Our Five Favourite Refectory Tables

Relevant categories: DINING SETS , TABLES


Refectory Table Windsor Chair Kitchen Dining Set

Nothing completes a kitchen quite like a chunky oak refectory table. Growing up as a young boy in Hertfordshire / North London, I always remember the trusty refectory table which took centre stage in the kitchen and indeed the whole house. It was the table we eat around as a family, did school homework on, played cards on, solid chunky and dependable. Perfectly equipped to withstand the vigours of daily family life, I even remember knocking my toy cars against it as a toddler - not even a scratch!

Oak Refectory Table Set William Mary Farmhouse Chairs

We have a whole host of refectory tables on view at our Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom. We can mix and match the refectory tables with various kitchen dining chairs, inculding Windsor chairs, spindlebacks, Mary Tudor chairs, oak ladderback chairs and Tudor dining chairs to name just a few. Whatever you are looking for we can find the perfect dining set to suit your needs and taste. That cosy farmhouse look is such a goood look and we can definitely get you set up perfectly. I always looked at refectory tables as such a good investment, it is the one piece of furniture that perhaps gets the most daily use and these table only increase in value with time as the patina improves from daily use. 

Pint of trappist ale on the refectory table?

Refectory tables were originally used for dining in monasteries in Europe in the Middle Ages. Then it progressed and would become the banqueting table in castles, abbeys or other large residences. Indeed, the word refectory means dining room in a monastery, boarding school or academic institution.  Typically they are hand crafted from oak and designed on the trestle style table with a low stretcher hugging the floor and solid, cylindrical legs. Refectory tables were common in Germany, England, Spain, France and Italy and have since gone on to becoming an enduring design classic. 

Here are our five favourite refectory tables we currently have for sale:

1. Large French Farmhouse Refectory Oak Table 

Large French Farmhouse Refectory Oak Table

What is not to like about this gorgeous piece of farmhouse dining art? To add extra panache the table is also French and very big. Eight to ten people can sit around this solid table in total comfort. I love the chunky, bulbous hand carved legs with leaf motifs. So strong, this could take the weight of 4 elephants. I imagine a set of barley twist oak chairs going around this.

2. Extending Oak Refectory Table 

Extending Oak Refectory Table Farmhouse

This one is a favourite as it extends - so perfect for your dinner party needs. You can add extra lenght to the table via the pull out slats / leaf at either end of the table. Very practical for the more sociable of our customers. I think a set of oak Windsor chairs would look simply fabulous around this stand out kitchen diner.

3. Oak Dining Table Kitchen Farmhouse Refectory Tables

Oak Dining Table Kitchen Farmhouse Refectory Tables

This table is super stylish - love the bulbous legs and the wide stretcher. Again very comfortable to sit at and the grain of the wood is amazing. Trappist monks may have sat at this back in the day, now it is the setting for the breakfast of champions. Slighlty ligher coloured hue to the grain so I visualise a set of oak ladderback chairs around this piece.

4. Refectory Farmhouse Dining Table Kitchen Diner Cherry

Refectory Farmhouse Dining Table Kitchen Diner Cherry

I chose this one for two reasons. One, it is in cherry wood which makes a refreshing change from oak. Two, it is slightly smaller which makes it perfectly suited to smaller living spaces - not everyone has a castle, chateau or McMansion to flounce around in. Love the elegantly tapered legs - quite refined. As such I would like a set of spindlebacks around this if it was in my house.

5. Barley Twist Oak Refectory Table

Oak Refectory Table Barley Twist Legs Tables

I chose this one as I simply love the barley twist legs. Hand carved, they are a perfect design for country living with their echoes of harvest and the countryside. Again, a very solid and sturdy table that is comfortable to sit at. I can just smell the oak of the wood, like an aged casket of barrel whisky. I have shown this with a set of barley twist tables around it as they again work so well. In this case our in house restorer polished up the chairs to perfectly match the colour grain to the table so it looks perfect.

Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom

Please come in and visit us at our Canonbury Antiques Hertfordshire showroom - just 25 minutes north of London. Conveniently located just where the A1 meets the M25 in leafy Hertfordshire. We are a family business and have been operating since 1964. We specialise in art deco furniture, classic English dining furniture, architectural antiques, bronzes, porcelain, continental antiques and all things interiors. We have a whole host of oak dining chairs suitable to match our range of refectory tables, including ladderback chairs, spindlebacks and Windsor chairs.

Please enjoy our Guide To Refectory Tables here >>


Here's some photos of our refectory tables with various dining chairs around them - come in to our showroom and see which set up works best for you, nothing beats trying these chairs out for size and comfort.

English Oak Refectory Table Set William Mary Farmhouse Chairs


Oak Kitchen Dining Set Ladderback Chairs

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