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Blue, pink, light purple, and green dining chairs around glass topped dining table

Top Tips for Stunning Summer Dining Experiences

Blue, pink, light purple, and green dining chairs around glass topped dining table

Summer’s here and that means delightful dishes of blush tomatoes, fresh herbs, and spiced sauces are not far behind. Hosting the perfect dinner party, however, begins with the perfect dining set. From eclectic designs to summery table arrangements, creating a social and stylish hub in your home is the key ingredient to entertaining friends and family this season.

So, for some seriously stylish summer dining inspiration, indulge yourself in our top tips for hosting the perfect brunch, lunch, and dinner. We’ve even teamed up with Social Pantry – a creative, passionate and socially responsible catering team, led by founder Alex Head – to bring you a curation of delicious, healthy recipes that can be shared and enjoyed with your loved ones this summer.

 

Eclectic seating

Dark wooden table with dark wood bench on one side and 3 white dining chairs on the other

To create a sociable hub, whether that be in the kitchen or dining room, try using an array of seating styles including a mixture of dining chairs and benches. Perfect for squeezing in more bums, a bench encourages a lively and convivial atmosphere and is ideal for making your space feel less cluttered. For a little extra padding, why not try our sophisticated Buttons bench? Elegant and available in a range of colours, our Buttons bench is the perfect pair for our Sinclair dining chair. Complete the set with our Kingsley dining table – sit back, relax, and prepare for an evening of games and giggles.

 

Gather around

curved electric blue dining chairs around white round table

Have you ever gone to a dinner party only to realise that you’ve only spoken to one half of the table? Well, we have just the solution to all your conversational needs! Round tables, such as our Randolph, encourage a more inclusive dining experience, making it much easier for you to bond over bruschetta. Style with our curved Margaux dining chairs for a sleek, Art Deco look and enjoy your meal in decadence and comfort.

 

Mismatch colours

Blue, pink, light purple, and green dining chairs around glass topped dining table

Add personality and flair to your dining space by incorporating unexpected colour pairings in your seating arrangement. By selecting a single style of chair, such as our Arabella dining chair, in different shades or contrasting colours you are still able to retain a sense of symmetry and harmony around your table, whilst injecting some energy and fun into the space. Whether you desire a more understated, light colour palette or bold, striking colours, mismatched hues are a fabulous way to elevate your dining experience and make you the hostess with the mostess.

 

Artistic arrangements

table arrangement including rattan placemats, grey napkins, grey tablecloth, wildflowers, and candles

Treat your guests (and yourself!) to a beautifully designed table arrangement like @viviennecutler. Rattan placemats, dove grey napkins and the ultimate comfort of our Darcy dining chair are perfect for fashioning a stunning, rustic table decoration. Finish the final look with the fragrant scents of wildflowers and an assortment of candles and get the feeling of summertime skies and fresh fields – whatever the weather!

 

Social Pantry’s tastes of summer

Grilled Avocado Salad 

(Serves 6)

A great, light and fresh recipe that’s quick and easy to make. It’s the perfect accompaniment to lunch, dinners or even BBQ’s this summer. 

Ingredients

3 avocados

18 baby carrots (orange & purple) – keep whole

3 broccoli stalks, chopped

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

540g wild rice

Maldon sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Serve with a Tahini dressing

Method

Cut the avocados into quarters removing the skins and then lightly grill them on a griddle to get the grilled look.

Toss the carrots in olive oil, salt, and pepper and then roast the whole baby carrots in the oven for about 30 minutes on 200°c or until they’re cooked through.

Boil or steam the broccoli stalks for 3-5 minutes until tender.

Halve the cherry tomatoes and then roast them in the oven for 8-10 minutes at 200°c or until they’re cooked through.

Whilst the vegetables are roasting, cook the rice according to packet instructions.

Once everything is cooked let it all cool and then mix the carrots, rice, tomatoes and broccoli stalks, lastly place the avocado slices on top and drizzle over the tahini dressing.

Balmy summer evenings or relaxing lunch time dining calls for something light and fresh to eat, so don’t feel the need to prepare lavish dishes and slave over the stove!

Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

50g tahini

3 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp water

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic gloves, crushed

Maldon sea salt, to taste

Cracked black pepper, to taste

Method

Blend all of the ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste and serve.

Rattan placemats make for a beautiful, rustic table arrangement, creating a chic and summery feel with little effort

Tri Colour Tomato Salad 

This beautiful salad is the perfect BBQ accompaniment, light summer lunch or go-to picnic recipe. It is delicious, pops with colour and super quick to make. It is a summer staple and always a winner with guests.

Ingredients

2 beef tomatoes
3 yellow tomatoes
3 green tomatoes
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
100g feta
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp chopped mint
1 bunch of basil (torn)
Drizzle of good quality olive oil

Method

 Chop, slice and dice the tomatoes. I love cutting them all differently to create added texture to the salad.
Mix the tomatoes with the crumbled feta, chopped mint, torn basil and seeds.
Serve on a gorgeous serving platter with a drizzle of oil or chimichurri (recipe below).

Our Sinclair dining chairs in vibrant cotton matt velvet provide a vibrant seating solution for any dinner party

Herb Stem Chimichurri

If like us, you always wonder what to do with your leftover herb stems, this recipe is the perfect way to use them. It is very rustic so the measurements below are only a guide, feel free to freestyle!

Ingredients

30g leftover herb stalks

½ pack of coriander

½ pack of parsley 

8 mint leaves

1 small red onion

2 small red chilli’s

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

5 tbsp olive oil

Maldon sea salt

Cracked black pepper

Method

Finely chop the stalks and herbs, chilli and onion.

Mix all the ingredients together and add in the oil and vinegar.

Season to taste.

 

Curved tables are perfect for sharing dishes and sparking conversation right through to the evening!

 

Broccoli Rice Salad

There are a few ways you can make broccoli rice, one is to chop it, the other, which I prefer is to blitz it in a food processor. You can enjoy it raw or cooked, if I cook the rice I normally saute it until it is bright green; you could also stir-fry or steam it.

A lemon dressing works perfectly with this salad, keeping it fresh and light. You can add in any leftover vegetables you may have, tomatoes, spring onion or avocado work as a perfect addition.  

 

Ingredients

1 broccoli, head and stem

50g almonds, toasted and roughly chopped

½ bunch parsley, chopped

½ bunch mint, chopped

½ bunch coriander, chopped

1 lemon, zested

Maldon sea salt

Freshly cracked pepper

Method

Cut the broccoli head into florets and the stem into small pieces and blitz in a food processor in batches until it starts to look like rice.

In a large bowl, add the chopped herbs, nuts, lemon zest and broccoli.

Mix thoroughly and season to taste.

Serve on a large sharing platter and sprinkle with any extra nuts and herbs.

Enjoy! 

Social Pantry specialise in providing delicious, well-sourced and seasonal menus from a eclectic collection of locations across London, as well as providing mouth-watering menus for private functions and supporting and assisting with Bad Boys Bakery, a successful and inspirational initiative set up inside H.M Prison Brixton by Gordon Ramsey in 2012. To find out more about Social Pantry, the work they do, or discover more of their recipes, you can visit them at: https://socialpantry.co.uk/

If you wish to host your own event, take a look at the full dining collection available from sofa.com to make your guests feel at home: Dining Collection 

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