This was a collaborative post with John Lewis, a brand that I absolutely adore and have been shopping from for the last 14 years. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow me to bring you fresh content! The post contains affiliate links.
Good morning Internet family! Glorious sunshine pouring through my window this Sunday morning and I could not be happier as the blue skies are lifting my spirits high! Plus it's the day we're going to choose our Christmas tree! Do you find this time of year stressing or something to really look forward too? Is its a mix of pleasure and pain with the endless trips to shops and how are you getting on with Internet shopping (that's how we do most of our shopping these days)?
Last year we brought back two trees (one for the living room and one for the dining room) and I even made a little video about how to get ready for Christmas. This time round I am taking things a little slower. I haven't decided whether to join a blog hop - but if you want to see last year's UK Christmas Blog Hop try this!
Since giving our guest bedroom a makeover a few months back, we've already had two sets of guests staying with us in separate months (October and November) so December could not be any different: my father in law arrives in two weeks time. Unlike other years though, everything is ready around the home (well, minus the tree) and all I have to do is work out my Christmas day table setting.
MAKE SPACE FOR GUESTS
One thing to always consider is whether you will place and carve your turkey on the table. While it is visually splendid to have the bird on the table and receive the applause for your hard work, the truth is that the roasting dish takes up a lot of useful space, so unless you have an extending table, you should consider leaving the bird in the kitchen.
We easily end up sitting 8 people around the table and so need as much space as possible! My way around this? I create a mini buffet in the kitchen counter: I carve and serve turkey on the plates and guests can help themselves to as many (or as little) of the good stuff (veggies) and the not so healthy (pigs in blankets, potatoes and Yorkshire puddings).
Remember to keep the gravy on the table to avoid any spills between the kitchen and the table. Even better, use a sauce boat and stand to avoid staining your good table cloth (this one shown here is vintage, made by my grandma!).
I always find that the easiest way to create a beautiful setting, is to start with a great centrepiece and work your way outwards, layering along the way. You can add or take away, depending on the number of guests and the food that will be on the table.
Fresh flowers are a great option but having one vase in the middle of the table means that you will end up with a 30-40cm 'obstacle' and you will most likely end up removing it at some point. Instead, opt for a ready-made garland which can double as decoration for your mantlepiece or hallway table (or just leave it on your dinner table permanently during the festive season).
I used the copper bauble green garland from the Highland Myths collection (and you can read more about this collection here, as I have decorated my living room with it too). I placed it on a felt Cracker Table Centrepiece in red as the whole theme is 'Folklore' and so I am mixing blues and reds (the wallpaper in the room being the main blue accent).
If you need more space for salads and serving platters, remove the garland and decorate between the plates with tea light holders and similar tree ornaments. Use leftover baubles from the tree to fill in any gaps.
If you don't have a Christmas dinner set, try buying side plates (they cost less than dinner plates obviously) with a seasonal theme so you can use them throughout winter. These are from the Folklore edit (£5, John Lewis) and you can place them over a plain white dinner plate or a red or a blue.
I do feel I should have used silver cutlery here, but as the theme is festive I decided to have gold.
COLOUR & TEXTURE
At the end of the day, a festive table needs to look full, so keep layering! Candle lights are great (but keep them to a minimum if young children are on the table) as are pine cones and baubles and of course, don't forget the crackers! Ask your guests to wear their little paper crown, that always puts a smile on everyone's face around our table!
Your guests will see all the little details. When your wine goblets have the same design as your tea light holders and the colour on the napkins brings everything together, they will notice. And remember that you can re-use these mixing up plates for a completely different look next year!
Remember to drink responsibly and HELP the hostess as much as you can. It's only fair!