Slaving over a hot stove is all very well, and the feast that follows is the 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.
Our 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 tablecloths or runners will enhance the cosiness of this setting.”
“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 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 truly fairytale quality and lasts for several days. Place mirrored glass roundels underneath a collection of white or cream candles - the glass reflects the candlelight.”
“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.”
“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?”