as the physical element of seeing the item you are buying is removed. Measuring the space in which you intend to place the item as well as its dimensions are key. If your furniture expands somehow —a recliner or extendable dining table for example— make sure you have accounted for the largest version.

Bear in mind you are likely to need extra measurements as your furniture may not be delivered to you already assembled. Don’t forget to measure any relevant doorways and stairways to make sure you can actually get it to where it’s supposed to go.

Read other reviews

Product listings are supposed to sound complimentary, and it’s likely that a piece of furniture is pitched exactly to meet your needs. Often, though, reviews tell a slightly different story.  Reviews are key to your success and we suggest focusing your shopping on items that have lots of available reviews.

Ask for swatches

Online photos of the product are oftentimes hard to judge. Although it may show the shape and style of a product, photos are usually taken in good lighting and can be retouched or edited prior to appearing on a website. Colours and especially textures can look really different on a computer screen than they do in person, so it's always a good idea to ask for swatches if viewing the product in person is not at all possible.

Check the return policy

Before you buy, make sure to read the fine print so you know exactly what you're getting into. Some retailers will allow you to return large items as long as you pay for the return shipping; others charge a restocking fee. Some items, like upholstered pieces in non-standard colors or products that were made to order, may not be returnable at all.

Postage and Shipping Costs

Most online shops charge a delivery fee, either in addition to or in place of normal shipping fees, for oversized items. While you're shopping, check delivery fees, and factor this into the cost of your furniture.

Buying furniture online doesn’t have to feel like you’re taking a big gamble. Keep these tips in mind for the next time you’re ready to make a big purchase. 

At Trent Furniture, we understand that every café has a different size, interior and budget. As such, furnishing a café is far from a one-size-fits-all approach. That’s why we have a wide selection of tables to cater for every type of café. Take your pick from different materials, styles and colours.

We’ve decided to pick out a small selection from our range of tables that we think are best suited to the café environment. These are our four favourite tables for cafés:

Farmhouse table

The shabby chic trend is going nowhere fast and this Farmhouse Table is the perfect addition to a quirky café. The traditional style with contrasting white legs and walnut table top finish is a popular style and works well with a mismatch of chairs. If you’re looking to add character to your café, these are the tables for you.

Take a look here.

Pyramid coffee table

Every café needs at least one sofa seating area. A sofa or armchair is the spot for those planning on spending a longer amount of time in your café, so it’s important to make them feel comfortable. To match the sofa and armchair height, a low-level coffee table is needed.

The Rectangular Black Pyramid Coffee Table has an attractive twin pedestal design and substantial concrete weight built into the base which is for great stability.

Take a look here.

Capra round table

When those rainy days hit or winter arrives, no one is going to want to sit outside. Outdoor furniture is great through the sunnier seasons but is often packed away between October and March. However, with a wooden effect top, the Capra Table can easily be seen indoors whilst being robust enough to endure weather outdoor too.

Take a look here.

Art deco pedestal table

If you are looking to create a stylish café interior, you can’t go wrong with the Art Deco Pedestal Table. Constructed of cast iron, the Art Deco base is very sturdy and weighty. The modern silver finish on the cast iron base brightens up any interior and brings this table to life. 

With a range of table tops, shapes and cast iron bases available, you can really make the table your own.

Take a look here.

Tables for cafés

It’s not just tables that we supply to cafés. Our Bistro & Café Furniture section includes a wide range of chairs and tables which are perfect for the cafe, bistro and catering industry.

Our Bistro tables & Café Furniture collection is made up of many different styles and finishes from stylish melamine and chrome chairs to traditional wooden bistro Chairs such as the Italia with an authentic seagrass seat. 

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