Category Archives: Christmas

Blush Pink Holiday Tablesetting

Edible Centerpiece
Edible Centerpiece

My Christmas Eve tablesetting focuses on the blush pink color. It’s a fresh look and a departure from the usual red-green-gold we often associate with the holiday period. There is nothing wrong with those colors but, sometimes, change is good.

Pink Blush Holiday Tablesetting
Blush Pink Holiday Tablesetting

The inspiration for this tablesetting actually came from my dining room mantle design. I had these mint julep cups and thought they would look lovely with individual arrangements in them.

Pink Blush Dining Room Mantle
Blush Pink Dining Room Mantle

This year, I wanted my dining room décor to be in a fashion that didn’t scream Christmas but yet still had an understated Christmas look and feel to it. I found these lovely pale blush pink cabbage roses at Michael’s and, well, you see the result! They have the faintest dusting of glitter to give them a bit of a festive look and, voilà, blush pink became my color theme!

Pink Blush Arrangement
Blush Pink Arrangement

The addition of fairy lights makes the mantle come alive in evening and the lights, with such a fine wire string, give the illusion that they are suspended in mid air. When I am designing my dining room mantle for the holidays, I keep in mind what the design will look like in daylight and in the evening. It’s important that the design be constructed such that it works in different lighting situations.

I have never grown tired of the pale sage green wall color in my dining room – almost any accent colors, like blush and pink gold, look stunning in the room.

Fancy tablesettings do not need to cost a fortune! When I am designing tablesettings, I don’t rush out to buy all the elements. I first go through my “storehouse” to see what I have that will work. The tablesetting I am sharing today is composed mostly of items I already had. This makes a tablesetting interesting and less of a “cookie-cutter matchy-matchy” look.  It’s more curated in that carefully selected items, coming from different designs and textures, are used.

Centerpiece

You’ve heard me say it in postings before – I like to work with a blank white canvas. It’s clean, simple, always elegant, always en vogue.  I am using an antique white Irish linen tablecloth for my setting today.

Let’s start with the base. I was able to find good quality artificial greenery this year – greens that actually look real! I used two of these stems at an angle along the length of my oval dining table.

Pink Blush Tablesetting
Blush Pink Tablesetting

While I wanted to keep the table simple, I did add some fresh seasonal foliage, like seeded eucalyptus, to give some depth and texture. I often combine real and faux greenery to get the look I would not likely otherwise get if I used only real or all faux greens.  Using some fresh natural foliage brings an element of the outdoors to the setting.

Seeded Eucalyptus
Seeded Eucalyptus

There is nothing to say the centerpiece can’t be edible! Why not make your guests salivate for dessert all through dinner! It makes a great conversation piece.

Festive Holiday Cake Centerpiece
Festive Holiday Cake Centerpiece

Here, I have decorated a cake which will be dessert and I have given it center table prominence by displaying it on a glass pedestal cake plate. Using a glass plate (versus a solid color) lends an airy look to the tablescape.

The cake top is constructed from Ferrero Rocher Raffaello Coconut and Almond White Chocolate Truffles to simulate snowballs, soft pink French Macarons to tie in with the blush color theme, and sugared cranberries to add a frosty look and deep color to the cake top. A sprig of seeded eucalyptus adds the natural element.  Any time colored sprinkles are added to a cake, as I have done here at the cake’s base, it means it’s a party cake!

Edible Cake Centerpiece
Edible Cake Centerpiece

Two tall pillar candles flank the sides of the cake.

Holiday Tablesetting
Holiday Tablesetting

I have had the antique-look ivory pillar candle stands for years.

Pink jeweled candlestands
Pink jeweled candlestands

The candle stands have blush pink jewels hanging from their bases so they tie in well with the color scheme.

Decorative pillar candlestands
Decorative pillar candlestands

I scattered a few little white and silver votives around the centerpiece.  I like to use candles of different heights in my tablescapes because their varying heights of light lend depth to the scene and, of course, candlelight always gives softness and warmth to a tablesetting.  The white pillar candles have some glitter on them which adds a bit of sparking and a festive look to the setting.

Placesettings

Blush Pink Placesetting
Blush Pink Placesetting

In keeping with the silver and blush theme, I am using my glitzy silver and rhinestone chargers to frame the white dinnerware.  I am a huge fan of plain white dishes because food colors just pop, with no distractions, on white. To tie the blush scheme in to the placesettings, I am using pale salmon-pink colored glass salad plates.  I have positioned these on slightly larger white supper/salad plates because the white underneath grounds the pale pink color and provides a background for the glass plates. These pink glass plates were bought years ago at a thrift shop.

Pink Glass Plates
Pink Glass Plates

I have had these small pale pink antique pedestal glasses for years. I am not sure what their intended use was – if anyone knows for sure, please do let me know.

Antique Pink Glasses
Antique Pink Glasses

I am using them here for wine glasses in much the same way as I would use stemless wine glasses.  The pink water glasses were a thrift shop find a few years ago.  Mixing and matching styles and color tones make the setting more unique and interesting.

Pink Glasses
Pink Glasses

To add some pizzazz and glamour  to the placesettings, I have opted to thread white dinner napkins through glitzy rhinestone napkin rings.  Using napkin rings is a quick easy way to present napkins and you really can’t do them wrong!

Napkin Threaded Through Rhinestone Napkin Ring
Napkin Threaded Through Rhinestone Napkin Ring

I am using very basic, classic flatware in this setting and, of course, the flatware is placed in the order in which it will be used for the meal.

Concluding Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse of my blush pink tablesetting.  It does not scream Christmas like reds, greens, and golds do but it is a more gentle color scheme option that works for any holiday dinner. Other than some greenery and new candles, everything else in the tablesetting (excluding, obviously, the cake – it’s fresh!) was constructed from items I already had.  Proof that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create a beautiful holiday-themed table.

