Styling your Summer table

Summer is in full swing at the barn and despite having three wasp nests removed for the children’s safety (all part of living in the country) we’re enjoying the extra space in the garden which is perfect for outdoor entertaining. With barbecues booked and the freezer stocked with delicious meat from our local butcher Humphreys & Sons, it’s the perfect time to start looking for ideas for styling my Summer table and sharing a little of that inspiration with you (and read on for a special offer too!)


There’s something very special about a barbecue that brings out a party atmosphere at The Barn. I tend to leave the cooking to my husband who is a whizz with a set of tongs but I think he’d be a fan of these new barbecues from Verycook which are popular in France and now available in the UK.  Their standard Plancha gas powered grill (from £289) can be accessorised with add-ons to create your own mini outdoor kitchen.

The Verypizz’ pizza oven (1) let’s you create your own pizzas or bake within the stainless steel cavern which sits on top of the standard plancha grill or if wok cooking is more your thing then add the Verywok (2+3) to create more delicate dishes such as aromatic stir frys or side dishes.  Either side of the Wok are two removable steaming trays that allow you to put food aside and keep them warm whilst continuing to work the Wok – clever.

Barbecue inspiration from VeryCook at


The lazy days of Summer lend themselves so well to outdoor living and if you’re anything like us then lunchtime barbecues can often turn into afternoon and evening in the garden too. When the sun starts to go down there’s nothing better than some gentle lighting to set the scene.

I’ve fallen hard for the fabulous tea light holders which are part of the new summer collection from Permier Decorations available in garden centres and department stores across the UK for about £15 (1). For a simpler style Potter and Rest have these fab Sophie Conran holders in different colourways to match your table theme with lovely punched holes to let the light sparkle out (2) and (8) or for some rustic charm how about a pretty crackle glazed ceramic lantern £16 from Pastel Lane (6). For ornate candles that will become a talking point Parable Designs have real headturners and burn for hours (7). If I was styling with an eastern theme then the ornate metal and glass lantern £45 (3) or the rustic affect balloon lantern £22.50 (4) both from Pastel Lane would be perfect while these lanterns from Shimu £125 would work well for an asian theme (5).

Summer table lighting collage at TheEssexBarn


Dressing a Summer table outside doesn’t have to mean rustic all the way – adding a pretty or striking tablecloth can bring some of the indoors out for a bit of glamour.

I love the bright and colourful Summersdale range (3) from Ashley Wilde Group which was inspired by idyllic Autumn days in rural England, walks in the country and bicycle rides – heavenly! For a more striking style statement this table cloth in Acton Peony and napkin in Acton Navy (4) from Ian Mankin would look fabulous. If lighter pastel shades are more your taste then how about this table cloth in Devon Stripe Bluebell (1) from Ian Mankin or the Thornbury range (2) from Ashley Wilde Group… so pretty.

Stunning fabrics to style your Summer table

Finishing touches

When the stage is set it’s the finishing touches that can add a sense of fun or panache to your Summer table. Cushions, bowls, trays and other accessories can turn an ordinary barbecue into a stylish event. And why not? Summer in the UK can be so shortlived – let’s celebrate the Sunshine while we can!

If you’re bored of plain garden chairs Nick Atkin, founder of Atkin and Thyme says: “During those long summer days comfort is key, dress up your ordinary chairs with some bright cushions. Our Flower Burst Cushion £29 (2) with its bright hues and contrasting pom pom detailing won’t fail you even if the British weather does! “

Continuing the brights theme, I love these Selena jugs £11 (6) and lemon salad bowl £18.99 (3)  for a touch of Tuscany while the glass French carafe set £20 (4)  has a simple class that would look fabulous on a pared down Summer table (I have something similar in our guest room), all from Roullier White. Sophie Conran’s enamel tray, featuring a delicate allium bloom pattern, at Potter and Rest £14.95 (8) goes perfectly with her tealight holders (above).

For a touch of decadent style I’m totally in love with these vintage decorative bird cages £22.50 from Pastel Lane (7) which would look beautiful filled with flowers and candles as part of a centerpiece. On a purely practical note I swear by table cloth weights to keep fabric in place on a breezy Summers day. These garden inspired ones also from Pastel Lane are just the right side of fun £7.50 (1) and talking fun how about these cute mason jar mugs with straws £5 from Roullier White (5)?

Finishing touches for your Summer table


Let’s go shopping… exclusive discount code!

Potter and RestHas this feature inspired you to restyle your own Summer table? To help you pick up some fab new accessories I’m delighted that the team at Potter and Rest have offered The Essex Barn’s readers a 10% discount on their fab range of home and outdoor accessories until 31 August 2015. Just use the code Summer10 at the checkout. (Please note that the code can’t be used on sale items or in conjunction with any other offers.)


