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5 Inspired Garden Dining Ideas


It isn’t just the table that makes a dining area. It needs to be practical stylish and accessible, with garden furniture that is robust and hardy. Be inspired with these five fantastic garden dining ideas…

#1 An awesome table setting

We feast with our eyes first and our stomach second and so, creating a fantastic table setting is the first step in rejuvenating any outdoor dining experience.

This table is simple and yet perfect for five guests to enjoy. Classic white tableware is ideal for creating a neutral yet classic feel to the dining table.

However, if you want to add a little more quirkiness and an outdoor vibe to the table, we have some other suggestions too.

Intertwine leafy garlands around kiln jars and empty jam jars. Either use them as a candle holder or after washing and sterilising, use them to serve a range of dips and sauces or desserts, including yoghurts and ice cream.

We’ve also noticed that the Moroccan inspired patterns on tableware of late. The dark orange, vibrant red and golden yellow is ideal for adding a zap of colour. We also love the cute dipping bowls, as well as the blue and white patterns we have seen with some major retailers.

#2 Upgrade your lighting

The atmosphere is brought about by the people around the table whereas ambience is set by the appearance of the outdoor dining table. And that means adding or upgrading our favourite thing: lighting!

Outdoor dining, no matter what time of year, can go well on into the night. There is no better way of enjoying dusk and the fading light of day that watching light dance on the reflective surface of glass.

As well as strong solar lights, there is no a growing range of pretty string lights that are battery operated. Frankly, the bright and bolder on design and style the better. As well as hanging them overhead, consider artfully arranging string lights in glass jars too.

Candles are a great idea too, especially if you want to create a pretty, almost-romantic vibe to your outdoor dining experience.

#3 Invest in the best garden furniture

Today’s market is awash with all kinds of garden furniture options, in all shapes, sizes, colour and materials.

Increasingly, we are taking to our gardens, choosing to spend hours enjoying the outdoor space whether that is lounging on the outdoor sofa or dining with friends.

Just like you invest in furniture for the interior of your home, invest in robust and hardy garden furniture.

Of all the options, outdoor teak dining furniture is one of the hardest wearing ones, an investment that will age beautifully, offering so many outdoor dining memories with your nearest and dearest.

There is a classic appeal to teak that will certainly fit with all the other ideas on this list. It takes very little to keep it in tip-top shape too.

A slow growing wood, it is incredibly hardy, standing up against the British weather without so much as breaking a sweat. All you need to do, however, in the depths of winter is to cover the dining set with a protective cover. The only think teak is not fond of, is very cold, icy temperatures.

#4 Accessorise with garden décor

It seems odd and yet when you think about it, adding potted plants to the outdoor dining area or patio makes perfect sense.

Gone are the days when the only accessory for the patio was a pergola and a climbing Clematis. Whilst this creates a fragrant romance about the space, there is so much more you can do;

  • Potted plants – we are seeing ladder shelving with potted plants and wicker baskets making a statement in the garden designs of 2018. Choose leafy palms with deep green fronds and keep surrounding materials neutral. Lighter shades of wicker baskets are ideal and perfect for keeping essential items such as sun cream and other accoutrements.
  • Outdoor cushions, throws, and rugs – in the interior dining room, you may have ‘framed’ your dining table with a rug, the ideal way of adding lines and boundaries so that the eye makes sense of the space. You can do this on the dining patio with a bright colourful outdoor rug, no more expensive than an interior one, with complementary throws and cushions.

#5 Fabulous picnicware

On one hand, you want ‘proper’ plates, knives and forks because eating outside doesn’t mean battling with plastic cutlery and paper plates.

However, the range of plastic picnic ware that retailers and designers are bringing to the high street is more exciting than ever.

Look for retro style picnic ware. And frankly, you can’t go wrong with a check napkin or two…

If you’re looking for some indoor inspiration, check out these indoor dining tables.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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