Pink Blush Placesetting
Blush Pink Placesetting

To view other holiday tablesettings from My Island Bistro Kitchen, click on the links below:

Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin’ Tablesetting
Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape
Twas The Night Before Christmas

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Blush Pink Tablesetting
Blush Pink Tablesetting

“Just Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jinglin” Tablesetting

Just hear those sleigh bells jinglin’, ring ting tinglin’, to…..This is the song this tablesetting brings to my mind. Set with 222 Fifth’s Andover pattern, this dinnerware features a horse and sleigh in front of an old log cabin.  This dinnerware evokes a very nostalgic setting that is reminiscent of Christmas past.

The border on the outside of each plate is a rust-red shade with ivory pinecones and holly.  The horse and sleigh design is gray on an ivory background. This design appears only on the supper plate.  The dinner plate has a plain center which allows the food to present well on it.

The cereal/soup bowl features only the log cabin design in the bottom of the bowl.

I used an off-white tablescloth and matching napkins to connect to the background in the dinnerware. Holly-berry napkin rings make napkin preparation very easy and add, what I call, jewelry to the table.

It seemed only fitting that the centerpiece for the table should feature a sleigh.

And, of course, who should be in the sleigh but old St. Nick!

And, here is a look at the table all set for dinner!

I added a few small tree candles to draw in that feature from the dinnerware design.

This is a very pretty set of dishes and, keeping the centerpiece simple, they get to be the stars on the table.

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To view photos of other Holiday tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape
Twas The Night Before Christmas

The Christmas Greens Holiday Tablesetting

I’m going with a green theme for this seasonal Christmas Greens Holiday Tablesetting, drawing the color scheme from the green leaves in my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china.

I often like to use a three-piece floral centerpiece featuring one larger arrangement flanked by two smaller satellites.

There is no need to completely replicate the smaller satellites to match the main arrangement entirely. However, the satellites should draw one or more colors and flowers from the central arrangement so that the three arrangements all connect and tie together.

During the Christmas season, I keep buckets of various types of greenery in my garage and then use them in arrangements.  I like to limit the selection of flowers to two to three colors but use different kinds of flowers in the same colors. Here I have used two different kinds of white flowers and two different green flowers.

Floral centerpieces need not cost a lot. I often buy packages of supermarket flowers and use them to build the centerpieces.  Economical containers can often be found in dollar stores.

I also like to use different shapes and textures of greenery, flowers, and berries. They add interest and depth to arrangements.

Adding a pine cone or two always adds interest to Christmas arrangements.

One of the advantages of this style of centerpiece is that various juxtapositions can be used with them on the table – the arrangements can be placed in a straight line, at angles to each other, close together to make it look like one large centerpiece, or spaced apart for distinctly unique pieces.

I’m letting the wood in my table shine in this tablesetting as opposed to covering it with a tablecloth.  I am using a white placemat for each setting. The gold charger plates pick up the gold rim of the china and add an air of elegance to the table.

I like the shape and colors in this china pattern. The shades of pink, lavender, and green in the pattern lend themselves to a wide variety of color options for the tablesetting.

Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” China

A simple pointed pocket fold for the napkin provides a nest for the forks.  This type of fold works particularly well for napkins that, like these, have a motif on one corner.

One sure way to add sparkle to any table is to use glassware with lots of cuts. Sometimes, I mix and match my glassware but, since I am using my formal china in this setting, I decided to use all the same pattern of glassware.

This is the look when all the elements of the tablesetting are put together.  The other great thing about the trio of floral arrangements is that, if the table is larger, there can be more than one larger centerpiece and/or more satellites to extend down the length of the table. It’s the type of centerpiece that is scaleable to the size of the table.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing my Christmas Greens holiday tablesetting.

Pin This Christmas Greens Tablesetting to Pinterest!

Christmas Greens Tablesetting

For more holiday tablescape inspiration, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape
Twas The Night Before Christmas

Twas The Night Before Christmas Tablesetting

The Dinnerware

Johnson Brothers’ “Twas The Night” dinnerware is classic Johnson Brothers in every way. The dinnerware features nostalgic scenes and text from the classic Christmas story “Twas the Night Before Christmas“.

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Made of earthenware, this is a sturdy, durable easy-to-care for set of dinnerware that is both dishwasher and microwave safe.

This tableware has a distinctively pinkish-red and ivory color and, with text from the afore-mentioned Christmas story, it is definitely Christmas-only dinnerware.  For this reason, I have chosen it for Christmas Eve dinner.

Let’s take a look at the intricate pattern on each plate and the bowl.

The dinner plate features the exterior of an old stone house.

The salad plate shows a tree by the fireplace with stockings hung.

The soup bowl shows a full moon in the winter sky over the rooftop.

Even the bottom of the plates has detail.

As those of you who follow the tablesetting part of my food blog will know, I’m a big fan of charger plates, both for their functionality and for the color and elegance they lend to a tablesetting.  However, as I have discovered, not all dinnerware necessarily benefits from the use of charger plates.  This Twas the Night pattern is a prime example of that.  I did try pink chargers under the plates but found the dinnerware too informal and, for my taste, the chargers looked out of place.  This, of course, does not mean a pretty table cannot be set with these dishes.

Glassware

Because this dinnerware is more vintage in design, I have chosen glassware in styles that complement the dishes.  This is dinnerware that allows mix-and-match glassware.  In fact, none of the three vintage glasses are a matched set yet they seem to work in this setting. The stem glasses with red trim give a bit of extra pop of color to the tablesetting and blend in with the red berries in the jars.

Linens and Napkins

It is not often that I set a table without either a full tablecloth, a square, or placemats.  However, for this setting, I have chosen to use a short Christmas runner down the center of my oval table and let the maple wood of my table shine.  I think this complements the informal casual look of this dinnerware.

