Set the scene
The first rule in creating a beautiful table setting is choosing a theme and sticking to it. Whether it’s red and white candy canes, a Scandi winter wonderland or an Aussie theme with natural materials and eucalyptus sprigs, choose your direction and resist temptation to add bits and pieces that will interfere with the overall look and feel. If you are not sure where to start, a crisp, white tablecloth is the perfect canvas to build upon. The most important part here is that you let your imagination run wild and have fun creating a special place for your guests.
You have your canvas and fantastic idea, now it’s time to put it together. Decide whether you want one prominent decoration as a centrepiece or if you prefer smaller creations along the table. Candles and foliage are always lovely – just be sure that they don’t stand too tall, to allow everyone to see each other across the table. Christmas baubles, sprinkles of gold or silver and even lolly jars look great scattered here and there. Shop around to find some serviettes that will work beautifully with your theme and remember that no Christmas table is complete without bonbons so, as with the serviettes, find ones that will complement your setting.
A bit on the side
With the table piled high with decorations, food and countless hands reaching for one thing or another, there never seems to be enough room for the drinks. Particularly when we are in celebration mode – the wine, the beer, the bubbles, water and soft drinks – the list goes on. When space permits, set up a bar in your dining area using a small table (decorated in line with your theme of course) to keep the bottles off the table, but still close enough by.
Graze all day
It’s hot outside so instead of cooking a warm, heavy meal take inspiration from our Mediterranean friends and fill the table with cold-cut meats, salads, dips, flatbreads, fresh fruit and cheeses that guests can comfortably nibble from the whole day through (and no slaving over a hot stove for you!). There is no end to what you can include on your grazing table, but keep the flavours fresh and summery. We love Castello’s Tropical Fruit and Almond Cream Cheese. Soft and creamy, it’s filled with chunks of pineapple, almond slivers and papaya pieces so it’s the perfect addition to any summer platter. Even the experts are sold on this little beauty – it was a Gold Medal winner at the 2015 Global Cheese Awards and picked up Product Of The Year for 2020. As an extra bonus, it’s great in desserts and pairs really well with berries and a crisp Rosé!
End on a sweet note
After a long day of festivities not everyone wants dessert, but it’s always nice to end the day with something sweet. Why not bake Christmas cookies and package them up as little gifts for people to take home? The best part is, you can make them well in advance and pop them in the freezer until Christmas Day. Take inspiration from your beautiful table setting and wrap them up according to your theme.