5 Stylish 3-Piece Patio Bistro Sets
Stylish Bistro Sets for a Patio Tete-a-Tete
When you think of a patio bistro set, do you get an image of an intimate cafe in Paris? A fresh dew-spangled morning coffee on a cabin verandah? Or a romantic starlit night on your own patio?
I'm holding out for all of the above... or at least, someone tall, dark, and vaguely Mediterranean to mix up a pitcher of margaritas while I sit back and toy with a simple snack.
But whatever your own style for dining al fresco, there's a 3-piece bistro set of patio furniture to match. (Bistro - that's just a fancy designer way to say a matching trio of two chairs and a small table.) From the elegant metal sculptural designs that evoke the Victorian garden, to practical modern low-maintenance in natural wood or faux wicker, to comfortably stylish lawnchairs with matching table... Here's a round-up of my top 5 choices in 3-piece bistro sets for this year's patio season - though I reserve the right to change later on, if some furniture designer comes out with a stunning late-season entry in the race! Take a look at the top-rated styles I've picked out for our summertime wishlists, to find the perfect outdoor dining furniture for your lifestyle.
Photo: with a strong yet lightweight steel frame that folds up (yes, even the table) for convenient storage in the off-season - a stylish choice for small apartment living. Weather-resistant faux rattan trio
Natural Eucalyptus Wood - Outdoor Cushions are Included
Clean lines, timeless style, and the cushions are included as part of your package. Eucalyptus is one of those durable woods that stand up well to the weather, but you might want to give it a nice protective coat of oil if you'll be leaving the table and chairs out on the patio all season, just to keep it looking its best.
All-Weather Wicker - Modern Patio Dining Set in Dark Gray Resin Wicker
With a sophisticated, clean-lined design and popular all-weather resin wicker construction, it's no wonder the Strathwood Ritta set finds a fit on urban balcony and suburban deck with equal ease. I like this style for an "outdoor living room" type of environment, and you could certainly pull these pieces indoors for extra seating and service space if you're entertaining in weather that's not ideal for enjoying the great outdoors.
Victorian Cast Metal Style - Windsor Cast Aluminum 3-Piece Bistro Set in Dark Gold
If your decorating taste runs to the Victorian garden party, this is the bistro set for you! The dark-gold finish is a nice unexpected touch in a set we more often expect to see with a coat of white paint, too often laid on heavily which can obscure the fine details of the metalwork - and the decorative details are fine indeed on this nostalgic furniture.
If your decorating taste runs to the Victorian garden party, this is the bistro set for you! The drak gold finish is a nice unexpected touch in a set we more often expect to see with a coat of white paint, too often laid on heavily which can obscure the fine details of the ironwork, which are fine indeed on this furniture. Compact enough for the smallest patio, it will also look stunning on your front porch.
Tea time, anyone?
Mandalay Iron Lattice Style - Bar Height Patio Furniture with Black Antique Finish
This three-piece outdoor dining set has a built-in bonus for those who really enjoy entertaining on your patio - it is part of a whole line of outdoor furniture you can mix and match to create a full suite of patio or garden furniture that exactly meets your needs. For starters, I like this bar-height table and matching chairs for morning coffee in the sun or a quiet lunch at home, just the two of you. An eye-catching ensemble, the Mandalay table and chairs draw on the design traditions of colonial Burma - think of the era of Rudyard Kipling, a little bit upscale English and a whole lot exotic East.
Fairly light yet sturdy, this ironwork set is attractively finished in antique black. The table is about 48 inches high, with chairs in proportion.
The Woven Wicker Look in a Sleek Fold-Away Patio Set
I've sit-tested this type of chair very thoroughly on a friend's patio, many a long summer afternoon, and I can tell you it is a sturdy set that's more comfortable than you might think at first look at its minimalist design. The only thing is, if you're going to be hanging out for hours on the patio in short shorts or a bathing suit, you might want to slip a slim lawnchair cushion pad under those bare thighs, to avoid ending up with the back of your legs imprinted with a pattern from the woven chair seats.
Understated 3-piece patio furniture set in steel and woven faux wicker, the Cantinela bistro set is ideal for a small deck or balcony. Its simple design with a subtle texture works equally well in a country or urban setting. Best of all, it's foldable for easy storage.