When selecting napkins, I try to choose them in a color that either matches the background color of the dinnerware or, alternatively, select a color from the pattern.  In this case, I have opted to go with ivory napkins and the fold I have chosen is the rose.

The Rose Napkin Fold
The Rose Napkin Fold

This is a simple-to-do napkin fold.  I like to use this fold when space on the table is limited to display a napkin, when a napkin fold would substantially cover up the dinnerware pattern which is a focal point of the table, or when placement of the napkin would clutter up, or compete with, a simplistic tablescape design.

The rose fold requires either a soup bowl or a cup to contain it and hold it in place.  This method of styling and presenting a napkin is unpretentious yet gives the look and feel that planning and effort have been put into the tablesetting.

Tablescape/Centerpiece

Since my goal with this setting is to keep it very simplistic, I have chosen to use standard glass canning jars of two sizes for the table decor.  You may know these as Mason or Ball brand jars.

In the three larger jars, I have added a base of Epsom salt to resemble snow topped with some faux red berries to symbolize cranberries.  To add a touch of seasonal greenery, I have topped each jar with a few sprigs of fresh greenery.

In each of the smaller jars, I have placed a small white votive candle on a base of Epsom salt.  Just make sure you put the candle in a small votive glass inside the jar to contain the melting wax.

Using an odd number of jars is more pleasing to the eye than if an even number was used.  More (or fewer) jars can be used depending on the length of the table.

Using these glass jars is remaining quite popular and trendy probably because of their versatility.  I think their “home-y” look blends well with the nostalgic tableware that has a homestead, casual look to it.  When I think of homestead, I think of canning fruits and vegetables which is the traditional use of these jars.

This dinnerware is sure to be a conversation piece on the dinner table for many Christmases to come.


To view other Christmas Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

 

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A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting

I am not sure why but a red plaid pattern evokes thoughts of Christmas for me.  As I have discovered, red tartan dishes lend themselves well to setting a beautiful holiday table.

Dinnerware

The dishes I have chosen for a holiday dinner are by designers Colin + Justin. Apart from the dynamic look, there are several things I like about this dinnerware pattern.

First, the dinnerware has the look and feel of fine  china, complete with gold-colored trim, but is actually easier to care for since the dishes are both dishwasher and microwave safe.  Second, they can work effectively either in a formal or informal tablesetting. In fact, I’d suggest they are quite contemporary in look and design and could easily transition from breakfast/brunch to lunch to dinner. And, third, they don’t scream Christmas which means they can be used throughout the fall and winter months.  With their dark color, they would be a bit heavy for spring and summer, in my view, but I would certainly use them from October to March.

The dinner plate has a white center so food will still stand out against the plate. I’m a big fan of white plates for food presentation! This dinnerware gives the benefit of a nice plaid border against the white center.

The salad plate is a full tartan design. The dinnerware has the versatility of allowing for an exchange of a plain red, green, or white plate with the plaid salad plate for added contrast to the setting or to change it up for different occasions.

The bowl is white inside so the soup color certainly stands out.

DSC_0239

Linens

The dinnerware with its bright red and green plaid has a somewhat heavy look to it so it needs some bright white neutral contrast on the table for it to stand out.  For this reason, I have chosen to use large plain white placemats as the base for each place setting.  The white connects to the center of the dinner plates and bowls – always try to connect the linens somehow to the dinnerware pattern.  If, for example, I had chosen red or green placemats or a full tablecloth in either of these heavier colors, the dinnerware pattern would have been lost and would not have stood out. And, sometimes, I just want to see the maple wood in my table and placemats allow for that. The placemats are also in keeping with the contemporary look of this setting.

If you are not knacky with napkin folding, or simply don’t have time, using napkin rings is an easy alternative solution.  I think of napkin rings as the jewelry on the table.

I bought these beautiful poincettia napkin rings on an after-Christmas sale last year and think they go particularly well with this dinnerware.  With their deep red color, they need a bright white napkin for their color to pop. The white napkin, of course, connects to the white placemat.

Apart from the speed and ease of threading a napkin through a ring, napkin ring-folded napkins can be placed in various locations at a placesetting — to the left-hand side beside the fork, in front of the plate if space allows, or laid across the plate or atop a soupbowl (as I have done in this setting) if table space is at a premium or you simply want to add some pizzazz to the top of a placesetting.

Centerpiece/Tablescape

For the tablescape, I pulled in colors from the dinnerware.

I have opted for a relatively simple and easy-to-construct centerpiece – two faux green kissing (or pomander) balls on high glass pillar candlesticks surrounded by greenery, holly berries from outside my front door, Christmas balls, and pinecones to fill in some empty spaces.

Since I am not a huge fan of taper candles that can easily tip with a guest’s knee jerk against the table, I have chosen to use a series of small white votives interspersed along the edges of the centerpiece. They add a lovely upward glow to the kissing balls which are the focal point of the tablescape.

One of the things I am doing this season in my tablesettings is trying to use existing product and props in my centerpieces as opposed to buying more or always opting to use fresh flowers.  As lovely as fresh flowers are, they do require some work and, if I want to set my table well ahead of an event as my time allows, it’s easier if I use other options for centerpieces. Additionally, if you already have suitable props, it’s a more economical option.

Glassware

Because this dinnerware is quite modern, I am using extra-tall and very contemporary wine glasses.  The height of the glasses complements the high centerpiece as well as the dinnerware.

I hope you have enjoyed my contemporary tablesetting using red tartan dinnerware.  Happy Holidays!

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

—————————————————————————-

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting, please share it on your social media websites.

Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

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The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting

I love setting beautiful tables any time of the year but the Christmas season lends itself so well to many creative tablesetting options.  Sometimes, I have many more ideas than I have need to create new tablescapes!

Today, I am veering off the traditional color theme one might ordinarily expect to see on a Christmas table though I have incorporated some red and green into the design.

The Dishes

The dinnerware I have chosen is manufactured by Royal Stafford in England. The pattern is called “Christmas Home”.

