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A Seat at the Table

We all know the food is the star of the show during Christmas lunch or dinner, but that doesn’t mean the table setting can’t steal a little bit of the limelight.

This year, Merivale Stylist Sophie Thé kept things simple and refined, drawing inspiration from nature, as well as knick-knacks or keepsakes you’ll already have handy.

“We started with a natural linen tablecloth and then built levels and layers with small tree stumps in lieu of wooden breadboards,” explains Sophie. “They’re a little tricky to find – as are the pinecones – but keep your eye out at florists, nurseries, or sites like Etsy or Gumtree.”

To add some colour, Sophie folded red striped wrapping paper into triangles and rectangles placemats, which also double as a recyclable kid’s distraction. “Have a tin of crayons handy for the kids to scribble on the paper placemats if they start to get bored.”

If you’re assigning seats, Sophie suggests either sticking gift nametags to the tablecloth, or spelling out your guest’s names with wooden lettering.

Finally, to add a little more sentimentality to the day (can you handle it?!) why not rummage through your linen cupboard and pull out those lace or crochet doilies you’ve always thought were a bit daggy.

“I love the fragility of antique doilies,” says Sophie. “They look gorgeous, and chances are they’ve been passed down through your family so there’s an extra element of sweetness too.”

And the most important tip? Take a pic of how beautiful everything looks and then dig in!