There’s so much focus day-to-day on the quest for perfection in work and family life, that when it comes time to kick back and enjoy the holidays, I like to go with the flow a bit. My perfect Christmas table is a combination of formal and casual, combining elegant elements with more rustic pieces.
Whether you’re taking a casual or formal approach, a crisp white linen tablecloth is the perfect base on which to build your festive look.
Then, if you’re going formal look select a single colour palette for your crockery and placemats, and add elegant glassware and statement cutlery. If you’re taking a more casual approach, alternate the colours of your crockery, and select eclectic glassware and cutlery. Or, if you’re looking for casual formality, colour block your dinnerware, but add in timber chargers, platters and accessories.
Then come the finishing touches. I love fresh flowers – generous but low profile posies that don’t interrupt your guest’s sightlines – or fragrant boughs of fir or rosemary for a more traditional centrepiece. Candles (unscented so that they don’t compete with the food you’re serving) and maybe a touch of sparkle in the form of tiny, battery powered, fairy lights you can find in stores like Ikea or Typo.
Keep your day low maintenance by presenting your food on big, help-yourself, platters that complement your theme and colour palette and layermains, sides, nibbles and condiments generously. And don’t forget to check that your serving implements complement your overall look and feel, but that they are also functional.
Much in the way the kitchen is the heart of the home, the dining table is the heart of Christmas so set it up to be a place where people will feel happy and comfortable to hang out all day.