These earthenware dishes are durable and not nearly so fragile as fine bone china.  The dinnerware is both microwaveable and dishwasher safe so, for this reason, the dishes are a suitable option for everyday use during the holiday season or they can be dressed up for a Christmas dinner as I have done here.

The predominant black/gray color may not be what one would think of first for Christmas dinnerware.  However, look closer and you can see the black/gray makes a lovely frame for the heartwarming scene on the dishes. It really makes the red and green pop in the pattern.

As soon as I examined the scene, I knew my tablescape would draw its inspiration from the glow of light in the windows of the dinnerware pattern and I have called this tablesetting the “Warmth of the Christmas Light“.  I like how the nostalgic pattern in the dishes tells its own story.

Charger Plates

I have a wide collection of charger plates and use them frequently in my tablesettings.  They are as functional as they are decorative.  They are functional as they help to keep each placesetting clean.  If a morsel of food escapes a plate, the charger plate (as opposed to a fine tablecloth or wood table) catches it.  Charger plates also allow for the elements of each placesetting to be coralled in an orderly fashion.  From a decorative point of view, chargers add a touch of class, elegance, and color to a finely set table.  Charger plates are very inexpensive and I have chosen basic black to complement the black and white dishes and the black lanterns in the tablescape.

Linens

When the dinnerware pattern is busy, I recommend choosing a plain tablecloth that matches the background color in the dishes.  In this case, I have selected one of my white Irish linen tablecloths because the background in the dinnerware is white.  The blank white canvas of the tablecloth allows for the elements of the tablescape to stand out.

I am a big fan of cloth napkins and, in particular, plain napkins.  Plain linens are very important if the dinnerware has a busy pattern so neither competes with the other.  The plain napkins help to ground the patterned dinnerware. To use patterned napkins and tablecloth with this dinnerware would make it very cluttered to the eye. To add some brightness to the tablescape and to tie in with the hints of red in the dinnerware and the bow on the lantern, I have chosen red napkins.

Candlestick Napkin Fold
Candlestick Napkin Fold

In keeping with my theme of the warmth of Christmas light, the napkin fold I have selected is the freestanding candlestick. This is a very easy-to-do napkin fold and a stiff napkin is required.  The red napkins I have used have white trim on the edges so, when rolled into a candle shape, the white resembles candle drippings. If you find this napkin fold too tall for your liking, the napkins can always be laid across each place setting where they will appear as simple, elegantly rolled napkins.

Centerpiece

For the centerpiece on this table, I have used two black lanterns along with red pillar candles.  I like to use props I already have and incorporate them into different table settings.  The black lanterns blend well with the color of the dinnerware and are continuing the theme of light. I have dressed up the taller of the lanterns with a swag in colors complementary to the dinnerware along with a perky red bow. The lanterns also provide a safe place for the candles yet still allow them to add light to the tablescape.  Some faux red berries and pine cones complete the look.

Glassware

To complement the nostalgic dinnerware, I have opted to use very traditional glassware of about average height for stemware.

I hope you have enjoyed my “Warmth of the Christmas Light” tablesetting that features Royal Stafford’s “Christmas Home” dinnerware.

To view other Christmas and New Years Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

—————————————————————————-

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.  If you enjoyed this posting, please share it on your social media websites.

Connect with “the Bistro” through the following social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook

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Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting

Throughout the holiday season, I am known to change tablesettings several times depending on number of guests and type of dining (e.g., brunch, lunch, dinner, etc.).  That, however, doesn’t mean that I don’t rejig and re-use some of the same elements in more than one tablesetting.

I recently shared my tablesetting for an intimate dinner for four where I clustered three poinsettias in the center of the small round table and set a miniature poinsettia at each place setting.  To view this tablesetting, click here.

Today, I have turned my table back into its oval shape, bought more miniature poinsettias for guest favours but have used the same three small poinsettias for the table centerpiece.  This is a very economical way to achieve a centerpiece for more than one dinner party (and less work!).  Instead of clustering the 3 poinsettias into a centerpiece, I have placed them at equal distance apart down the center line of the table.

I have decided that, this year, I want my tablesettings to show the maple wood in my table as opposed to covering it up with a full tablecloth.  I bought the placemats and matching napkins on a trip to San Juan and it’s a wonderful memory of a great vacation each time I dress my table with them.

Letting the wood of the table show lends a slightly more casual look to the table than does a tablecloth.

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I purchased several of the miniature poinsettias at the beginning of the season and have used them on bed trays, tea tables and, of course, at placesettings on the dinner table.

The miniature poinsettias came in little plastic terracotta pots so I simply wrapped them in gold sparkly netting and tied them with gold cord for a festive look.  They make great take-away guest favours.

For those who regularly follow my tablescape segment on my food blog, you will recall that I have previously said that, if you aren’t knacky with, or don’t have time to do, fancy napkin folds, then a simple and effective way is to simply use a napkin ring and roll or fluff the napkin through the ring.

However, if you don’t have napkin rings, all you really need is a spool of pretty ribbon to tie around the napkin as I have done here with a sheer organza wire-edged ribbon that bears the words “Merry Christmas” in gold glittery print, again tying in the gold color and the red of the poinsettias.

The photo below shows the individual placesetting.  You don’t need expensive formal China to set a pretty table.  This one is set with basic everyday ironstone dinnerware. Again, I am using my basic gold chargers to tie in with the poinsettia gold pots.

The photo below shows an overhead view of my colorful Christmas table.

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

 

Pretty Poinsettia Tablescape

Poinsettias are one of the most commonly seen plants over the Christmas season.  They come in a variety of colors and shades and in various sizes.  Each season I have several placed around my home — in front of fireplaces, in the entryway, and anywhere else that I think needs a pop of color and a festive touch.

Today, I am using both small and miniature poinsettias in a seasonal tablescape.

