Set the Holiday Table

We asked four creative profiles to share how they will be setting their holiday tables this festive season.

 

The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to unleash your creative side with a beautiful, thoughtful table setting that will make your cherished guests feel extra welcome and appreciated while setting the tone for cosy, festive celebrations.

We asked four creative profiles from around the world to show us how they will be setting their holiday tables this year.

Set The
Holiday table

Alex Eagle, Creative Director
London, United Kingdom

 

Alex on her table setting:

Less is more, more or less! This is a special time of year, as you are surrounded by family and friends, and you can indulge and spoil your loved ones. I usually love a minimal table setting, but it’s that time of year when you can get away with a bit more.

How do you create a good atmosphere for your guests?

I would say lighting is key. This time of year, you can get away with just using candles during the day – they always create a warm and inviting atmosphere. I also think there’s nothing like festive scents, so a lovely, scented candle or oranges and cloves can go a long way.

Alex’s top tips for setting your holiday table:

Put everything you’ll need and would like to use on the table and then edit - remove where needed. But remember, Christmas is a time of year when you can really have fun with it. Also, I would recommend using nuts and longer-lasting plants and flowers to decorate, as you tend to do a few different meals over the festive period, so it’s a great way to rework table accessories.

“I love the cinnamon linen placemats; they give a chic nod to a festive red but can be re-dressed easily for different times of the year.”

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Andy Baraghani, Chef and Author
Brooklyn, USA

 

 

Andy on his table setting:

My holiday table is natural and a little whimsical. I like to start with a foundation of warm, neutral tones to and then layer in colour through objects and/or food. I love the straw-coloured taper candles because they feel more festive than a tea light or hurricane candle. I also love the blue wick detail.

How do you create a good atmosphere for your guests?

A solid playlist, (unscented) candles and plenty of food always does the trick.

Andy’s top tips for setting your holiday table:

1. When planning a menu, remember that your home is not a restaurant. Not every single dish is going to be piping hot when it’s on the table. Make sure you have a mix of hot, room temperature and cold dishes. It’ll ease a lot of that stress.

2. When playing host this holiday season, do not try to do everything yourself. Ask a guest to buy ice, pick some herbs or set the table. Get them involved! I promise you they want to be put to work.

3. Always have a good pair of linen napkins for guests to use. You don’t want to prepare a beautiful meal and set the table up with paper towels.

 

“The Sugar Kelp napkins are so soft and easy to
fold, and I find that the Ripple Verrines are the ideal glass size for an aperitivo.”

 

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Clara Diez, Artisanal Cheese Connoisseur and Founder of Formaje
Madrid, Spain

 

 

Clara on her table setting:

Christmas is about recollection and love. It always reminds me of my family, of days spent at home listening to Christmas carols, eating shortbread with my family and playing cards until late. I think it’s a season made for enjoyment, and my table setting reflects that. The colours I associate with Christmas are warm tones: moss green, red, golden orange. I like to have food in the centre of the table so that each guest can help themselves to their portion and interact with the food. I also like to decorate the table with something special to create a warm, gathering atmosphere, such as candles. I like the idea of dressing the table in Christmas tones but not too obvious: for example, I prefer earthy tones rather than the classic red.

How do you create a good atmosphere for your guests?

Choosing the right colours for the table linen is, for me, an important detail, as well as placing the cutlery correctly. It may seem silly, but it means that you have put time and effort into thinking about the people who are going to be seated at the table.

Clara’s top tips for setting your holiday table:

If you are going to prepare a new recipe, it’s a good idea to test it out a few days beforehand! This way you can make sure that everything goes well and you won’t have any surprises. Also, try not to overload the table with too many objects, it’s not nice! It’s better for the guests to be able to move around at their leisure.

 

“I love the wooden boards with their organic shapes: they make the cheeses look beautiful, and I like their complementary sizes: they are very convenient to spread across the table!”

 

 

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Samantha Picard, Table Setting Stylist & Founder of Sam’s Coolkies
London, United Kingdom

 

Samantha on her table setting:

I celebrate Hanukkah during the holiday season, and I wanted to showcase that for my table setting, highlighting traditional Hanukkah staple foods like challah, latkes, jelly doughnuts and chocolate babka while curating a sleek but cosy feel for the table setting. Aesthetically, I wanted to integrate elements of white and blue, the traditional two colours of Hanukkah. However, in the past I haven’t really enjoyed how harsh blue and white can look together. I decided to use off-white instead to complement the blues on the table with warmer palettes of green, brown, and sage. It’s still very recognisably a Hanukkah table setting, that I believe instantly invokes a universal holiday warmness that is so important during the cold December months – my favourite time of year. It’s a time when family and kinship take centre stage over whatever else is going in in one’s life.

How do you create a good atmosphere for your guests?

One thing I’ve learned about hosting is that the once your guests arrive, you need to take a backseat and enjoy the ride. Let your guests dictate the conversation, make sure everyone feels welcome and comfortable, pour them their favourite drink when they arrive. If someone breaks something, don’t lose your cool. If the roast chicken is dry? Let it be. No one likes a stressed-out host, and people will remember how they felt and the energy of the table, not the minute details you’re stressing over.

Samantha’s top tips for setting your holiday table:

1. I always set the table at least one day in advance, something my grandmother taught me, as it never quite looks right on the first go. It makes setting the table a fun activity rather than a time-constrained and stressful one. It also allows people in your household to get really excited about the upcoming celebration!

2. If it’s more than 6 people, do a seating plan - even if its close friends or family. If there’s no seating plan, there may be an awkward lull before the meal when everyone takes their seats, which can lose some of the joyous momentum built during cocktail hour.

3. If you don’t have a full set of glassware or tableware for the number of guests attending, mix and match your different sets while following some sort of theme or colour palette. I hosted a holiday dinner for 30 people last December and did not have to buy one new item of plates, simply because I mixed and matched my existing sets, and it created a welcoming and festive hodgepodge look.

 

“I love how the Glass Baubles tie in with the Hanukkah colours in both white and blue, as well as introducing the warmer elements of green and brown.”

 

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