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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.

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.

As the hospitality industry prepares to reopen in the coming months, many restaurateurs are taking time to consider how they can make the most of their available space whilst providing a safe, socially distanced environment for patrons. We’ve put together this guide to the furniture types and layouts that can help you create a restaurant space that is not only safe but inviting.

Please note that whilst we are experts in all things furniture, you should always follow the latest government guidelines around providing a COVID-19 safe venue.

Create clear paths throughout the space

One of the key things to consider when it comes to layout and furniture is that you will need to provide adequate walkways throughout your restaurant. This needs to include routes for customers reaching their table and making trips to the bathroom, bar and outdoor areas.

You will also want to ensure employees can safely make their way around the restaurant to carry out their duties.

Take the dining experience outside

If you have outdoor space available on your premises, now is the time to make the most of it! Previous lockdowns, the rise of European style al fresco dining, and customers’ concerns over enclosed spaces have all contributed to a boom in outdoor dining and drinking.

Whether you’re lucky enough to have a garden-style outdoor area, or even a space in front of your restaurant, adding weatherproof outdoor seating options will increase your capacity and draw in customers during the warmer months.

Our article on street café furnishing grants can tell you more about pavement licences and any government support that may be available to businesses.

Choose skinnier furniture pieces

With the need to ensure all tables are well spaced it’s only natural that capacity will have to be reduced. You can however mitigate this by choosing ‘skinnier’ furniture options which allow you to fit more smaller dining spots throughout your restaurant.

Smaller square tables designed for 2-4 diners are ideal as they can be kept as they are for smaller parties or pushed together for larger household groups. You may also want to consider using vertical space by adding poseur tables and stools. These can also create the perfect front of house waiting area for patrons to enjoy a drink whilst their table is prepared. 

If you want to create a more traditional look, farmhouse chairs are a timeless option that slot neatly under dining tables and wear well over time, whilst still taking up minimal space.

Add private booths

Dining booths create private areas which are ideal for housing slightly larger households. When placed along walls or corners they make good use of space and are naturally suited to creating a separate, closed-off area.

American Diner Bench

Our American Diner Bench (above) adds a fun retro feel but is also easy to disinfect between groups thanks to its durable faux leather finish.

Social distancing furniture for your restaurant

Trent Furniture offers a wide range of tables and chairs for fast delivery, perfect for refurbishing or updating your restaurant ready to reopen. View our social distancing furniture here or call us on 0116 2989 920 today to talk to our furniture experts about placing an order.

It is well known that things such as food and entertainment at a banquet can make or break the evening, but so can the furniture. A table that’s too crowded or an uncomfortable chair could be remembered more than the delicious three-course meal or brilliant DJ. Therefore,  choosing the right furniture for your venue and number of guests is crucial.

With more than 60 years of experience, we know a thing or two about banquet furniture, from stacking chairs to folding tables. Whether it’s a wedding, conference or party, this beginner’s guide will help you find the perfect furniture for the perfect banquet.



Banquet tables might not look like much by themselves, but when dressed up with table cloths, flowers and decorations, they can be one of the focal points of a venue. Made from either plastic or plywood, we offer folding and stacking banquet tables in a range of sizes to suit almost any event.

Round banquet tables

Round tables are a highly popular choice for weddings and conferences. They are not only sturdy but also look great in both large and small venues, providing a sociable atmosphere to help conversation among guests flow easily. We supply round banqueting tables suitable for between three and twelve people, with foldable wishbone legs that simplify storage and movement.

Rectangular banquet tables

For more intimate events at smaller venues, rectangular tables are ideal for creating long banqueting tables with guests sat on either side. Our rectangular tables are available in light oak, dark oak or antique white, making them great for use both with and without table cloths for a more rustic style. These tables are also perfect for top tables at weddings, or buffet tables that can be cleared away during the event thanks to our foldable and stackable product selection.

Semi-circular banquet tables

Half-moon or semi-circle tables offer more versatility for your event as they can be used by themselves as presentation tables at awards nights or conferences for example, or can be placed next to another table to create additional seating. They could also be used to round off a row of rectangular seating, or as part of a buffet table for convenient access for all guests.