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I have clustered three small poinsettias in the center of the small round dining table.

These plants are just supermarket stock so I removed the commercial plastic wrappers from them and transplanted them into small glittery gold pots that I found at my local dollar store.  I added some fresh pine and green fir along with a few twigs, scattered some Christmas balls around the trio and, voilà, I have the look of a custom-made centerpiece at a fraction of the price.  By keeping each plant in its own pot, it allows me to use them as a grouping or elsewhere individually.  I chose two variegated plants in red shades and one in the soft green for contrast.

I also found these little tiny miniature poinsettias at the supermarket and thought they would be ideal decorations for each place setting and would be nice take-away favours for guests to take home with them as a remembrance of the dinner.

I simply covered the little terracotta pots with some gold netting and tied it with gold elastic cord.

I used a floor-length round gold tablecloth for the table and opted to use my gold charger plates as the backdrop for white dinnerware which, of course, makes the red poinsettias pop in color. By keeping the gold theme going in the charger plates, it keeps the tablesetting in the same color scheme without introducing another color.  This is particularly important when the table is small as is the case with this tablesetting. Keeping the same color of charger plates as the tablecloth gives the illusion that this table is bigger than it actually is.  Had I used other colored charger plates (e.g., red or green), the difference would have been very noticeable.

The small table creates a setting for very intimate dining.  However, it does not leave a lot of room for extras on the table, such as napkins.  For this reason, I opted to place the matching gold napkins in the wineglasses in a simple cascade napkin fold for economy of space.

The photo below shows the top down view of the tablesetting.

I always put a tree in my dining room. It is decorated in shades of green, gold, and ivory and I have carried these shades into my mantle decorations this season.  The gold tablecloth blends in with the  color scheme and, of course, the red poinsettias give a pop of color.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my seasonal poinsettia tablesetting.

To see another tablesetting where I have used the same elements as in this one for a totally different look, click here.


To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

 

The Holiday Table

I love Christmas China but I don’t own it.  When a friend discovered my fondness for Christmas China, she graciously offered her wonderful setting for 12 of Lenox’s “Holiday” pattern for a photoshoot for my Tablescapes section here on my food blog.  Needless to say, I was thrilled to set her dining room table with six placesettings of this lovely China pattern.

I started with a solid red tablecloth to make the dinnerware pop.  It adds a cheerful, vibrant, yet warm look to the table, perfect for a traditional Christmas dinner.

The China pattern is mostly soft white with a pattern of green holly leaves and red  berries. Here’s a close-up of the pattern which is trimmed in 24-karat gold:

Lenox "Holiday" Pattern
Lenox “Holiday” Pattern

And, for those who would like a closer view of the pattern, here it is:

And here is the insigna on the bottom of the china.

The owner has the completer set to complement the dishes and has many other pieces as well, too many to use in one photoshoot!

When I discovered she had the lovely vase and matching candlesticks in the “Holiday” pattern, I knew they had to be the centerpiece for the table.

Take a look at the beautiful cutwork in the design of the vase.

I chose red and white carnations with some fresh pine and red tapers to match the colors in the China pattern.  To draw the eye to either end of the table, I simply trailed some fresh pine down the center of the table and added some pine cones and red, green, and gold balls to tie the look together.

I used the owner’s green and red plaid napkins. Plaid always gives such a nice warm feeling.  Matching green napkin rings complete the look.

Plaid Christmas crackers add a fun and festive flair to the setting.

The little salt and pepper shakers also bear the “Holiday” pattern and add a touch of whimsy to the tablescape.

A simplistic yet elegant shape for the cup and saucer.

I hope you have enjoyed viewing the tablesetting featuring the beautiful Lenox “Holiday” pattern.  My thanks to the owner for giving me the privilege of setting a holiday table with this beautiful China.

If you live on Prince Edward Island, where I live, and have beautiful China – Christmas or otherwise, vintage or formal – and would like to share and have it featured in a tablesetting here on my food blog, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me to see what we could arrange.  Unfortunately, I can’t commit to off-Island photoshoots of tablesettings due to travel logistics.

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

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Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today. There are lots of ways to connect with “the Bistro” through social media:

Join My Island Bistro Kitchen on Facebook
Follow the Bistro’s tweets on twitter @PEIBistro
Find the Bistro on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen
Follow along on Instagram at “peibistro

 

 

The Pink and Green Holiday Table

One of the things I like to do over the holiday season is to prepare some “greenery bases” for floral arrangements and have them ready for different holiday dinners and events.  This way, it is not necessary to start from scratch to create a new floral centerpiece for every dinner party.  Once the greenery is in place, floral centerpieces are quick and easy to prepare.  Simply by changing the color of the flowers in a centerpiece can give a whole new look to a table.

About 10 days ago, I posted photos from a purple tablescape.  I recently removed the purple-tinted mini carnations from that centerpiece since they had passed their prime and I replaced them with bright pink and white ones.  Leaving the candles and greenery in tact, this centerpiece probably took me between 5 and 10 minutes to create.

While I like the white linen tablecloth look (I call it my blank canvas), sometimes I like to see the maple wood in my table.  Seeing the wood on the table also lends a less formal look to the tablesetting.  So, for more casual dining, this is often a look I go for.

A number of years ago, my Mom hand-quilted these placemats to match my Royal Albert Lavender Rose china.  Aren’t they beautiful!  The quilt pattern is the lovers’ knot.

Having a collection of charger plates that match my china means they can be used to change the look of the table as well.  Having invested in my fine china, I like to use it as much as possible; however, using the same dinnerware repeatedly can start to make every table setting look the same unless you inject other elements, like different colored charger plates, candles, table linen, flowers, etc.

The napkin fold I have selected for this tablesetting is the Christmas tree fold.  This is not a difficult napkin fold and, of course, it is most suitable for the Christmas season.  Choose good quality cloth napkins for this fold so that the fold will stay in place.

