The classic bistro set is the ultimate garden furniture associated with summer. Whether it brings forth memories of alfresco dining outside a restaurant in Europe, enjoying a balcony view on holiday or endless bottles of wine and good food, the bistro has been there for it all. Now, with most of our outdoor experiences being limited to the garden the bistro set is there again to enjoy in our own back yards.

As fashionable today as they were a hundred years ago, the classic bistro set is a timeless piece of furniture that will give your garden, patio or balcony an authentic, sophisticated look. But where did our love for this furniture come from? Let’s take a look into the history of the classic bistro set.

Where It All Began For Bistro Sets

It all began in the 1800s when cafes in Paris began to place their tables and chairs outside to allow their customers to enjoy the afternoon sun and watch the sights and sounds of the city around them. This caught on and spread quickly throughout the world.

Plus, with the industrial revolution in the late 1800s, this forged the way for the appearance of iron tables and chairs, which became the most common bistro style and many designs to this day are still modelled on this furniture.

Common Types of Bistro Set

As mentioned above, the original bistro set consisted of a forged iron base table with a marble, wood or stone tabletop and folding chairs made from iron that could be put away at the end of the day. These were often decorated in vibrant colours to match the café’s interior. Whilst iron is still popular for use on bistro sets today, other more weather enduring materials have become popular.

Cast Aluminium Bistro Set

Cast Aluminium Bistro Sets

One of the most popular choices of bistro set is cast aluminium. The material is often used to make floral patterned tables and chairs which are lightweight and incredibly weather resistant.

Wooden Bistro Sets

A slightly less weatherproof choice is wood, but it hasn’t made it any less popular, especially in areas where rainfall is less heavy. Wood can often rot when damp and takes a long time to dry out which is why it is not the most practical choice in the UK but it is stylish and doesn’t look out of place in any garden or out the front of any café.

Rattan Bistro Set

Rattan Bistro Sets

By far the most weather resistant option, the rattan bistro set is a hit amongst restaurant owners and in gardens. The rattan bistro set does not need to be stored away, such is its weatherproof nature, which makes it ideal for restaurant owners with permanent outdoor seating and great for those with balconies and little space to store garden furniture away.

Rattan bistro sets offer many different colour options and do not need any maintenance to touch up the colour or look of the furniture. This is also a great money-saving option as you won’t have to replace the furniture every couple of years, nor will you have to spend a fortune on varnishes or protective paints to ensure the furniture looks as good as new.

The Future For Bistro Sets

We predict that bistro sets will reign over the garden furniture and restaurant worlds for many years to come. Their practicality which ensures they are perfect for all garden sizes and the intimacy they induce when you’re dining opposite a loved one, is something that is sure to stick around forever.