A garden bar is a big help in organising all the necessities of comfortable drinks on the patio or in the garden, without mishap. Or very much mishap, at least.

Having a drink on the patio or in the garden

Today is one of several ‘drink beer’ days which are scattered throughout the year. I don’t know about you, but beer drinkers I know seem not to need a special day to imbibe.

So this is about ‘drink something on the patio or in the garden’ day. Beer, smoothies, wine, water, cider, soft drinks, cocktails, fruit juice – you name it.

But whatever your chosen outdoor tipple, you do need a bar to organise all the bits and pieces:

  • glasses
  • bottles
  • slices of lemon
  • ice cubes
  • bottle opener(s)
  • corkscrew(s)
  • Angostura bitters
  • Nutribullet
  • bags of kale and so on and so forth.

At its most minimalist, the bar is a counter. From here, it moves via stools and foot rail, beer pump and optics to a much more complicated and elaborate structure.

You could commission a designer to build a garden bar for you. You could buy a wooden garden bar kit. Or you could make something yourself – simple and stylish, which suits your taste and your needs, and which can be used all the year round.

Great garden bar ideas

Upcycle a piece of furniture

This could be something like a desk or potting bench but I'd recommend you keep it out of the worst of the weather so the joints don't give way.

Or it could be a door.

Upcycled door as garden bar

Upcycled door as garden bar

Just shelves

Simply take some sturdy stepladders (you do need steps both sides, though, which could be tricky to find) and add shelves.

Stepladders as garden bar

Stepladders as garden bar

The very popular compact bar on the wall

This is great for places with limited space and storage areas. It’s at a convenient height and it folds out of the way when not in use.

Barb and Tom walk you through how to make one of these. Polyurethene paint will help to keep it waterproof.

Garden bar on the wall

Garden bar on the wall

The trolley or cart

For a vintage look, original 20th century gilt tea trolleys with removable trays can be found for a song in charity shops. They are surprisingly robust – ours has done service inside and out for at least eight years.

Or have a look at Nancy’s bar cart made from pipes and wood, 21st century and robust.

The table

This could be:

  • a big tray on blocks
  • an old door (suitably cleaned, sanded and varnished) on some old barrels or brick stands or straw bales
  • pressure-treated wood on breeze blocks
  • other wood on brick piers, with a tiled top of your design.

N.B. It might be safer to mortar the supports in place.

Tray on blocks as garden bar

Tray on blocks as garden bar

And to complete your bar ...

... you’ll need seats of some kind, and perhaps a table.

Single rattan chairs for the public bar and comfortable rattan chairs and tables for the saloon bar?

Now you’re set for relaxation and enjoyment.