Southwold collection faqs

Southwold collection faqs

Rest assured we have thought of everything...
About the furniture

Here in our Suffolk workshops, handmade by skilled technicians that carefully guide each piece through the 5 stages of production that results in superior quality garden furniture.

Carefully selected sections of steel.  Strong thicknesses for legs/arms/framework for strength and rigidity; smaller thicknesses for the seat bases to bring spring and comfort, even without a cushion. 

No, as each piece is hot dipped in a bath of molten zinc which envelops the steel in a blanket of rust protection.  Each piece of furniture is therefore extremely tough and durable.

Each piece of furniture is chemically etched by hand after the galvanising process to leave a beautiful antique finish which is aged before being delivered to customers. 

All pieces are covered by a 25 year structural guarantee.  Due to the level of quality of manufacture and materials, coupled with the timeless style, the collection can be considered as heirloom pieces that will last for generations. 

Each piece of furniture is handmade and finished. The joy of these 'hand' processes means that every piece has its own character that evolves with age. Colours can vary from light to dark grey with occasional subtle mottled reddish areas. The characteristic aged look is caused by white dusty oxides/carbonates that form over a dark grey base colour. Please note that furniture will also look considerably darker if wet, but once dry will return to normal.


The finish is always varied, it is not a paint and is not intended to be completely uniform. Like knots in wood, you will find smooth bumps and ridges that form as a result of the molten zinc bath in which all pieces are immersed to inhibit the steel rusting. This is a characteristic of the dip process and can be found on all our etched pieces.

Absolutely, the lightest pieces in the collection are the chairs which at a minimum weight of 14kg are robust enough to withstand the very strongest of winds without even moving an inch.   

If you live very close to the sea, please be aware that a salt laden atmosphere can greatly accelerate corrosion, so we recommend washing in fresh water periodically. If at any point significant red iron oxide staining becomes apparent, please contact us or call 0333 400 6400.  Please note that the white zinc oxides/carbonates that develop are not harmful to the skin. Zinc oxide is used in wide range of cosmetics and personal care products.

Care needs to be taken when moving furniture as it may mark certain floor surfaces if dragged across. If in doubt test furniture in an inconspicuous area first and take steps such as protective feet or covering to protect surfaces. Note Harrod Horticultural Ltd accept no liability for damage caused to floor surfaces as a result of our furniture being used. There are various Feet Pads and Furniture Glides on the market that have been shown to be effective on a range of surfaces, but this is only a limited recommendation and carries no form of warranty or guarantee.

They do indeed, that includes the carver chairs (with arm rests) and side chairs (no arms rests).

If surface is not level corrections can be made with small pieces of roofing slate or suitable timber or plastic packing wedges. Once in position, the tables don’t tend to be moved too often.

Our seats and benches have been designed to be comfortable without the need for cushions, however they are available to buy separately.

Yes, 3m wind up parasols can be bought separately and fit through the 65mm hole in dining room and bistro tables.

Southwold Collection FAQs
RHS Chelsea Flower Show

We regularly exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show, taking great pride in bringing inspiration to the thousands of visitors.

It’s one of our favourite weeks in the calendar where we have the wonderful opportunity to showcase the Southwold Collection and of course meet our customers and discuss their garden plans. It gives our customers a chance to appreciate the timeless look and experience the comfort of our furniture collection first hand.

  • We can arrange for a chair to be viewed at your home when delivering to customers in your area. Please contact us at or call 0333 400 6400.
  • You can book an appointment at our factory showroom in Lowestoft, Suffolk Book a Showroom Visit
  • We exhibit at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show each year during the month of May
  • Some pieces are displayed at RHS Wisley in the New Trials Garden
  • A number of retail centres across the UK display parts of the collection too. Find out the nearest one to you We recommend calling before travelling to find out which pieces remain on display. Where to see the Southwold Collection

Yes, we can arrange for a material sample to be sent directly to you which gives a sense of the finish and the grade of material.  Please contact us at or call 0333 400 6400.

