Make your table a feast for the eyes

Dinner set, �20; four champagne flutes, �10; party plates �2.92 for 20; crackers from �10 a box,  all Tesco
Dinner set, �20; four champagne flutes, �10; party plates �2.92 for 20; crackers from �10 a box, all Tesco

SOUTHSEA GREEN: With Irene Strange

Have your say

Slaving over a hot stove is all very well, and the feast that follows is the delicious high point of Christmas Day.

But spare a thought for the table.

Decorating it may be a last-minute task but with the vital ingredients – some inexpensive accessories and a dash of creativity –it can easily enhance the sense of occasion.

The experts have devised four decor solutions for a fabulous festive table. Simply follow one of their table plans and then just add food!
‘Red and white Scandi-style is a festive favourite thanks to its nostalgic, homely feel,’ says Clare Harris, managing director at Talking Tables, specialists in party accessories.

‘Opting for this classic Christmas palette means you can mix and match decorations with ease. Look for updated takes on the Scandi look, including craft and cross-stitch details, as well as hearts on accessories inspired by Nordic knitwear.

‘Weave in touches of the outdoors with vases of winter berries, pine cones and holly. Red and white gingham or tartan napkins and red table runners or tablecloths will enhance the cosiness of this setting.’
White magic
‘White and silver is an enduring seasonal colour theme – and with good reason. It’s refined, elegant and also chimes with our idealised vision of a perfect white Christmas,’ says interiors expert Alison Cork, whose online store, Alison At Home, has tableware and accessories.

‘For a sparkling festive table, add magic with white roses sprayed with hairspray and then dusted with silver glitter. This gives them a fairytale quality and lasts for several days.

‘Place mirrored glass roundels underneath a collection of white or cream candles – the glass reflects the candlelight.

‘Spray walnuts with silver spray and then use as place name holders; the crack in the shell will hold name cards perfectly.’
Classic country
‘The natural rustic look – a strong trend for homes – has a relaxed informality, which makes it a perfect choice for those who like a charming, unpretentious table setting,’ says Clare Satchwell, managing director at The Contemporary Home.

‘Forest creatures, from reindeer to rabbits, other woodland motifs and natural textures like wood and linen, look beautiful together, and this uncontrived style will appeal to adults and children alike.

‘Use a white cloth as a base and decorate with all things wooden, including tea light holders, platters and candle stick holders. Add vintage-look glassware and retro-style cutlery.’
Glorious gold
‘Gold’s made a welcome return to favour with the fashion for razzle-dazzle glamour and metallics in our rooms,’ says Clare Harris.

‘You can choose to interpret this look in an understated but sophisticated way with gold charger plates, cutlery and a single eye-catching centrepiece – perhaps a gold candelabra or gilded reindeer.

‘Alternatively, you can be a little more theatrical and scatter miniature gold baubles down the centre of a table, pop tiny gift boxes wrapped in gold paper and ribbon beside each plate and, as a centrepiece, feature a tall, clear glass vase filled with gold baubles and topped by a floral arrangement of white roses and sprayed gold foliage.’