Here at Lazy Susan, the focus of our collection is on garden tables and chairs but not all of us have the patio space to accommodate a large dining-style set. The solution for smaller gardens, terraces, decks or balconies is a patio bistro set.
What a small two-seater garden table set lacks in size it more than punches above its weight in terms of style and versatility. This is something we discussed in detail in last months Why buy a garden bistro set? article.
So, in terms of answering the question “Can you enjoy a meal on a patio bistro set?”, the answer is a definite yes, and we would say you can do a whole lot more too!
How to enjoy a meal on your garden bistro set
Our range of garden bistros features tabletops that range from 50 cm to 90 cm in diameter and that is more than enough space to enjoy a morning coffee or afternoon tea, an evening meal or a few evening drinks on your patio, terrace or balcony.
In fact, that's one of the primary purposes of bistro sets. Whether you're having a romantic evening meal for two or a casual brunch with a friend, a patio bistro set provides a wonderful intimate spot to enjoy food or drinks outside.
Our top tips for setting a small table and two chairs
If you’re inviting a friend over or just want to do something special for your partner, then the Lazy Susan team have popped our thinking caps on and pulled together our top tips to help you enjoy a meal on our bistro sets.
Our bistro sets might be small, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a meal on it. To ensure it goes without a hitch, follow these simple steps:
Place your garden bistro set on your patio or balcony. If you’ve got a bit of free space to play with, think about personal preference and what your guest would prefer. Factor in the level of sun exposure, wind protection, privacy, how you move around the space and, of course, the best view of your outdoor space or if you’re lucky the one beyond.
Ensure that it is sturdy, stable and level. We supply all our bistro sets with small screw-in feet, which protect the metal from rough surfaces, but can also allow for slight adjustment on an uneven surface. Arrange the seating on either side of the table.
Cook or prepare your meal as you normally would. Whether it's breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack, bistro sets are versatile for all types of dining. Think about what will fit on the table without making it cramped and plan accordingly.
Place any dishes, utensils, napkins, condiments, etc. that you need on the table so that you and your guest have what you need to hand as you eat.
The great thing about a Lazy Susan bistro table and chairs is they are designed for comfort, with curved ergonomic lines so you can get comfortable and relax as you eat, drink and catch up.
After your meal, clear the table and clean up any spills or mess. Our bistro sets are super easy to clean, so it won't take much effort. Just a quick wipe with a warm cloth and a little washing-up liquid should suffice and have it ready for the next time.
How do you style garden bistro sets?
For us, a well-styled bistro set comes down to personal preference.
The key and it is the same regardless of table size, is to make it part of the wider outdoor area. Make it inviting and put your own personal stylish stamp on it.
Styling your patio bistro will help to create a space that invites you and your partner or guest outside when the weather is nice, and here are the team's top tips for adding a little extra wow:
Choose The Right Bistro Set
Start by selecting a bistro set that complements your outdoor space and personal style. Think about the material, colour, and general design style of the set. Common materials include metal, wood, and rattan, each offers a distinct look. Which do you prefer? Which will fit with your lifestyle? Which will fit with the style in your home and garden?
Add Comfortable Seat Cushions
We offer fitted seat cushions with our chairs for extra comfort that can be purchased with a discount when bundled in our shop with a bistro set. This will add comfort, and a pop of colour, and ensure they’re cool to sit on when the sun is shining.
Add Coordinated Accessories
You can further enhance the look of your bistro set with coordinated outdoor accessories. This could include outdoor throw blankets, tablecloths, placemats, decor, floral centrepiece or an outdoor lantern. Our how to create the perfect garden table centrepiece post has some fab solutions.
Choose The Right Tableware
When it comes to tableware, our advice is to select quality outdoor-friendly pieces, such as melamine or acrylic plates, glasses, and utensils. Opt for vibrant or patterned options to add visual interest and complement the colour scheme in your outdoor space and on your bistro. If you fancy turning your hand to a little crafting, then our how to make your own outdoor table placemats and coasters have some great DIY options.
Surround With Plants
In our opinion, no patio area or balcony is complete without lots of plants. Blur the lines and surround your bistro set with potted plants or flowers to add a natural touch. Pop potted plants on the centre of your bistro table, next to the chairs, or on the ground around the set. Consider a mix of tall and short plants to bring a little variety. If you have got a friend over, pop some fresh flowers in a vase on your table. Nothing too tall as you don’t want them in the way.
