You’ve spent hours planning what you’re going to cook, how you’re going to cook it, fine-tuned your timing and made a seating plan – but how are you going to set your table? Christmas is the one time in the year where many of us push the boat out with a more formal table layout, so consider this your checklist for setting a cracking Christmas table.
Tips for setting the table: What goes where?
1. Lay a table cloth and/or runner over the table.
2. Place a charger plate or place mat where each diner will be seated.
3. Add a dinner plate to the centre of the charger plate.
4. Place a salad plate or soup bowl on top of the dinner plate (depending on what you’re serving as a starter).
5. Place a napkin to the left of the charger plate.
6. Place a fork on the napkin. If serving a starter that needs a set of cutlery, place a second fork to the left of the first.
7. Above the napkin, place a side plate for bread.
8. On top of the bread plate place a butter knife horizontally, with the blade pointing down and the handle to the right.
9. Directly above the charger plate place a dessert spoon horizontally with the handle to the right.
10. To the right of the charger plate, place a knife with the blade facing inwards, and a soup spoon (if needed) to the right of the knife.
11. In a straight line from the knife tip, place a water glass.
12. To the right of the water glass, place a wine glass or other glass (depending on what you are serving).
Make every detail count
A base layer transforms your table
Tablecloths and runners are the perfect base to help set the festive scene. You can make your base as subtle or as statement making as you like – use neutral colours with a little sparkle, pick a festive colour like forest green or berry red, or choose of cut out fabric to add texture (our poinsettia tablecloth is great for this).
Serve and protect
Charger plates are a simple and inexpensive way to really elevate your Christmas table setting. As well as placing under dinner plates to define each person’s dining spaces and give the table a more expensive feel, they’re also perfect as serving plates for finger food or protecting the table from hot dishes. We’ve got almost 30 different options in various colours, shapes and finishes so you should be able to find the style that suits your colour scheme.
Christmas on a plate
If you’ve got the space to store it and you love maxing out on Christmas, by all means get a fully festive dinner set. However, if you’re tighter on space and just want a really nice dinner sets, choose a design that gives a subtle nod to Christmas instead – our tartan, metallic star print and gold or silver rimmed designs are great for this. You’ll be able to use it for special occasions all year round, or to give your everyday dining a fabulous new look.
Add a touch of glass
‘Tis the season to be jolly, so having enough glassware for each of your guests and their favourite tipple is a must. Investing in some stylish glassware will give your toasts extra sparkle, and help your table look stunning. If you want to make a statement, try stemless wine glasses, lustre finish tumblers, or flutes with a gold rim.
Complement your dinnerware with a beautiful set of cutlery, carefully laid out for every course. Christmas could be the perfect opportunity to try something unusual like gold, copper or even rose gold cutlery.
To have and to fold
When we’re talking about napkins at the Christmas table, they should come for the practicality and stay for the look. For your formal table setting invest in some fabric napkins in a colour that complements the rest of your table. Go for patterns or a contrasting colour to mix things up, or keep it simple with crisp white linens for a restaurant feel. Napkin rings can add to the look if you want some added sparkle. Keep some paper napkins to hand to serve chilled drinks on before the meal.
Have a cracking time
Crackers are the perfect way to start your Christmas meal with a bang… followed by a festive joke, party hat and little surprise. As bad as the jokes can be, no table would be complete without these colourful cardboard treats.