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Table talk

Sam Wylie-Harris polishes up her table manners and reveals her favourite festive picks for this year's big feast

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FESTIVE FEAST: a table laid for Christmas entertaining

FESTIVE FEAST: a table laid for Christmas entertaining

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FESTIVE FEAST: a table laid for Christmas entertaining

Laying the table can be a chore but come Christmas time it's choreographed into something showy to suit the occasion, with dinnerware artfully placed to enhance our eating rituals.

And with staying in still the new going out, tablescaping is trending big time this holiday season.

You've decorated the tree with tinsel and a topper, and its twinkling lights look beyond magical - so why not show off your festive flair and make your table just as showstopping?

With families (finally) getting together for Christmas and so much table talk, we've rounded up some festive favourites to entertain your loved ones - before they're seated to celebrate the main event...

1. Christmas placemats, pure linen, set of two, £24, Helen Round

Mixing linen with ivy, fir cones and evergreen foliage, with an illustrated Christmas wreath in the mix, brings a feel-good folk story to the table. For the finishing touch, think about an ornamental reindeer among the winter branches.

2. Milford wine glass, set of four, £38, The White Company

Which wine, which glass? For understated chic, these generously-sized wine glasses can go the gamut and be used for white and red wine, port and even rustling up a cheeky cocktail. And they're less likely to be knocked over. Cheers!

3. Round beaded placemats, set of two, £38; Seville napkins, set of four, £25, The White Company

Glitzy and elegant, pairing silver beaded placemats with crisp, white linen always looks impressive - but it's the little touches that go a long way, too. A starry silver gift tag or tree decoration tied to the napkin with some fresh eucalyptus leaves makes a wonderful statement... and so does the aroma.

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Round Beaded Placemats and Seville Napkins, The White Company

Round Beaded Placemats and Seville Napkins, The White Company

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Round Beaded Placemats and Seville Napkins, The White Company

 

4. Artificial Christmas swag with red berries and pinecones (21 inches), £7.99, Homescapes

Swags and garlands can transform a tired table setting into something Insta-worthy. Swathes of faux flowers, berries and foliage can be placed along the centre of the table, tied around the base of storm lanterns and used to decorate an overhead chandelier.

5. Aswathi tablecloth, napkins and tote bag set, £195; short tortoiseshell glass vase, £50; set of four Lavaux glass goblets - creme de menthe, £55; Rydal leaf hurricane candle holder, £70, all OKA

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Aswathi Tablecloth, Napkins & Tote Bag Set, Short Tortoiseshell Glass Vase, Set of Four Lavaux Glass Goblets, Rydal Leaf Hurricane Candle Holder, china from a selection, OKA

Aswathi Tablecloth, Napkins & Tote Bag Set, Short Tortoiseshell Glass Vase, Set of Four Lavaux Glass Goblets, Rydal Leaf Hurricane Candle Holder, china from a selection, OKA

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Aswathi Tablecloth, Napkins & Tote Bag Set, Short Tortoiseshell Glass Vase, Set of Four Lavaux Glass Goblets, Rydal Leaf Hurricane Candle Holder, china from a selection, OKA

 

Something a little different - and investment pieces for sure - but this carefully curated mix of dinnerware and homeware looks luxe, and mixes colourful classics with a touch of vintage. Eclectic, evergreen and exotic.

6. Avie Aura gold finish cutlery, 16 pieces, £55, Homebodydecor

Gold cutlery not only looks glamorous but will update everything - it's both covetable and practical. Even everyday dinnerware will look fetching when it's framed by this contemporary gold set. Includes four knives, forks, spoons and teaspoons, and made from strong stainless steel in a gold finish.

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Avie Aura Gold Finish Cutlery 16 Piece, Homebodydecor.

Avie Aura Gold Finish Cutlery 16 Piece, Homebodydecor.

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Avie Aura Gold Finish Cutlery 16 Piece, Homebodydecor.

 

7. Small paper Christmas trees, from £10.50 each (available in small and large), Graham & Green

Sometimes less is more, and these eco-friendly paper Christmas trees add height and texture, without being over the top. Stunning on a palette of pared-back wood, think about placing at various heights along the entire length of the table for subtle touches of colour.

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Small Ivory and Green Paper Christmas Trees, Graham and Green

Small Ivory and Green Paper Christmas Trees, Graham and Green

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Small Ivory and Green Paper Christmas Trees, Graham and Green

 

8. Etched mirrored glass palm tree coasters, £4.95 each; placemats, £14.50 each, Graham & Green

If you normally escape to a place in the sun, this palm tree design could inspire an exotic fantasy theme. Style the coasters with pineapple candleholders and for a playful twist, place dried berry fruits in mussel shells - or forage for some beach table decor among your summer dining accessories - and everything will flicker beautifully in the mirrored reflection.

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Etched Mirrored Glass Palm Tree Coasters and Place Mats, Graham and Green

Etched Mirrored Glass Palm Tree Coasters and Place Mats, Graham and Green

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Etched Mirrored Glass Palm Tree Coasters and Place Mats, Graham and Green

 

9. Gold multi tea light holder, £45, Graham & Green

A wonderful statement piece on the festive table, this tea light holder has space for nine candles and the base can be garnished with a sprig of holly and fir. Contrasting tea lights either side will add maximum impact.

 

10. TruGlow chapel candle trio, £44.99, Lights4Fun

When you don't want to festoon the table with real or scented candlelight, Lights4Fun is a one-stop shop for all your glimmer and glow. With three varying heights and up to 600 hours of illumination, these LEDs are the brightest idea for kid-friendly, festive flames.

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TruGlow White LED Pillar Candle Trio, Grey and Silver LED Pillar Candles and other items, from a selection, Lights4Fun

TruGlow White LED Pillar Candle Trio, Grey and Silver LED Pillar Candles and other items, from a selection, Lights4Fun

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TruGlow White LED Pillar Candle Trio, Grey and Silver LED Pillar Candles and other items, from a selection, Lights4Fun

 

11. Christmas dinner set in decorated porcelain, 18 pieces, £124.36, Viadurini

Favouring Christmas jumpers over partywear, think how striking this Scandi-themed dinner service will look when the family gathers round the table. With everyone hoping to get snowed in, you can make it feel rustic with an assortment of pine cones, mismatched glassware and green foliage in a mason jar. Dishwasher safe and microwave-friendly.

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Christmas Dinner Set in Decorated Porcelain 18 Pieces, Viadurini.

Christmas Dinner Set in Decorated Porcelain 18 Pieces, Viadurini.

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Christmas Dinner Set in Decorated Porcelain 18 Pieces, Viadurini.

 

12. Cake stand - geese, £39.95 (was £49.95), Annabel James

A flaming Christmas pud will look much more eye-catching when it's on a cake stand, especially one decorated with stars and sparkles. Look a little closer, and there'll be geese in party hats when you slice into the rich, boozy centre.

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Cake Stand Geese, Annabel James.

Cake Stand Geese, Annabel James.

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Cake Stand Geese, Annabel James.

 

Belfast Telegraph


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