10 Top Tips to Style Your Christmas Table
Whilst there are hundreds of recipes for stuffings, roast potatoes and mouth-watering turkey, it’s getting ALL the details right that really makes a difference on Christmas Day. So whether you’re hosting your hard-to-please mother-in-law, a huge hungry crowd or simply snuggling down for dinner a deux, we’ve put together a guide on how to host a show-stopping and super stylish Christmas.
If you don’t know your dessert spoon from your tea spoon or if just the mere thought of selecting the correct wine glass makes you want to hit the bottle, then let master event manager, the incomparable Amaury Girardeau from At Home Catering, take you through his ten top tips for creating a table that will be a feast for the senses…
1. Napkins – less is best so simply roll in a tube and put something decorative on top. You’d never see tightly folded napkins in the top restaurants because the more you handle your napkin, the more creased it becomes.
2. Charger Plates – always need to be bigger than the other plates that will go on top.
3. Cutlery – this needs to be well polished so set someone to work to get everything shining.
4. Declutter – if you’re having three courses or more, set your table with cutlery for the starter and main course only.
5. Outside In – when you’re setting your cutlery, the first pieces to be used are on the outside and then you work inwards.
6. Alignment – line all your cutlery up so that the bottoms of all the forks, knives and spoons are at the same level.
7. Glasses – these go on the right hand side, above the knives. They can be arranged in a line or like a bunch of grapes but keep the tall glasses at the back and the small ones at the front.
8. Chairs – these only touch the tablecloth, they’re never pushed under the table because this ruins the look and all your hard work.
9. Decorations – table decorations should be low so as not to obstruct anyone’s view. Candles create a really warm and intimate atmosphere, especially in the evening.
10. L’art de la table– every setting should be identical to the next so wherever your guests sit, they’ll enjoy the same beautiful dining experience.
“Christmas is definitely one of the times in the year when we all have the excuse to indulge and create something special and setting a beautiful table for everyone to gather around is a real festive treat,” says Laura Caudery, Director of Fetcham Park. “I spend my working life surrounded by stunning table settings at the weddings we host at Fetcham Park and when it comes to dressing my own table, I always turn to Amaury from At Home for advice.”
“It’s also a real festive treat to fill your house with flowers at Christmas and Paula’s are always so vibrant,” continues Laura. “The seasonal reds and greens with splashes of glorious golds and coppers would be true scene-stealers at any gathering. Christmas gives us an opportunity to indulge and the lunch is a couple of hours of time at the table with those we love, not a hurried fifteen-minute working day meal. You can be as elaborate as you like and it’s a time to bring out the napkins, buff the cutlery, bedeck the table with flowers and sit down for a real feast.”
All images courtesy of Eddie Judd Photography