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What do you think of when you picture a bistro? Perhaps a delicate bistro café on the streets of a European city, or lakeside Riviera bistro tables lining the water on holiday. Now, with so many bistro sets available through various homeware and outdoor retailers, your garden can become your very own holiday location – as dressed up or toned down as you like.
What is a bistro set?
Traditionally formed of a small table and two accompanying chairs, bistro sets are basic and minimal, providing a practical seating solution to those looking to dine or enjoy a drink outside. Most bistro sets are made out of decorated or painted metal, rendering them sturdy in all weathers and solid enough to stay put; though many retailers are increasing the use of wood for their bistro sets. One defining feature of many bistro sets is the range of heights available – ranging from the regular height suitable for large patio space, to a taller table and stools perfect for smaller outdoor spaces, or a lower set ideal for balconies.
What should I look for when purchasing a bistro set?
Firstly, consider where you want to place your bistro set, how often it will be used, and what kind of space you are moving it into. For a clean cut garden space we recommend a classic black or white metal set to compliment the clean lines of outdoor space – however if you are embracing more of a wild look with flowers and long grasses, a wooden bistro set will create more of a rustic and natural finish. Another thing to consider is whether or not you want to add a parasol of built-in umbrella to your bistro set, and whether you wish for it to come as part of a larger set of outdoor furniture. After all, while a bistro set is ideal for a sunny lunch for two any larger gatherings or meals will require more space and more seating. With regards to the umbrella or parasol covering, the options available include those which can be slotted into a hole in the centre of the table, those which sit straight and tall beside a table, and those with a curved structure to hang over the top of the table. Most of these can be purchased individually, though we do recommend that our members consider which they prefer and – in the case of a built-in umbrella specifically – make sure that the table you choose has an adequate hole in the centre to house the umbrella stand.
Where to find the best bistro sets
When it comes to sourcing the best quality and most stylish bistro sets, the primary retailers to turn to first include outdoor stores, garden centres and furniture specialists. For those on a budget, consider purchasing a fairly basic bistro set and then dressing it yourself, adding extra colour where desired, outdoor cushions, flowers and your own parasol. Then, simply pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your finest summer wear, and sit back in your bistro chair. Just like in Paris!