Christmas Tree Napkin Fold
Christmas Tree Napkin Fold

So, here is my third tablesetting of the season, all set for this evening’s dinner.

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting

Cupcake Tablescape

Be sure to visit my Facebook page at My Island Bistro Kitchen.  You may also wish to follow me on twitter @PEIBistro, on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”, and on Instagram at “PEIBistro”.

 

Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen

Well, Christmas has come and gone again for another year.  I hope you had a joyous and peaceful holiday.  I thought I would share with you the traditional components of my Christmas dinner.  Guests were greeted with a glass of Sparkling Cranberry Apple Juice from Verger Belliveau Orchard in Memramcook, New Brunswick.

1-DSC01172

I like to set a pretty table.  This year, I used a gold-colored tablecloth, a couple of gold-colored glass Christmas trees and some gold and ivory Christmas balls and used them to start building the tablescape.  The gold theme seemed to blend in nicely with the tree and mantle in my dining room.

I kept the tablescape fairly simplistic and uncluttered since my dining room table is not large.  It can seat six but four, more comfortably.

I like to add a bit of bling to the tablesetting.  These blingy napkin rings were a find a couple of years ago.  Napkin rings are very useful when you want to keep the napkin fold simplistic or when you are in a hurry and don’t have time to fold napkins into designs.

My choice of centerpiece was seasonally-inspired.  The gold container and piks were in keeping with the gold theme and gold charger plates.

The Star of Bethlehem flower was the focal point of the centerpiece.

The holly berries came from one of my holly trees just outside my front door.

Since I couldn’t bring the snow indoors, bursts of Baby’s Breath gave the illusion of snow drops throughout the centerpiece.

Christmas Dinner was a four-course meal.  The appetizer was a red pear drizzled with a pomegranate molasses dressing.

I love the burst of flavor in each of the pomegranate arils.

Not only do the arils add flavor but they also add texture and color to the plate.

Some Islanders have roasted parsnips as a traditional vegetable on their Christmas dinner plate.  Parsnips were not a traditional vegetable for Christmas dinner in our home.  However, I have included parsnips in the Parsnip and Apple Soup.

Parsnip and Apple Soup
Parsnip and Apple Soup

A dollop of sour cream surrounded by a drizzle of good quality olive oil dresses up this flavourful soup.

The soup’s golden color continues the gold-colored theme.

I love this little soup tureen I came across a couple of years ago.

Of course, the star of the show is the roasted turkey!

There is nothing like an old-fashioned roast turkey dinner!  I dressed the turkey platter with a citrus theme of orange, lemon, and lime wedges along with green grapes and cranberries.

My choice of wine for this year’s Christmas dinner was Chardonnay that came from Matos Winery, St. Catherine’s, PEI.

We are very traditional in the components of the Christmas dinner – turkey, stuffing (dressing), mashed potatoes with homemade gravy (no gravy mix for me!), carrots, turnip casserole, and peas.  Condiments included my homemade cranberry sauce along with mustard pickles and pickled beets that I made earlier in the fall.

Plum pudding is the traditional Christmas dinner dessert in our household.

Traditional Plum Pudding
Traditional Plum Pudding

There are various toppings that are served with the steamed plum pudding; however, in our home, the brown sugar sauce (served hot) reigns supreme!

When presenting the plum pudding on a glass pedestal plate at the table, I kept the citrus theme going and added some fresh raspberries for color.

Plum pudding with a good cup of coffee – a fitting finale to a wonderful Christmas dinner!

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into our 2013 Christmas dinner.  Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful holiday season.

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting

Cupcake Tablescape

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.

Be sure to visit my Facebook page at My Island Bistro Kitchen.  You may also wish to follow me on twitter @PEIBistro, on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”, and on Instagram at “PEIBistro”.

Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays

Today, I am sharing my first tablesetting of the 2013 holiday season.  I came across these wonderful purple-tinted small carnations at the local Superstore so purple became the theme of this tablesetting for a pre-Christmas holiday dinner party.

I have a number of different colored charger plates that match my china and I use them to change the look of the table.  The purple chargers were an identical match for the carnations.

I really like working with white linen tablecloths as they give me a blank, undistracted canvas upon which to build the tablescape.

The napkin fold I chose was the simple “wave” fold.  It is quick and easy to do.  It’s very classic and unpretentious.  I used gold-themed balls on each napkin to tie in with the gold rim of the plates and also with the container for the floral arrangement and the votives.

This was a very simple floral arrangement and easy to design.  I buy huge bundles of different greens and keep them in a big bucket in my garage for use in preparing floral arrangements over the holidays.  In this one, I used cedar and pine for the base then added the carnations and baby’s breath.  In fact, the greenery will outlast the carnations so I will probably add new flowers and change the votives to another color over the holiday period to change up the look of my table.

I like these votive holders – they have a three-pronged base that, when inserted into the floral oasis, become a very sturdy alternative to the precarious tapers.  While I like the look of tapers, and do sometimes use them, they are not as carefree as votives as there is always a chance that someone will jerk the table and the candles might tip.

This is a very simplistic, uncluttered tablesetting, perfect for those dinner parties over the holidays.

Happy Holidays!

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting

Cupcake Tablescape

Thank you for visiting “the Bistro” today.

Be sure to visit my Facebook page at My Island Bistro Kitchen.  You may also wish to follow me on twitter @PEIBistro, on Pinterest at “Island Bistro Kitchen”, and on Instagram at “PEIBistro”.

Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner

So, Christmas has come and gone.  I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday.  Today, I am going to share my third seasonal table setting with you.  This is the one I used for Christmas Eve dinner.

Christmas Eve 2012 Table Setting

My dining table is not large but comfortably seats four and can accommodate six guests.  To give an air of formality to the setting, I started out with an antique Irish linen tablecloth and chose simple gold charger plates to frame each place setting.  And, of course, I used my fine china for the occasion.

