15 must-have accessories for outdoor dining in style
Out with the scratched melamine, in with stylish cups, cocktail shakers, candelabra, and cutlery. Here's our guide to the wow accessories that will make your alfresco meal sparkle.
Paper swirl rose deco
These egg-shaped paper decorations will add colour and glamour to your garden gathering. Hang from tree branches or lamp posts. Or string up in a row as a garland. They come in pairs in either small or medium, and are from Two Ducks in St John’s.
£5.99 small; £7.99 medium
Cinnamon Aitch coaster
Ohh la la. We’re loving these cute coasters. They are four different styles available – blue ditsy, red ditsy, green floral and this yellow flower pattern. They’re 10x10cm, and made in the UK from melamine. Buy them at Two Ducks in St John’s.
Channel the tropics with this set of four handprinted napkins by Danish interiors company Bungalow. You’ll find them at Two Ducks in St John’s near Woking.
Palm leaf glasses
Bring the outside out with these fabulous botanical themed wine glasses from Oxfordshire’s Found in the Barn. The tropical palm leaf design will match those lush borders you’ve been cultivating with all your spare time (…ahem…). They’re equally at home filled with a pina colada as they are your favourite plonk. Clink, clink to that.
Silver plated candelabra
This vintage candelabra from Hampshire’s Blue Isle store has got the stately home hostess vibe down pat. You’ll be catching up with your nearest and dearest by candlelight – so much more flattering than Zoom. The shorter style also means it’s less likely to get blown over.
Bloom wine cooler
Who’s got time to dash to the fridge when there’s so much catching up to do? Keep the bottle chilled in this elegant cooler, also rocking the garden theme with its champagne flute-meets-blooming flower shape. Or that’s what we think Northamptonshire’s Mowgli and Moon had in mind when they named it.
Indigo drop serving bowl
You don’t want to be sweating in the kitchen when you could be having a chinwag so make an enormous salad/tagine/roasted veg platter and serve it in this large stylish bowl. Each one is hand painted with the eye-catching indigo drop design, from Worcestershire’s gorgeous homeware store, Cornucopia.
Copper cutlery set
Copper is still very much having a moment and makes a pleasing textural contrast to the linen, ceramic or rattan elements in your tablescape. The four piece set is from Warwickshire’s Collective Homestore.
Idha Hurricane light
The show must go on, whatever the weather, so keep your candles lit with the tres chic hurricane lamps from The Norfolk Hare, which will ensure that your ambience doesn’t disappear in the slightest breeze (not so sure about a hurricane, mind).
Forge de Laguiole Sommelier Knife
If you’re going to open a decent bottle, do it with flair, with this wood-handled Sommelier Knife. It comes in Barrel Oak, Birch, Ebony, Juniper, Olivewood and Thuya. From Somerset’s Lincoln House, a specialist in fine tableware, it comes in a snazzy gift box so would also make a special pressie for the oenophile in your life.
These salad servers are a bit special. They’re made by Rebecca Rasmussen, who handcrafts tableware using a combination of metals. Sold by Cornwall’s The Byre Gallery, these are hand formed from brass and riveted with eco-silver. They are lightweight, sturdy and stylish.
You won’t be able to get rid of your guests once they’ve cosied down in one of these sumptuous sheepskin rugs. Cover your dining chairs with them or lay them on an outdoor sofa for a chic but cosy look. They’re from Suffolk’s Javelin home store, and also come in shades of grey and brown.
Glass cocktail shaker
We love this Deco-fabulous cocktail shaker from Gloucestershire’s Sub Couture. You can show off your lockdown-honed cocktail making skills (or was that just us?), but frankly whatever comes out of here is going to get you oo’s and ah’s. Also makes a rather gorgeous gift if you’re looking for something special to take along to an alfresco reunion.
The pros don’t toast one marshmallow at a time from a splintery stick… they use this mango wood and steel branched fork from Oxfordshire’s Rosara. That’s the hassle-free dessert course sorted.
This carving set from Wiltshire’s Artisan Studio is handmade in Italy. From the carbon steel blade to the olive wood handle, it’s carving perfection, and comes with a guarantee and presentation box.
Stainless steel carafe
Keep your favourite tipple cool for up to six hours (we give it one before it’s empty…tops) with this chic and simple insulated cooler from gizmo-supremos Lakeland. Works equally well for an indulgent picnic a deux as for dinner on the terrace – you just might need a couple to avoid having to pop inside for a refill.
Coloured rim glasses
Ride the vibe of optimism and lockdown unlocked with these oh so pretty rainbow-rimmed glasses, available from Graham and Green’s Bath store from April 12. Pick from red, green or blue, or go for a mix if you can’t decide.