By Marie Byrne
The shopping is done, the presents are wrapped, the champagne is on ice. Now is time to think about setting the table. Setting your Christmas table should bring out the excitement of the season, the Christmas dinner table is one of the few occasions where we all sit down together with family or friends.
Make sure that your table accessories match the colour scheme of your existing interiors. Whether you are going for a minimal look or a traditional setting, choosing the right linen, tableware, colours and centrepieces will have your Christmas dinner table looking spectacular. A key rule to remember is to add layers of colour to make your table come alive.
HOW TO LAY YOUR TABLE
Dinner plates should sit in the centre of the place setting.
Side plates always go to the left of the dinner plate, with a butter knife sitting on top of the plate.
Glassware should be set above and to the right of the dinner plate with a red wine glass, a white wine glass and a water glass. The champagne flute is positioned between the water and the wine glasses.
Tea and coffee
Always set the cup and saucer for tea or coffee – along with a suitable stirring spoon to the right above the outermost piece of cutlery. Cups and saucers should only be brought out after the dessert course is finished and the setting is cleared away.
- Cutlery placement
Place your cutlery on the table in the order of use, starting from the outside and working inwards with each course. Forks should be set to the left of the plate, with knives placed to the right, blade edges facing inwards Soup spoons should be placed on the right of the knives. Place the dessert fork and dessert spoon above the plate, with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.
Nothing says ‘special occasion’ more than a crisp linen tablecloth.
Your tablecloth should fall at least a foot below the top of the table but not be closer than 15cm to the ground. Before spreading the tablecloth, it’s a good idea to lay a table protector over the table to prevent spillages or hot dishes from marking it.
Fold a napkin in half and place it to the left of the plate, underneath the forks, or fold napkins and place in the centre of the dinner plate it is totally your preference. Napkin rings add to the sense of occasion. Choose linen or cotton napkins.
If you choose bright or dark colours for your tablecloth and napkins, match them with neutral or lighter-toned tableware and glasses (or vice versa!).
Consider adding and layering different textures to your table, you can do this with textured cutlery patterns which all add an extra dimension and catch the light beautifully.
Use placemats made of natural fibres, with matching or contrasting tablecloths and napkins. Add natural greenery or small vases of flowers to add colour and height. Colour helps create a festive mood in a space.
Select beautiful glassware for your table to add texture and height. We recommend lead crystal glass for your special occasion. Add a wine coaster to protect your tablecloth.
Choose centrepieces carefully, ensure that the centrepieces are low enough not to get in the way of conversation or pick candelabras or vases with narrow bases so you can still see the person opposite to you. Artfully arranged florals can make a stunning centrepiece coordinated to match the rest of the tableware.
Candlelight brings a sense of occasion and a soft, elegant look to your table. Add tea lights to your floral or greenery for a gentle glow and taller candelabras as a centrepiece for your table.
If you are hosting Christmas Dinner this year the key to a successful dinner table is preparation. Here at Planit we suggest we suggest you take some time on Christmas Eve, pour yourself a glass of bubbles, pop on some Christmas music and take your time over your Christmas table so that it creates the WOW factor when you’re guests arrive on Christmas Day. But, don’t forget that while the table layout is important, having fun and enjoying time with your guests is far more valuable.