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.
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).
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.
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)?
Let’s go shopping… exclusive discount code!
Has 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.)