Posted on June 07, 2017
There’s laughter in the air, the wine is flowing and the smell of delicious food sizzling on the barbecue fills the air. Inside, the kitchen offers welcome protection for the salads and cakes, whilst people continually come and go, filling their plates and topping up their drinks.
With the forecast set fair, it should be possible to prolong the occasion well into the evening.
On the basis you have a sufficiently large patio or covered area overlooking the back garden, why would you want to pass up an opportunity like this, to eat and entertain al fresco?
But there could be one sticking point – and it isn’t weather related. It’s all to do with your existing garden furniture, either its lack or limitations. Perhaps it’s showing wear and tear, or isn’t sufficiently large enough to cater for more than four people at a time. Not ideal when you’ve got eight or more hungry mouths to feed.
We have an obvious solution to brighten up the fast approaching summer which will make indoor and outdoor dining as interchangeable as you’d like it to be. Invest in a sturdy farmhouse table - in particular, an antique French farmhouse table.
Indeed, genuine antique French farmhouse tables, or farm tables, have never been more in vogue throughout Britain. We Brits love them – with each piece of furniture providing a unique and fascinating slice of Gallic history.
First and foremost, the beauty of these magnificent tables is that they are incredibly robust and versatile.
They can create the perfect centrepiece for any suitably spacious dining room, country-style kitchen, garden room, or even conservatory. Or why not slide open your bi-fold doors and bring the outside in? Whatever the occasion, formal or informal, these wonderfully versatile tables will guarantee a warm and inviting welcome.
Elegance, Charm and a Sense of History
Typically dating from the 1800-1840 period, antique French farmhouse tables (including refectory tables) were constructed in a selection of woods – such as cherry, oak, walnut, French elm, ash, beech and chestnut – and designed in a variety of rectangular and oval sizes to add to their appeal and functionality. In many instances, additional detailing such as shaped legs or drawers provided further reminders of the intricate craftsmanship that went into the building of each individual piece.
The result - timeless, elegant and practical furniture, easily capable of performing a leading role at the heart of the home, that can simultaneously serve as an interesting topic of conversation in its own right.
You never know – you may just be sitting at the very table at which Napoleon once dined! Wouldn’t that be something!
But here’s what adds to their allure. Because they can look fabulous if matched with modern or traditional seating, antique French farmhouse tables can appear equally at home in a stunning modern London apartment just as much as when adorning an English country estate.
Furthermore, when we say “invest”, we mean it. A timeless antique French farmhouse table needn’t cost a fortune, will give you years and years of usage and almost certainly hold or increase its value.
Care and attention you’d expect from the UK’s leading suppliers
At Antique Tables and Country Furniture, we are proud to be the UK’s largest supplier of French farmhouse tables. As enthusiasts of the genre, we travel far and wide servicing our nationwide customer base and our extensive showroom just outside Petworth in West Sussex is constantly evolving with stock. So wherever you live across the country, we can source the product and deliver direct to your door
But let’s make it clear - we don’t make these tables. That would be impossible! They are all original items dating predominantly from the first half of the 19th century, as previously mentioned. What we do, is, where necessary we ensure that every piece we come across is lovingly restored to an exceptional standard by our dedicated and skilled team of craftsmen.
Each farmhouse table we uncover will vary in condition, often showing an element of neglect after years of storage. But since we are passionate about giving every one of these magnificent pieces a new lease of life, this is just the sort of challenge we like!
The essence of antique restoration is to retain the original character of the table, so we would almost certainly undertake an element of cleaning and waxing, returning the original patination, using traditional materials and methods.
If we haven’t got in stock exactly the French farmhouse table you are looking for, don’t worry. With our extensive reach across Europe, no one is better placed to track down the right piece to suit your requirements.
Practical yet Durable
We are often asked whether traditional antique French farmhouse tables will mark or stain. Will they stand up to the rigours of a big family get together or celebratory dinner party?
The answer is that these hardy wood surfaces have served their time admirably! After all, they’ve endured for around 200 years. So they should comfortably withstand hot plates and cups. But if you do happen to spill water, or worse still, red wine, fizzy drinks or a steaming cup of coffee, then wiping with a cloth should do the trick. In really extreme situations, call our restoration team for help.
In any event, a gentle waxing every six months or so is always to be recommended. Be assured, we can offer all the help and advice you need regarding on-going upkeep.
Does size matter? Only in so much as we will always aim to match your antique farmhouse table to the space you have available.
They can vary tremendously. For this reason, we always aim to have a varied supply of rectangular and oval French farmhouse tables in stock, which can typically seat anything from 4 to 12 or more people.
If space permits, you might well consider a matching dresser to add a further touch of rustic charm to the room.
A warm welcome awaits at our West Sussex showroom
With each piece having its own unique feel and appearance, where possible, we’d always recommend you visit our showroom before purchasing. That said, clients do regularly order online without prior sight and are invariably delighted with their choice. But nothing beats seeing the finished article in the flesh!
So with summer on the doorstep, now could be the perfect time to introduce a lovely antique French farmhouse table to your property. One thing’s for sure - whichever piece you select, large or small, it’ll certainly make a statement.
It’s time to get that barbecue going….