Use Soft Outdoor Lighting
If you plan on using your bistro set in the evenings, then we would definitely advise that you consider adding some soft outdoor lighting. Festoon lights, lanterns, or solar-powered garden lights are a great way to create a relaxing ambience around your bistro. If you want to bring a little warmth too, then our favourite fire pits for Summer 2023 article has some great suggestions.
Incorporate Outdoor Soft Furnishings
As well as the aforementioned cushions and throws, there’s a host of outdoor soft furnishings that can really help to make the space more inviting. You can define the area around your bistro set with an outdoor rug. Look for pieces that are designed for outdoor use, and that will add colour, texture, and warmth to your patio while also helping to pull the overall patio/balcony design scheme together.
Use Seasonal Decor
Here at Lazy Susan, we like to switch up our patio decor and style to fit with the seasons. For example, in the summer, we will add bright, cheerful colours, while in the winter we will opt for a more festive centrepiece.
If your patio or balcony lacks privacy, then look at adding a screen, partition or outdoor curtains to create a more secluded and intimate bistro space. You can also create a beautiful natural screen with planting and some popular solutions include bamboo, vertical planters, trellis with climbers such as ivy or jasmine, grasses such as miscanthus, etc.
Keep it Functional
Don’t go too far with the style. Remember that function is critical too. It is important that when the bistro is in place there's still enough space to pull chairs in and out, sit down and move around the space comfortably and safely. Your bistro table has to be big enough for whatever you like to use it for, however, if space is limited, keep the area around it clutter-free for a more comfortable bistro experience.
Keep It Well Maintained
We touched on this earlier but you want to keep your table and chairs in tip-top condition. You and your guest don’t want to sit at a dirty bistro. And if it is left outside it will inevitably get mucky. A regular clean with warm soapy water and a light coat of car wax will help keep your bistro looking its best. If you don’t have the space to store it, then a fitted cover is a great solution.
How do you set a patio bistro table for guests?
Setting a patio bistro table for a guest is a great way to create a welcoming and enjoyable outdoor dining experience. The lack of space can be a little more tricky but we have a few great suggestions for how you can set it up for a guest:
As well as cleaning after use, if you have a guest, before setting the table, ensure it is clean and free from dust and debris. Wipe down the surfaces if necessary. If you have any stubborn bird droppings, then our how to clean bird poo off your garden furniture article has a few great tips.
Tablecloth or Placemats
Lay a clean and appropriate-sized round tablecloth over your bistro table. Alternatively, you can just use outdoor-friendly placemats to help define each guest's dining space but still show off your table. Our can you make your own garden furniture covers article has some great advice.
There might just be two of you, but if you’re pushing the boat out, then it pays to set individual place settings for each of you. It looks good and always makes for a more enjoyable dining experience, be it brunch or an evening meal. The basics you need include:
Put a dinner plate in the centre of each placemat or directly on the tablecloth.
Set the appropriate utensils, such as a fork, knife, etc. either side of the plate.
Place a folded napkin to the left or on top of the dinner plate.
Set glasses for drinks to the right, slightly above the dinner plate.
Bistro Table Centrepiece
Add a simple seasonal centrepiece to enhance your bistro table's appearance but nothing too tall that will obstruct the view or conversation between you and your guest.
If your meal requires condiments such as salt or BBQ sauce, place them in the centre of the table or on a side table within easy reach of all guests.
If serving drinks, then place them near the table for easy access. Include a bucket of ice if serving chilled drinks on a warm day.
Lighting & Heating
If you're using your bistro in the evening, add candles to create a cosy atmosphere. You can also use citronella candles to help keep bugs away. Have throw blankets to hand in case the temperature dips a little when the sun sets.
Set the mood with some soft background music if desired. Ensure the volume is at a level where you can comfortably chat and you won’t annoy neighbours.
Make It Personal
Remember to tailor the table setting to the occasion and your guest's preferences. Make an effort but keep it laid back!
The Lazy Susan Bistro Range for Summer 23
Well-set bistro sets will create a memorable and enjoyable dining experience, whether it's a casual get-together with a friend or a special occasion for your partner.
We want customer photographs of your bistro furniture
If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Patio Bistro Set, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload them.