Outdoor eating: The best garden furniture

Eating al fresco is one of the pleasures of a hot summer and for many of us the BBQ season is already under way. The whole experience is a lot more pleasant if you have some comfortable furniture to sit on. So, if you need to update yours why not get some inspiration from the nation's favourites.

Top related searches:
  1. Folding garden furniture
  2. Curved garden benches
  3. Hardwood garden table
  4. Sun lounger
  5. Garden parasol
  6. Lawn furniture
  7. Conservatory furniture
  8. Metal outdoor furniture
  9. Garden swing bench
  10. Wicker garden furniture
Aluminium furniture is lighter in weight than wood or wrought iron. It's perfect for damp climates as it doesn't rust and easy to maintain. Being lightweight it's not always ideal for windy areas and can also get quite hot in sunlight. It's worth considering a powder covering to avoid discolouration.

Wrought-iron furniture often carries complex designs. They do well in windy areas because of their weight but aren't as mobile as aluminium. Iron rusts so over time the quality will decline, although you can buy resistant furniture.

Wood timber furniture combines appearance and practicality. It doesn't get hot like some metals and it is light enough to move around. However, it does require care and you will need to use wood preserving treatments to keep it at its best.

Asda's black steel furniture set could easily pass for something a lot more expensive. Includes a table, six chairs and a parasol.
Expect to pay, £100 for the whole set.

Homebase's tubular steel dining set also includes a glass topped dining table. It has six chairs and a parasol.
Expect to pay £799.00

Far more economical is the John Lewis powder-coated steel dining set with stackable chairs. Good for those with limited space.
Expect to pay £79 for the Mocha table. Mocha chairs from £29 each.

The Contemporary Home provides a small dining set for two. It is constructed from steel frames and folds flat for easy storage.
Expect to pay £135 for two chairs and a table.

Jennifer Newman's sleek, modern, outdoor, aluminum dining set. It's made from a powder coat for added protection. Available in a range of colours and sizes made to order.
Expect to pay £ 690 for the table and £575 for each bench.

Merida Poly Rattan Cube Table and Chair Set is the very latest in garden furniture. Crafted from all-weather resin around a sturdy aluminium frame and finished with a hardwearing powder coat.
Expect to pay £449

Montana 8-piece set. Montana is a perfect family 8-piece garden furniture set. The parasol comes with a crank and tilt mechanism.
Expect to pay £199