At Oxenwood we think it is really important to “dress’ our tables in style to celebrate Christmas.
So here are our tips for creating a magical Christmas table.
- Don’t do it “the hoof”! Spend some time looking at your table and the room it is in to decide the overall aesthetic you are after. Think about the colour of the room, the shape of the room and the table, the number of people you will sit around your table and if you plan to use a table cloth. At Oxenwood, we love the natural feel of our oak and so rarely use table cloths. After this you should have a plan – be focused!
- Christmas is a time for celebration and a bit of extravagance. So we believe Christmas tables should be fully laden, busy affairs with a touch of luxury.
- Hanging decorations – we are slightly addicted to hanging Christmas decorations from ceilings! Hanging decorations in a non intrusive fashion over your table at Christmas creates a spectacle and is always commented on. At its simplest baubles and stars hanging at differing heights on nylon fishing line make a wonderful impression.
- Start in the centre/middle of the table. If you have a wider table you will have greater flexibility, however, decorations down the centre of the table really are a must. Yes to candles but don’t stop there. Incorporate fir cuttings, cinnamon sticks and rosemary cuttings all of which create a wonderful smell and, of course, some baubles and maybe ribbons too. Eucalyptus is also a good “go to” centerpiece ingredient. Remember to create some depth with the centrepiece – so some height differential – but remember not too much height as guests want to be able to see and talk to people on the other side of the table! Bottles of wine and water also need to be fitted in and all add to the sense of occasion and luxury.
- Candles are a must. We use non scented candles so not to clash with the aroma of the meal and to preserve the natural smell of the fir cuttings, cinnamon sticks and rosemary cuttings.
- Glasses – glasses and plenty of them really add to the depth and richness of a table setting. So we try and utilize four or more glasses per setting. So white wine glass, red wine glass, water tumbler and pudding wine glass. We love the effect which loads of glasses create on a festive table.
- Silverware – given it is Christmas this is the time for silverware. For many silverware is not an everyday affair any longer but if you can bring out the silver at Christmas – it makes your table feel special.
- Napkins – we prefer a simple and easy napkin set up. So just a napkin in a classic napkin ring. The ring will also act as another design element on your table.
- Place Cards – even for smaller groups a place card is a lovely touch and often a keep sake. My wife will often write a personal note on the inside of each place card – not sure how she finds the time or remembers but it is a lovely touch!
- Christmas Crackers – you can’t forget your Christmas crackers!
And finally, remember that your Christmas meal is a celebration with those closest to you – so keep is special. Now that our children are older we love to linger over our meal – it lasts hours with long gaps between courses to talk and create a bit of space for the next course!
Have a very happy Christmas.