Five fabulous finds for alfresco entertaining

Outdoor accoutrements, from patterned parasols to pizza ovens

A bespoke parasol by Sunbeam Jackie
A bespoke parasol by Sunbeam Jackie

Joyously patterned parasols 

“We aren’t just making outdoor furniture, we’re making precious objects imbued with a sense of fun and a bit of soul,” says Charlie Napier of the deliciously mismatched parasols (from £2,580) that he and his wife Katy first launched under the name Sunbeam Jackie in 2011. Since then, their joyously patterned pieces have been found decorating the terraces of The Pig and Soho House hotels, and the poolsides of A-listers such as Liv Tyler. Each parasol is handmade in Cornwall and finished with six panels of vintage fabric – from William Morris to Liberty to Marimekko – which are coated in a waterproof and UV-resistant silicone spray. Ready-made designs can be bought online, but clients can also commission bespoke versions (from £400 extra) in a specific colour scheme. 07590-019 835; sunbeamjackie.com. CHARLOTTE ABRAHAMS 

Fermob aluminium Luxembourg chairs, £199; armchairs, £245; and low armchairs, £399
Fermob aluminium Luxembourg chairs, £199; armchairs, £245; and low armchairs, £399 | Image: Tim Sackton
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Coolly classic chairs 

The two Luxembourg chairs that sit on the balcony of my Paris apartment are both decidedly chic and supremely comfortable. It is possible to sit upright, recline or even lounge sideways in these aluminium chaises that have been a fixture of Paris’s Jardin du Luxembourg since the 1920s. Originally commissioned by the French senate, the design was tweaked in 1990 by French company Fermob, whose resulting range of aluminium garden furniture by Frédéric Sofia is classic yet coolly contemporary. The Luxembourg chair (£199), armchair (£245) and my favoured low armchair (£399) are produced in 23 colours, from cactus green to shocking pink, and there are now tables, benches and even a rocking chair (£565) too. The only issue Sofia hasn’t resolved is how to extricate oneself from his fabulously low and laidback chair with any elegance. fermob.com. JEAN GROGAN

Gozney’s portable Roccbox oven, £499, can be heated to 500ºC using wood or gas burners
Gozney’s portable Roccbox oven, £499, can be heated to 500ºC using wood or gas burners
Early-20th-century Arras bench, £4,950 from Violet Grey
Early-20th-century Arras bench, £4,950 from Violet Grey

A petite, portable pizza oven

My endlessly practical friend Hamish (builds his own housessails the oceans single-handed, butchers his own meat) excelled himself last summer by knocking up his own outdoor oven that is capable of cooking a pizza to perfection in about 90 seconds. His shrine-like construction made me feel rather inadequate about my lack of oven-building skills – until I discovering a thing called Roccbox (£499). Made by Dorset-based stone-floor-oven specialist Gozney – supplier to the Marriott hotel chain and Richard Branson’s Necker Island – the Roccbox is a brilliant, portable, multi-fuel oven. Supported on three nifty, fold-out legs, it can be heated to a searing 500ºC using a choice of easily interchangeable wood or gas burners – and will cook a deliciously crisp-based pizza from start to finish in a single minute. gozney.com. SIMON DE BURTON

Once Milano macramé-trimmed napkin, €47
Once Milano macramé-trimmed napkin, €47
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Outstanding outdoor antiques

Just as the most interesting interiors combine a well-considered mix of old and new, gardens are becoming ever more storied, decorated with elegant old pieces of furniture. Caryl Tincknell is a dealer and garden-design enthusiast who has zeroed in on beautifully aged garden antiques, which she sources at specialist brocantes and auctions all over Europe, and sells online at Violet Grey Decorative Antiques. From large statement-making statuary to plant stands and peacock chairs, the cache of 19th-century and midcentury-modern finds currently includes a rare, curved early-20th-century bench (£4,950), in its original green paint, by French firm Arras; a pair of substantial 1960s stone planters (£625); and a wonderful 1930s faux-bois carved-concrete seat (£1,600). violetgrey.co.uk. CLARE COULSON 

Laidback table linens

Thanks largely to Instagram, the art of the table has been thoroughly revived over the past few years – and with it comes a whole raft of delicious accessories we never knew we needed. Chief among them are Once Milano’s gorgeous Italian-linen napkins (from €32 for a set of two), placemats (from €35 for a set of two) and tablecloths (from €240), which come in a range of saturated shades – from rich, earthy mustard and moss and forest green through to delicate vintage pink, sage and pale grey. Its new collection of napkins (€47), with a pretty macramé trim, would add elegance to any alfresco lunch or dinner. oncemilano.com. CLARE COULSON

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