Depending on the type of event you are hosting, guests may spend the majority of their time sitting down. Therefore,  the chairs you choose need to offer both style and comfort. Our selection of banqueting chairs includes modern and traditional styles, all of which are stackable to offer increased efficiency for non-permanent applications.

Modern banquet chairs

Modern chairs featuring steel frames and straight edges are popular for events such as conferences, due to their versatility of design for a number of different settings. Our Harrow and Cambridge Steel Stacking Chairs are perfect for use around tables or as rows of seating, with armchair options also available to provide even more comfort.

Traditional banquet chairs

Traditional chairs such as our Buckingham and Chiavari Stacking Chairs are the ideal choice for weddings and other celebrations. Thanks to their simple, classic design, they are perfect as they are, with a choice of gold, silver or limewash frame, but may also be dressed up with chair covers and bows to match any décor and colour scheme.


If you are going to be reusing your banquet chairs, again and again, it’s important to choose a fabric and design that will go with all manner of colour schemes and venues. At Trent Furniture, we upholster all of our banquet chairs onsite in our UK factory, making each one to order. This means we can provide more than 70 fabric choices, from tartan to suede, blue to red.

We use the highest quality British fire-resistant upholstery foam on our banquet chairs to ensure all venue safety regulations are met. We even supply individual banquet seat pads designed to fit our Henley and Chiavari chairs so you can transform the look of your seating or give it a new lease of life by simply swapping out the pad.


A banquet of any kind is a celebration so you want to make sure everything is just right, starting with the furniture. If you would like to find out more about our range of banquet tables, chairs, and furniture storage trolleys, browse our site or get in touch to speak to our experts about your requirements.

Rustic furniture doesn't have to mean old-fashioned or inelegant. In fact, there are plenty of rustic options that work incredibly well as contemporary pub furniture.

That's because rustic pub furniture makes use of some classic characteristics such as simple lines, solid construction and durable materials.

By definition, rustic furniture should be sturdy and hard-wearing, all of which makes it an excellent addition to your pub furniture if you want tables and chairs that will last a long time with regular to heavy use.

Does rustic furniture mean old-fashioned?

Not necessarily. Rustic furniture can be bang on trend - our Hairpin Table is a timeless design, but its hairpin legs are perfectly in step with current fashions in interior design.

Hairpin Table

Instead of a single column, each leg features three rods arranged in an inverted triangular pyramid shape, which distributes weight for a deceptively sturdy structure.

Dusseldorf Hairpin Stools also feature hairpin legs, teamed with a golden tan suede upholstered seat for a look that is both retro and current.

This is just one example of a 21st century trend that takes its inspiration from the past - a design paradox that rustic furniture manages to bring together into timeless tables and chairs.

Is rustic furniture unattractive?

Not at all. 'Rustic' doesn't mean a lack of elegant design - quite the opposite in fact, as rustic furniture often has minimal construction and clean, straight lines.

Look no further than the Bauhaus-inspired Munich Retro Chair and Bavaria Chair for proof of this.

Bavaria retro chair   Munich retro chair

Their tubular steel frames make use of an iconic and timeless cantilever design, eliminating the need for back legs, while subtle plastic glides protect wood, tiled and stone floors.

The mid-2020s will mark the centenary of cantilever chairs. The shape and materials have hardly changed in the past 100 years, and they're still as popular as ever.

Does rustic mean bare wood?

Natural materials - including wood - are common in rustic furniture, and also in pub furniture, which is one reason why they make a perfect pairing.

But rustic doesn't have to mean hard wood seats. There are plenty of other options, from simple ergonomic wooden seats like our Dalton Chair, to upholstered armchairs.

For a glimpse at the variety offered by rustic pub furniture, take a look at the following options:

These are perfect for a classic or contemporary pub, or a retro feel. Our Autumn and Cappuccino upholstery fabrics are also available on Rimini and Abbruzzo dining chairs to complete your pub furniture with even more versatility.

Rustic pub furniture

The list goes on...

These examples are just a snapshot of our range of rustic pub furniture, which caters for every eventuality.

Whatever interior design trend you are following - whether it is current, retro, or a timeless combination of the two - rustic furniture can help you to achieve it.

If you would like to order any of our rustic pub furniture with custom upholstery, please contact our sales office on 0116 2989 835 and we can discuss the fabric options.



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