The Handbook
The Handbook

You’ve pre-ordered the turkey, the present list is well underway and you’ve already planned your own blindfolded Mulled wine taste test. Now what? It’s time to turn your attention to the table…

There’s something immensely satisfying about setting the table for Christmas. Perhaps some perfectly positioned cutlery and a candelabra make us feel more grown up? Maybe it’s the one thing you can have complete control over – you can’t under cook it, and this year, you definitely can’t over cook it. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s the sheer prettiness of it all.

Whatever the merry reason, make sure you do it a day or two in advance so you can really eek out the sense of pride you feel. If you haven’t achieved much else this year, at the very least, we can aid you on your way to a triumphant table top. 

1. Give The Table a Theme

Decide on a colour theme or trend that works for you. Whether you are a more-is-more maximalist or you prefer a  romantic whimsical feel, whether you love a more modern Scandi look, or have chintzy tendencies – know your style and have the courage to roll with it. This is definitely somewhere you can reflect your personality.

Tablecloth and placemats, from a selection at www.cocoandwolf.com

2. Update Your Tablecloth 

This is definitely not the time of year to pull out the white linen number that you use for every Sunday lunch. Invest in something with a bit more pizazz. Red and green motifs are a firm favourite but a colour coordinated stripe or gingham would be equally as effective. Don’t be afraid to clash patterns and think about balancing the likes of busy florals with textured neutrals and such like.

4. Get The Settings Right 

We all know our cutlery etiquette by now – our salad forks from our dinner forks and so on. Just make sure that you have all the right crockery for all the right courses, and that you abandon any ideas of throw-away napkins and paper cups. Linen is required. This setting from Mrs. Alice features her Red Embroidered Bow placemats which are beautifully decorated with a scalloped edge. Très chic. The bamboo cutlery adds a more natural feel, while the posey of flowers bring the magic.

Mrs. Alice Red Embroidered Bow Placemats (Set of 4), £96 at www.mrsalice.com

4. Set The Ambience 

Scent plays such a big part of Christmas and a winter-scented candle is the perfect way to infuse a little festive spirit to your home and your table tops. Think Mulled wine spices and toasted cinnamon, cloves and tangerines – all those magically nostalgic smells conjuring up feelings of a truly cosy Christmas. We’ve rounded up a few of our favourites below.

5. When You Think It’s Enough, Add More

You’ll need plenty of trimmings for properly festive table tops – the key to any successful look is in the accents and accessories. Besides, this year has been so dire you’ll never have a better excuse to go all out. Keep it all considered, though. If you’re opting for simplicity in terms of crockery, add another focal point like a floral centre piece. Take inspiration from this  imaginative tablescape from Maison Margaux. 

The Burgundy Blackberry Look by Maison Margaux. Shop the look at www.maisonmargauxltd.com

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