No, unfortunately this is not something we are currently able to offer.

No customer assembly is required at all.  All dining table sets are delivered on Harrod transport with a 2 man service to lift the set into position after the table legs are secured to the table top by the delivery team.  Bistro, Coffee and Casual furniture sets may also be delivered on Harrod Transport with a 2 man service but depending on delivery schedules they may be delivered on a commercial pallet service with kerbside drop off (no assembly required).  For more details see here.

Typically 3-4 weeks for table set orders and 2 weeks for benches but this can vary either way so for the very latest click here <link>

Furniture & cushion care

We haven’t yet had to return a table back to our factory due to food staining. We have always managed to rectify in situ. All food/drink-based stains should be treated the same in terms of cleaning as described below.

Please note: cleaning needs to be carried out in dry weather so that the surface in question can be properly inspected.

Please Note: all stains will degrade in sunlight (UV radiation) as the organic compounds break down. Cleaning needs to be carried out in dry weather so that the surface in question can be properly inspected. 

To remove table stains follow the instructions below:


  • washing-up liquid
  • clean microfibre cloths
  • soft sponge for agitating surface
  • hot water from the kettle 

Table and weather must be completely dry so that the effect of the cleaning can be clearly seen. Also, the for best results the outside temperature needs to be >10°C, otherwise oils will not lift easily into the microfibre cloth 

The following outlines how to remove a table stain such as oil, red wine, coffee, sauces etc...

Step 1 - Apply undiluted washing up liquid to stain

Step 2 - Work washing up liquid into stain in a circular motion with soft sponge

Step 3 - Place microfibre cloth over stain as shown and thoroughly soak the cloth with just boiled water. Leave cloth in place for 15 minutes to let the heat and detergent carry the oil into the cloth.

Step 4 - Remove Microfibre Cloth and thoroughly rinse the area. Mop up any excess water and leave to dry naturally. Repeat process if stain persists. 

Alternative Stain Removal Option

If the above the process doesn't work another alternative is to apply 'Brake and Clutch Cleaner (e.g. Holts Professional Brake Cleaner). Spray the brake cleaner on to a clean cloth and then apply to stain. The cloth will absorb the stain as it releases from the surface. Do not use anything aggressively abrasive such as a scouring pad to repeatedly rub at stains.  Again several applications may be needed. Always follow the cleaning product’s safety instructions.

Acidic spills (such as vinegar) or those with tannins (such as red wine, balsamic vinegar) may be harder to shift and therefore require more cleaning cycles especially if they have been left on the surface of the table for a length of time. 

Surface marks and scratches that occur in use add to the character of each piece. Rest assured that the furniture is strong and sturdy - it is absolutely intended to have variation and weather with age, quite the opposite from mass produced painted products that we are all used to!  If a bright scratch appears it will fade back with time, it is an intrinsic quality of the zinc finish that means it will effectively 'self-heal'.


To clean your furniture, use mild detergent, hot water and a nylon scrubbing brush. The furniture can be left outside all year long in all weathers. DO NOT use acid-based cleaners such as oven cleaner this may dissolve the zinc coating and cause the steel to rust.

We recommend that pressure washing the furniture is avoided because it may mark the aged patina.  Instead use a mild detergent, hot water and a nylon scrubbing brush.  

Not at all.  One of the many advantages of the collection is that the nature of the patination ensures the surface will improve as it weathers. It means you can enjoy seeing your stylish furniture all year round. Obviously furniture should ideally be situated away from any overhanging trees that are known to drop sticky sap or where birds roost to avoid unsightly fouling.

The cushions are not machine washable and should be cleaned as required with warm soapy water and a soft sponge or brush.  Note that inner fillings/stuffing are not designed to be removed from the cushion.

The cushions are designed for outside use and have a free draining stuffing.  If they become wet allow to dry in a warm ventilated area.

We recommend storing inside away from damp when the furniture is not being used especially during the winter months.

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