For the central tablescape, I opted to go with one main floral arrangement flanked by two smaller matching satellites.  Additional satellites can be added if the length of the table is greater. It’s a great way to extend the floral centerpiece down the entire length of a dining room table. The color scheme is deep rose that draws that particular color out of the darker flowers in the Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china pattern.

Small glass cubes are very versatile standbys to have in a collection of vases.  Here, I have covered them in a sparkling ribbon that shines like rhinestones.  This, of course, covers up the mechanics of the arrangement (i.e., the oasis used to hold the flowers in place) and also lends an air of elegance to the table.  I used lots of magnolia leaves and seasonal greens as the base for each arrangement, then the roses, and finally the frothy baby’s breath was added.  Magnolia leaves are wonderful because they are deep green on one side and a velvety rusty-brown on the underside.  So, you’re getting two colors and texture with one leaf!

Roses on a bed of magnolia leaves and seasonal greenery

One of the easiest ways to present napkins is in a napkin ring.  Here, I have chosen a very simple napkin roll because the flowers form the focal point of the table and an extravagant napkin fold is not necessary.  I found these “blingy” napkin rings at our local Winners store.

Place Setting

I love these wonderful little clip-on birds.  I use them on trees, in mantle sprays and garlands, and even work them into place settings.  So it wouldn’t appear too “matchy-matchy”, I selected two green and two pink, again to bring out the colors in the china.

Birds Adorn Each Place Setting

The color of these roses is just extraordinary.  It’s amazing how well the rusty-brown of the magnolia leaves works with the deep rose color of the flowers.

Deep Rose Roses

Here is an overhead view of the table.  I usually line up the cutlery but, for this setting, opted to stagger the height of the flatwear.

Festive Holiday Table

For safety reasons, I am not a big fan of using tall taper candles in tablescapes, particularly those (like this one) that will actually be used.  One jerk of a knee on a table leg and a tall burning candle is easily knocked over.  Generally, if my tablescape involves candles, I will choose to use low votive candles.  There are many beautiful and decorative votive holders on the market and they will still give the soft glow and ambiance of candlelight and I find them safer options.

 

 

 

One of the things to keep in mind with any table setting is the time of day it will be used.  Colors change in different lights.  Some colors look great in daylight but don’t show well at night.  Some will work well no matter the lighting.  Here is a photo of my same table setting at night.  The colors of the roses change and get a little deeper shade and everything has a warmer golden glow.  I particularly like how the ribbon surrounding the glass cubes really sparkles in the glow of the evening candle light.  When you are selecting the color scheme for your table setting, it’s a good idea to make sure that the colors can transition well from daytime to evening, if you are planning to use it for both.

In the Evening Light

 

 

 

 

 

Roses and Birds

Our Christmas Eve dinner tradition is very seafood-oriented.  We start with seafood chowder, then fresh Atlantic lobster with salads and, for dessert, finish with cherry cheesecake.  This year, our wine pairing was Matos Chardonnay, produced from locally-grown grapes from vineyards in St. Catherine’s, PEI.  You can check out my October 22, 2012, story on Matos Winery by clicking here.

Matos Chardonnay

The seafood chowder recipe I used is Jeff McCourt’s PEI Seafood Chowder.  You can find this recipe included in the story I wrote on September 16, 2012, following my participation in one of the culinary boot camps at which Chef McCourt taught at the Culinary Institute of Canada in Charlottetown, PEI.

Seafood Chowder

How appetizing does that great Atlantic lobster look!

Traditional PEI Lobster Dinner

 

And, for anyone who still has room left, a piece of cherry cheesecake as a finale to Christmas Eve dinner.

Cherry Cheesecake

Setting a beautiful table adds to the festive mood of the holiday.  Thank you for visiting my blog today and enjoy this holiday season.

To view my other Christmas and New Year’s tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablesetting
Cupcake Tablescape

Cupcake Tablescape

Cupcakes, anyone?

Cupcake Tablescape

For this, my second tablescape of the Christmas season, I have opted to go with a more casual look, using everyday plain white dinnerware because it is not always necessary to have fine china in order to set a festive table.  This setting would be quite suitable for weekday family dinners over the holidays or for casual dinner parties where you don’t want the look to be too fussy and overstated.

Cupcakes with Cherries on Top!

The centerpiece consists of three separate arrangements of carnations to look like iced cupcakes with a red cherry carnation on top.  I have left the three arrangements together because my dining table is not large.  They can, however, be separated and dispersed down the length of the table.  To complete the look, I simply added some of my favorite Christmas balls and a couple of decorative votives and, voila, a simple yet attractive centerpiece.

I like these little votives for tealights.  They are very versatile.

These are some of the Christmas decorations that hang on my living room tree and, of course, I always buy extras to place here and there throughout the house to tie the look together.  I often use them in my holiday tablesettings.

 Below is a top view of the cupcake tablescape.

 

For this setting, I decided to just use a runner down the center of the table instead of a full tablecloth.  Keeping the wood of the table exposed lends itself to a casual setting.  For each place setting, I used Christmas poinsettia placemats that work well with the poincettia-themed napkins.  These hard placemats are great because they can easily be wiped off and they protect the table from hot plates.  This is particularly important to consider when opting not to use a full tablecloth with a protective table pad underneath.  If you are going to be serving a hot meal, I recommend these ‘board’ placemats.


 

Typically, I tend to use plain-colored napkins.  However, because I was setting this table with plain white dinnerware, I chose napkins with a seasonal pattern of burgundy and green because there was nothing on the table that they would clash with and I thought they would add a splash of color to each white place setting.  If I had used plain white napkins on a white plate that sat on a mostly off-white placemat, the placesetting would have gotten lost.  The napkin fold I used is called the “wave”.  It is a simple fold in keeping with the simplistic setting.  It also works well with the entire tablescape which is low.  I then placed the cutlery on top of the napkin, giving the setting a more informal and relaxed look.

