With summer holidays looming, bringing with them lots of outdoor living and eating, I thought I’d round up the best and brightest tableware for al fresco meals.  Whether you’re planning barbeques in the garden or dinner on the balcony at home, picnics at the park or beach, or camping in the countryside, this colourful outdoor tableware will make summer eating relaxed, easy and fun. Everything is (pretty much) unbreakable and will last through the summer and for many years to come.

Sumer Brights colourful melamine picnicware by Graham and GreenThe Summer Brights Melamine Collection from Graham Green includes stackable tumblers and bowls that will take you from beach to park and back home again all summer long.

Kartell Jellies Family Plastic Tableware for outdoor diningAbove: Jellies Family Tableware comes in soft shades of green, blue and pink plus clear ‘crystal’ and below: elegant, Japan-inspired Trama  pitcher and glasses designed by Patricia Urquiola.  All are made from durable transparent thermoplastic technopolymer (very posh plastic) by Kartell.

Kartell Trama Plastic Glasses and Pitchers for outdoor dining
SEt of 3 Green and white Orla Kiely patterned lidded melamine picnic boxesAbove, colourful pattern from ‘Queen of Prints’ Orla Kiely who has applied her signature designs to a range of picnicware and outdoor tableware. We love this fabulously practical set of three lidded storage/serving Melamine Bowls.

colourful bamboo melamine picnicware by Vera x AnthropologieExclusively at Anthropologie are these timeless designs by the late Vera Neumann – American art phenomenon, textile designer, and entrepreneur.  Known simply as Vera, and famous for her bold color palettes and eye-catching prints, she took the ’60s art, fashion, and home decor world by storm. Producing one print each day of her life, Vera created thousands of artworks and her iconic brand pioneered a cross-licensing empire to make her art affordable and accessible to all. Those wonderful pink and orange plaid bamboo/melamine picnic plates are definitely catching my eye!

Design Letters melamine cups and plates - contemporary picnicware

Scandi design lovers will love these stylish ‘Design Letters’ melamine cups and plates from Nordic Nest. Designed by renowned Danish architect Arne Jacobsen back in1937, this iconic typography was repurposed by his grandson Tobias Jacobsen in 2013 to create this stylish tableware. Serving bowls and childrens cutlery is also available in the same range.

Ekobo colourful bamboo bento boxesHardwearing melamine has been in abundance so far, but other materials are perfect for outdoor tableware too.  Ekobo, above and below, produce a range of tableware and serveware made from eco-friendly bamboo in clean modern shapes and colours.

Ekobo colourful bamboo picnic set of picnic cups and plates in grey and yellowRed Falcon enamelware teapot


Grey enamel mug with dark grey rimss14falc179000116-medbeigeEnamel coffee pots and mugs conjure up images of the wild west and cowboys around the campfire, but Falcon is a great British brand that’s been making its iconic enamelware since 1920 and is still going strong.  Their teapot, mug and mini tumbler come in white, grey or red plus some lovely limited editions colours.

Emily Brooks colourful nested storage boxes for picnics and leftoversHow stylish are these brilliant retro-inspired illustrations by Emily Brooks? This set of nested snack boxes is ideal for picnics and pretty enough to bring to the dinner table too.

Mepal Large Bento Lunch Box in Nordic Blue from John Lewis & PartnersFinally, this large Mepal Bento Lunch Box is super-versatile.  Sections keep food separate, you can remove the inner Bento box to store larger items, plus theres an extra lidded box and fork included for on the go meals. Made in the Netherlands from 100% BPA-free plastic, it’s dishwasher and microwave safe and comes in Nordic Blue or Pink.

Wherever you’re eating them, we hope you enjoy your alfreso feasts this summer.  Food eaten in lovely surroundings in the fresh air in good company is one of life’s great pleasures, and we wish you many memorable meals  – on colourful, beautiful tableware, of course.

More outdoor living inspiration

Colourful garden furniture for contemporary outdoor spaces

6 of the best bistro sets for small spaces

Contemporary & colourful outdoor furniture from MADE

6 of the best garden benches for small outdoor spaces

Top 10 contemporary sun loungers

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