Our favourite garden tableware and flatware for Summer 24

The Lazy Susan team are looking at what makes good garden tableware and flatware, how to buy it, and sharing some of our favourites for summer 2024…

We have had an unseasonably cold June so far but forecasters are predicting a shift in the coming days. Here at Lazy Susan, we have our fingers and toes crossed that some “barbie”  weather is just around the corner.

If, like us, you like to entertain outside, a well-dressed and properly set garden table is a great way to make your next gathering a more enjoyable, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing experience for everyone joining you.

A well-set table allows for organised placement of food, utensils, and condiments, making it easier for guests to serve themselves, and ensuring everything they need is within easy reach.

Garden Tableware and Flatware on a Lazy Susan Garden Table 

By setting your garden table, you’re enhancing the visual appeal of your outside space, which better contributes to a pleasant and inviting atmosphere.

You can even decorate the table according to a theme and bring a touch of personalisation and creativity.

Many of us will simply utilise our indoor tableware and flatware but one the simplest ways to make a statement is to have specific outdoor dining pieces that work with the space and style of your garden and patio.

The definition of garden tableware and flatware is:

  1. Tableware 
    All items you use to set and decorate a table, including plates, glasses, serving trays, accessories like salt and pepper pots, linens, etc.

  2. Flatware
    Is all the utensils you need for eating and serving food, such as forks, knives, spoons, etc.

What makes good garden tableware and flatware?

Much like garden furniture, good garden tableware and flatware should be chosen based on durability, functionality, and how it will fit with your outdoor setting.

If you want something safe, practical and suited for outdoor dining use, then our advice would be to go for materials that are specifically designed to withstand outdoor conditions such as melamine, bamboo, and modern high-quality plastics as they are shatter-proof and durable.

In terms of table linens, you want fabrics that are resistant to UV rays, temperature changes, and moisture to prevent them from fading, warping, or cracking if you planning on using them outside regularly.

Another great tip when shopping for new tableware is to look for sets that are easy to carry, especially if you have to transport them between indoor storage and a large garden.

Stackable plates and bowls, for example, will save you storage space and are easier to bring in and out of the house.

What makes good garden tableware and flatware?

If like us you prefer to enjoy your garden gathering rather than worrying about cleaning up, then dishwasher-safe is a must if you want convenience after a BBQ or outdoor meal.

In terms of style, we prefer patterns and colours that complement your garden's decor and create an inviting atmosphere.

Bright colours and nature-inspired designs work well for outdoor settings, and the neutral colours of our garden tables mean they add a splash of style and colour.

When it comes to garden table flatware, we love stainless steel as if you’re serving a more formal outdoor meal as it is stylish, rust-resistant, and durable.

If you’re going a little more casual in your setting, such as a BBQ, then high-quality plastics or bamboo flatware are great options.

The key with outdoor flatware is to ensure it is sturdy enough to handle a variety of foods without bending or breaking. Look for flatware with comfortable grips, especially for use in warm weather.

Choose garden flatware that matches or complements your garden tableware, your garden furniture, and the overall theme of your outdoor setting.

And while style is important, don’t sacrifice function. It is better to have enough pieces to accommodate all your guests than not to have enough.

How to shop for new garden tableware and flatware?

When shopping for new garden tableware and flatware start by considering the number of guests you typically entertain or the size/seat settings of your garden table.

Think about how frequently you’ll use it, and if you need a set or pieces such as dinner plates for casual use, special occasions, or both. It is also a good idea to purchase a few extra pieces that you think you’ll need for unexpected guests or to cover accidental damage.

How to shop for new garden tableware and flatware? 

Decide how much you are willing to spend to narrow down your options and prevent overspending but look for durable items that will last longer, even if they stretch the budget a little bit more.

To help get you started shopping around, these are some of the materials we love for outdoor dining and tableware:

  1. Melamine
    Durable, lightweight, and shatterproof.

  2. Bamboo
    Eco-friendly, lightweight, and stylish.

  3. High-Quality Plastic
    Affordable and versatile, but ensure it’s BPA-free and food/dishwasher-safe.

For flatware, we would recommend you look for cutlery made from the following materials:

  1. Stainless Steel
    Durable, rust-resistant, and available in a wide range of styles and gradings.

  2. Bamboo
    Suitable for casual settings and eco-friendly.

  3. High-Quality Plastic
    Affordable and versatile, but as with the tableware, ensure it’s BPA-free and food/dishwasher-safe

Choose designs and colours that complement your outdoor space and your garden furniture. You can opt for a set if want a cohesive look with a specific theme or choose individual pieces to create a mix-and-match style.

With our classically styled garden tables, we tend to find that neutral designs work well and fit with various occasions.

If you want to use table linens, then look for tableware and flatware that coordinates with it or creates a nice contrast/theme.

Shop around online as this is where you will tend to find the best sellers, deals, and discounts. The likes of Amazon, Wayfair, John Lewis, and Dunelm, for example often have extensive selections.

If you prefer to try before you buy, then stores like IKEA, Next, B&Q, M&S, Lakeland and The Range always have good selections at this time of year.

Lazy Susan’s favourite garden tableware and flatware for Summer 24

Lazy Susan’s favourite garden tableware and flatware for Summer 24

For Summer 2024, we are feeling garden tableware and flatware that combines style, durability, and functionality. The Lazy Susan team loves vibrant, nature-inspired patterns such as floral prints, tropical themes, or coastal motifs.

Forget Me Not & Primrose range from Emma Bridgewater

The Forget Me Not & Primrose range from Emma Bridgewater (above) is a great example. Made from a sustainable alternative to plastic, it uses the outer shells of grains of rice. The bowls, plates and cups are BPA and toxin-free and they will biodegrade in 90 days if you break it up and pop it on a compost heap.

Orangery Melamine Dinner Plates from John Lewis

The Orangery Melamine Dinner Plates from John Lewis (above) are made from a lightweight melamine that is dishwasher safe and perfect for outdoor dining. Created by their in-house design team, the original hand-painted fruit and flower designs were inspired by the varieties you'd find growing in a classic orangery.

West Elm’s Horizon Acrylic Drinking Glasses

For drinkware, some great acrylic designs are clear or tinted and designed to mimic glass but are much better suited to outside use. West Elm’s Horizon Acrylic Drinking Glasses (above) are a great example. Made from shatter-resistant acrylic, their design will work in any setting and you won’t be afraid to bring them outside.

30-Piece Arya Set from Nordic Peace

When it comes to flatware, again we like to keep things simple, so a quirky stainless steel finish like the 30-Piece Arya Set from Nordic Peace (above) is a great option. It has an elegance that we think would pair perfectly with the timeless style of our garden furniture, and it is designed to stay rust and stain-free, so perfect for the patio.

Our final thoughts on outdoor tableware…
Our final thoughts on outdoor tableware…

They are just a few of our favourites, we could have listed so much more. Check them out, shop around, see what grabs your eye.

Coordinated sets of plates, bowls, and serving dishes will give you a cohesive look but also don’t be afraid to mix different styles and colours for a more eclectic and personalised look.

Add complementary accessories such as napkins, serving trays, and table runners to complete your garden table setup.

Just keep in mind that you want materials that are easy to clean and store, especially those that are dishwasher-safe and stackable.

To be on-trend for Summer 2024, opt for garden tableware and flatware that is vibrant, durable, and stylish.

Don’t be put off by melamine, bamboo, acrylic, and enamelware as it's best suited for outdoor dining and many of the modern designs are simply stunning.

A Lazy Susan Garden Table with Patio Tableware and Flatware

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Garden Table set with your new tableware and flatware, then we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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