5 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Place for your Outdoor Dining Table

Today, toddler and I went on a bus ride to the local indoor play barn. I’m not quite sure which bit for him was the most exciting.

Maybe it was the play barn (which is his second favorite thing in the world),

or the bus journey (which is his favorite thing in the world)…

but today I think all things might have been outdone by the excitement of sitting on a bench at the bus stop for 20 minutes watching the traffic go past.

This may seem like a bore to a grown-up but to a three year old it is an exciting time.

You start by climbing on the bench and then jumping up and down and crawling along it. You investigate underneath it and then make faces in the bus shelter’s plastic windows. You chase a bird from the grass next to you and wave at all the passing cars.

Occasionally, you let out a high-pitched air-raid siren style squeal of delight which involves one of the following three words…


“Garbage Lorry…”


How does anything compete with this kind of excitement???

One of his favorite places to sit is on a bench outside a sandwich shop on the main road. There are sooooo many buses going past. And while he gets more and more vocal and bouncy, I| sip my coffee and pretend I’m somewhere exotic…

The thing is, I find his perfect choice of bench location absolutely, totally and thoroughly boring. I would prefer somewhere peaceful, with a pretty view, sunshine and … relax. Which to a hyper-active three year old would be absolutely, totally and thoroughly – you get the picture.

So, when it comes to siting your outdoor dining table set, it is worth thinking about who will use it and what for. One person’s idea of heaven is another person’s idea of hell!

Is it a place for mum to relax in an evening, to catch the days sun or for little ones to use as a castle?

Here is my 5 Step Guide to Finding the Perfect Place for your Outdoor Dining

1. Before you invest in a big, expensive and heavy dining table set, and build that purpose made patio area on which to put it, get yourself the cheapest and lightest table set that is easy to move around.

2. Decide on a location you think you like. For example, in a sunny position and looking at the view across the garden (if you have no view then click here for a clever alternative…)

3. Put the table at the place you have chosen and use it for a couple of days and see if it works for you all – I know, I know, but we ought to consider the rest of the family, surely??? Decide if it is too far from the house, too sunny, too windy or more technically… does it ‘feel’ right?

4. Try a couple of other places around the garden to see if they are any better and then decide on the one which works best.

5. Set up the table at the chosen point and move it around a bit until you are sure you are happy.

That’s the difficult bit over.

Now all you need to do is…

Design the patio / terrace and lighting / electric supplies.

Add the area for outdoor cooking and fire-pit / heating.

Get it all constructed.

Landscape the area.

Choose your outdoor dining table set.

And enjoy…


I’m now off to amuse the little one by finding another road-side bench. Oh joy!

Bye for now


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