Inspiration for your Summer Table pinnable image from

Home Etc

Linking up with The List, Mama and More, The Twinkle Diaries, Let’s Talk Mommy, Honest Mum

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  1. Carol Cameleon June 4, 2016 at 9:16 pm Reply

    Beautiful! I’m a sucker for colours and have a slight addiction to candles too! Thanks for hosting #sharethejoy

  2. Shelly June 1, 2016 at 1:30 pm Reply

    Great inspiration! Cant wait til summer rolls round again down under! Thanks for sharing #sharethejoylinky

  3. Lizzie firstooth May 30, 2016 at 10:01 pm Reply

    Gosh this post has left me feeling inspired and desperate to host a gorgeous party. We have a wasps nest hiding in our roof and it’s a huge pain! Can’t wait to fumigate the buggers. As I was reading through your post I kept thining ‘I’ll mention that in the comments’ but I love it all I really do. I have to say though, candles are such a lovely addition to a garden party and your colourful selection makes it fun too x #sharethejoy

  4. Leah Elwood May 30, 2016 at 2:13 pm Reply

    Woah! That grill is super cool. We need a grill this summer (which we’ve said for the past 4 years, but still!)

  5. Ana May 30, 2016 at 1:21 pm Reply

    I love outdoor dinning and these are great ideas here. I especially like the salt and pepper – great visual effect!

  6. Laughing Mum May 30, 2016 at 11:51 am Reply

    omg! my table and garden are suddenly look very bare lol! I love the wok cooker.. I’m already making a list of what I MUST HAVE! haha #sharethejoy

  7. ali May 30, 2016 at 8:55 am Reply

    this has got me really thinking. My decking has been neglected and this little lot would look fabulous on there and really bring it back to life! My fave is the french caraf set, my decking area is up a steep flight of steps and running back and forth with things from the kitchen is a pain but this would be perfect. #sharethejoy

  8. Fiona Cambouropoulos May 30, 2016 at 8:55 am Reply

    I do love outdoor dining, some lovely ideas and products here. #sharethejoy

  9. Jenny August 16, 2015 at 5:03 pm Reply

    Absolutely love this I am all about styling tables indoors and out. So many great ideas here. Think it’s my favorite link up this week got me inspired to go home and style some corners of the garden before the end of summer. Thanks for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) August 17, 2015 at 6:37 am Reply

      Thanks Jenny and so glad you liked it! We’ve had a lot of entertaining here this Summer and I love trying out different table looks x

  10. mummyofboygirltwins August 13, 2015 at 7:20 pm Reply

    Love these! I adore any outside lighting too, candles are my faves! Thanks for linking up again and sharing – much appreciated. Jess x


    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) August 14, 2015 at 6:57 am Reply

      I’m a big fan of outside lighting – in fact I’ve just bought a string of solar powered flower lights… can’t wait to hang them! Thanks for hosting your lovely linky Jess x

  11. Nancy Straughan August 12, 2015 at 10:33 am Reply

    Ohhh I’m dreaming of having an outside space now! I live in a flat and we have zero outdoor space sadly, I really miss having a garden! I just love that lemon bowl and the blue geometric napkins 🙂 #HomeEtc

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) August 14, 2015 at 6:56 am Reply

      The lemon bowl is fun isn’t it? Would make such a statement outside. We’re blessed with our garden, thanks for your lovely comment! x

  12. Ebabee August 8, 2015 at 10:38 am Reply

    Love your selections and recommendations. Gorgeous. Won’t be showing my husband your post as he would already be out buying the Verycook barbecue if he knew about it! We have just renovated a home we bought last year and the next project is the garden – I so enjoy outdoor entertaining and love adding a bit of atmosphere with candles – your candle selection is so pretty.

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) August 8, 2015 at 11:02 am Reply

      Thanks so much honey! So excited to see your renovation too. We don’t really have to do anything in our garden but doesn’t stop me having lots of plans for a second patio, gazebo/summer house, mud kitchen for the kids… *goes off into dreamworld* x

  13. Honest mum August 8, 2015 at 8:34 am Reply

    Stunning summer home decor inspiration there Michelle, we love throwing parties here, particularly al fresco ones and of course BBQ’s and picnics; I adore pretty tableclothes and flowers everywhere, if it’s adults only, lots of candles too, I adore the lights you’ve featured here and those table cloths are wonderful (I have my eye on the stripy one), off to look round Potter & Rest now, thank you xx

    • Michelle Reeves (The Essex Barn) August 8, 2015 at 10:11 am Reply

      Thanks lovely lady, glad you liked it. Parties outside are such fun aren’t they, easy breezy in the sunshine and it’s lovely to bring some of the inside out with lovely accessories. Enjoy your browsing! xx

  14. Elena August 7, 2015 at 12:30 pm Reply

    Really enjoyed reading your post. I am usually very optimistic and I have lot’s of candle holders for “those evening lights when we are sitting outside”, unfortunately it very rarely happens!

  15. Alexandra @dontcallmestepmummy August 7, 2015 at 8:27 am Reply

    These are all stunning, great ideas and aesthetics. Thanks for sharing #TheList

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