the sun is finally here and we are gearing up for our prêt-à-porter summer with these outdoor accessories…
Up your style credentials with a classic basket and blanket combo: Fortnum & Mason is synonymous with luxurious alfresco dining (available at Brown Thomas). Choose their blanket with water-resistant backing and built-in carry straps. Or opt for a large Irish Picnic Basket by John Hanly – rugged and hardwearing in lots of plaids; €79.45; www.johnhanly.com.
Eau de Nil Fortnum’s Backpacker’s picnic bag, €82, Fortnum & Mason at Brown Thomas.
Eau de Nil Fortnum’s Backpacker’s picnic blanket, €55, Fortnum & Mason at Brown Thomas.
Bamboo Vendôme picnic basket, €149; www.meadowsandbyrne.com
The right chair will spruce up your outdoor space. Spacesaving director’s chairs, classic outdoor staples, will last a lifetime. Detach and clean the canvas or upgrade when needed (with new canvas; www.amazon.com). Home Shop Ireland’s acacia wood director’s chairs are a good option, €111.95; www.homeshopireland.com.
PLATES AND PLATTERS
Melamine plates and serveware are practical options for alfresco dining, whether you are entertaining outdoors at home or packing a picnic. These days you can buy melamine tableware that is as chic and colourful as the tableware you use at home, but a lot more practical and easy to pack.
Blue wave plates, €16 for four, at Marks & Spencer.
Orange Aimone melamine plate, Mario Luca Giusti, €26; www.shopdecor.com.
Sealife dinner plates, €52 for four; www.thomaspaul.com.
Whale platter, €69; www.article.ie.
Sealife melemine palatter, €31.95; www.thekitchenwisk.ie.
Nothing beats lazy summer afternoons spent on the beach. You’ll need a good parasol for protection from the sun – classic cream or white is always smart – and it should be easy to carry and unfurl.
Check out the canvas Premium Beach Umbrella in antique white above; it comes in a perfectly portable carry bag and can be set up in less than a minute), €299; www.businessandpleasureco.com. At home, upright parasols are a good choice for a small garden. Wider “cantilevered” parasols are best in bigger gardens.
Sun Protective Water SPF 50, €39.99, Lancaster Beauty, at counters nationwide.
Pastel washed linen tablecloths conjure a lazy summer mood. Think dusky pink, soft grey and chalky white. Another plus? No need to iron!
Pearl grey linen tablecloth, €69; www.foxford.com.
Aqua linen tablecloth, €49.99; www.hm.com
Rose linen napkins, €22.39 for four; www.laredoute.com.
Blue and white stripe Icons cotton tablecloth, €119; www.lexingtoncompany.com.
Blue stripe cotton/linen napkin, €35 for four; www.meadowsandbyrne.com.