Summer is here and its time to grab a glass of wine, whip up some pasta and take yourself outside for a spot of al fresco dining.

Al fresco literally means ‘in the open air’ in Italian, and is a style of eating which originated as a way of gathering communities together – everyone from the village or town would bring food to someone’s garden and they would all eat together in the open air, enjoying good food and good company.

Today, dining al fresco can mean a picnic, a dinner party outside or simply a meal enjoyed alone in your garden or on a balcony.

The key is to enjoy the experience, and the best way to do that (weather permitting) is to create a dining area outside with furniture suitable for outdoor use.

The Jorge dining table from Barker and Stonehouse is a stylish contemporary table with a stunning Italian marble top and white cast iron trumpet base which can be used as ‘patio’ furniture for elegant al fresco dining. The choice of table tops mean any size chair will fit. My pick would be the Beluga dining chairs in orange, white or beige.

Designed by contemporary Italian design Cattelan Italia, the Beluga chair not only looks good but is stackable and is made from polypropylene so is suitable for outdoor use.

Al fresco dining also demands more tableware as you don’t want to be traipsing back into the house every time you wish to refill your drink.

The Centro carafe is a versatile piece of glassware which can be used for water, fruit juice or wine in sunny lemon, slate or mocha to grace your summer table. Matching high ball glasses and tumblers are also available.

So you’re sitting at your table enjoying our meal in the fresh air and, hopefully, sun, but in England there’s always the chance of rain, so when the heavens open retreat into your conservatory, sun house or dining room and finish your meal in comfort with The Ercol Pinto dining range from Barker and Stonehouse.

Pinto is a complete casual dining and kitchen furniture collection, with classic shapes and understated detailing in three soft contemporary painted finishes of pebble, coffee or sage, which allow the texture of the woodgrain to show through. Contrasting tops are in a clear matt lacquered finish and made from oak. With a choice of clear oak painted, or upholstered dining chairs, the Pinto meets all your summer style needs.

So enjoy the fresh air and make the most of the sunshine this summer with some super stylish al fresco dining.

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