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Dinner party at mine!

Loving my new table setting, what do you think?! Whether you're planning an outdoor party or are preparing to take dinner inside for Autumn, I hope it gives you some inspo.

Our endless summer is showing occasional glimpses of drawing to a close but I’m still determined to eat out for as long as possible. Over the last few months we’ve been using an under-utilised pergola to the side of the house to stay out of the sun for meals – I know, how very Tuscany of us!

The reality is less glamorous than it sounds – it’s just a case of slapping down a table cloth and using the usual dish-washer faded crockery and glasses for the family. For friends it’s a bit different. As usual I’ve been totally lax about having mates over for dinner this summer, even in this amazing weather, but with a few weeks to go before we decamp inside, I decided to for it with some new dinner clobber (it works just as well indoors so I consider this a double value purchase!).

Cue a trip to Rosara, the outdoor furniture and accessories arm of Nicholson’s nursery in North Aston, Oxfordshire (the most beautiful luxe garden centre you’re ever likely to see) to give some style CPR to my dinner settings. If you love gardening, entertaining or just eating (the yurt café here is fantastic), you need to head up and take a look.

Inside Rosara. Mooch away.

Nicholsons as a brand is well respected for garden design/style/perfect plants and the good news is Rosara is really good value – think the quality and pricing of a John Lewis but with a more hand-crafted, original look. There are some fantastic pieces here, like the heavy handled rough finish cutlery and artisan crockery sets while the chair cushions are only £18.50 each and the stripy napkins are £3.45 each.

Oyster large plates £13.95, small plates £11.95. Cutlery set of 16, £150. Red and white table runner £24.95

Everything you see on this table is Rosara, apart from the wine bucket,  champers and candelabra which are mine. (And just to go off road for a second, do you like my chairs?! I painted them the other week as the wood was looking well dodgy and I love the pop of yellow with the deep blue/grey.)

The wine glasses are actually plastic! £5.95 each. The blankets in the background are both £34.95


I love this reclaimed and reconditioned bowl in the foreground, £68.

Distressed mirror, £240


Candle holders, from £3.95

Rosara does have an online presence but mostly for the big furniture items. For the decorative pieces you see here, you’ll have to head up to North Aston. You’ll probably have to, you know, ‘force’ yourself to eat a delicious breakfast of chorizo and poached egg in the yurt café, and take a couple of coffees to rev you up for the day.

Well, you would, wouldn’t you?

You may then have to browse very slowly and deliberately around Rosara before wandering outside to the furniture, shubbery and tree areas, breathing in all that lovely fresh air and partaking in some delicious retail therapy. Poor you, I’m feeling your pain all the way. Invite me over for dinner with all your new goodies and tell me all about it, won’t you?

Rosara at Nicholsons, The Park, North Aston, Bicester OX25 6HL. Tel: 01869 340350. 




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