While we Brits have a reputation for being prepared to picnic in almost all weathers, we don’t actually live, eat and lounge about outdoors with as much panache as the Scandinavians. That’s just possibly because we don’t have the right props, which is where Röshults comes in. The Swedish company, whose wares are available in the UK for the first time this year, is named after a fire basket designed by the father of one of the founders. It works with a host of designers to create a complete range of products for outdoor living, all of which, crucially, can be left outdoors all year round.
The aesthetic revolves around lots of sleek graphic lines, black and steel. There are six different barbecues (from about £3,435), a garden trolley (£1,250), a sink (£2,680, water is connected to existing outdoor sources but permanent drainage can be installed; all first picture), and lots of storage units (from £1,980) for logs, towels, outdoor shoes and so on. There is also furniture, from sofas (from £2,900) and armchairs (£1,850) upholstered in waterproof taupe and pale grey fabrics, to slatted-wood and anthracite benches (£2,470) and chairs (£1,100). But perhaps of most interest is the vast range of really attractive accessories: iron fire baskets (£320 and £190, second picture), tall pared-back candlesticks (from £60) and sleek grey anthracite planters (£430).
Also from Scandinavia is Cane-Line, a Danish manufacturer of elegant outdoor furniture in chic charcoal, coffee or white. Its Conic and Diamond collections come in two fabrics – either the practical Tex (Conic sunbed, from £2,299; Diamond lounge chair, from £1,159), a versatile coated polyester, or SoftTouch (Conic lounge chair, from £1,570, second picture, and chaise, from £2,598), which has the same resilience as Tex but is more like the sort of fabric you’d find indoors.
Finally, British brand Gloster has new designs in its Maze collection, which though slightly more traditional are nevertheless very attractive. Designer Povl Eskildsen has used buffed teak combined with seats and chair backs made from coffee-coloured soft, woven polypropylene straps or black PVC-coated polyester rope. Nicest in my view are the ottomans (£303 with a strap seat; £503 with rope) and dining chairs (£511 with strap seats and backs, third picture; £775 with rope).