The “Wave” Napkin Fold

 

 

This is a great setting to use when the event calls for understated, more casual dining.

 

Evergreens and Reindeer Christmas Tablescape

It’s no secret that I love setting beautiful tables!  I genuinely believe it enhances a wonderful meal by providing the ambiance and it shows your guests that you put some thought and care into the dinner party.

Evergreens and Reindeer Tablescape

Christmas is a wonderful time to be creative (and a bit over the top) in extravagant table settings.  It is not uncommon for me to change my tablescapes three to four times during the holiday season.

I don’t own Christmas china.  It’s not because I haven’t been looking but I haven’t found anything I like at a price I’m willing to pay for tableware that will be used only for a very short time of the year.  Some of the Christmas patterns are just way too busy and I would truly use them only for display because food would certainly not show up on them.  Plain white dinnerware is best for food presentation.  Other Christmas dishes on the market just look too chintzy or cheap to me and so I leave them on the store shelves.  Besides, I have my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china and Christmas provides a prime opportunity to use it.

Having specific Christmas china is not necessary to set a beautiful holiday table.  What I do is work with the colors in my existing year-round china when designing my tablescapes.  For example, the background in my china is white and the primary color in the floral pattern is pink and the secondary colors are lavender and green.  The edge of each piece bears gold-colored trim.  Therefore, I work with those colors, no matter the season, and stay away from reds, yellows, blues, and so forth.  If I was doing it again, I would choose a plain white china pattern with either a gold or silver trimmed edge for two reasons.  First, food looks great on white and, second, it lends itself to the use of any color scheme you want to use.  The other thing I do is make sure the wall color and soft furnishings, like draperies, chairs, etc., in my dining room are of a color that they work with my china.  In my case, my dining room wall color is sage green with white trim and chair railing.  My chairs carry that green and also have gold color in them so that ties them to the gold on the china.

So my approach this year.  I decorated my dining room fireplace mantle in winter white.  That allows me to add color to the tablescape without conflicting with another color on the mantle and it leaves several options open.  For my first tablescape of the season, I have picked the green color in the china and made green my primary color with gold as the accent color that picks up the gold trim in the china and the gold-colored chargers.

Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china

These Christmas tree candles have proven versatile.

Versatile Christmas Tree Candles

In this tablescape, I have elevated the tree candles on to candlesticks of various heights.  I then casually draped a short gold berry garland around them – this, again, picks up on the gold-rimmed china and ties the centerpiece to the gold charger plates.  I like to mix and move my Christmas decorations around the house so the three reindeer moved into the dining room as they nestle beneath the green trees.

Glittery Reindeer

I am famous for using Christmas tree balls everywhere throughout the house during the holidays so I have strewn a few amidst the tablescape to fill in some gaps.  To keep the theme going, I used my petite ornament placecard holders and selected placecards that had a tree theme.  I don’t always use placecards but they do add a finishing touch of class to the tablesetting.

Christmas Ornament Placecard Holder

 

Christmas Tree Ornaments Incorporated into Tablescape

To add a glow of light at the base of the tablescape, I added some tiny gold-trimmed votives.  Their glow adds to the ambiance.

Tiny Gold-Trimmed Votives

I like white tablecloths because they are clean and pristine and provide a wonderful blank canvas for the table setting.  The white makes any tablescape stand out, no matter its color (with the exception, perhaps, being a white tablescape).  This is an antique Irish linen tablecloth I am using in this table setting.  Because my oval dining room table is not large, I opted for a napkin fold design that would fit inside the soup bowl because available table space is at a premium and, placing the napkins on the table, would interfere with the tablescape focal point.  The napkin fold I chose is called “Pure Elegance” and it is a relatively easy fold to do.

“Pure Elegance” Napkin Fold

Be sure to use good quality large cloth napkins in a formal table setting, never paper napkins.  Again, white is always a good choice for napkins because it goes with anything.  As well, plain napkins lend themselves well to any napkin folds.  If, however, you have patterned cloth napkins that blend in with the tablescape you are designing and they don’t detract from it, by all means, use them. Just keep in mind that some napkin folds don’t lend themselves well to patterned napkins.  As is always my recommendation, after you have finished setting the table, take photographs of it from several angles and view them – this will tell you if something is amiss, too much, too little, and so forth.  This allows you to make the necessary adjustments before your guests arrive.

Overhead View of Table

 

Overhead View of Individual Place Setting

 

View of Tablescape

Setting a beautiful holiday table does not have to cost a fortune.  Look around your existing Christmas decorations and see what you may already have that could form a tablescape for your holiday dining table.  I bought nothing new for this tablescape.  It has been constructed completely from my existing Christmas ornament and candle collection. 

Sometimes, we think the centerpiece has to involve flowers and, lovely as they are, that is not always necessary.  Early in the season, I tend not to go with real flowers but, as we get closer to Christmas, at least one of my tablescapes will involve fresh flowers.  How elaborate you choose to make your tablesetting is up to you.  I have two suggestions.  First, consider the event you are hosting.  For example, a brunch or lunch will merit a much less elaborate tablescape than will, for example, a formal evening dinner.  Second, consider the dinnerware you are using and work with it.  Earthenware is more casual than formal china so make sure your tablescape bears that in mind as the dinnerware will be the cue from which you take your design for the table centerpiece.  In order to achieve a harmonious and coordinated look for your table, the elements must all work and blend together.

Happy tablesetting!

To view other Christmas and New Year’s Tablesettings, click on the links below:

Glitz ‘n Glamour New Year’s Eve Tablesetting
Twas the Night Before Christmas
The Warmth of the Christmas Light Tablesetting
A Tartan Holiday Tablesetting
Pretty Poinsettia Tablesetting
Poinsettia Trio Tablesetting
The Holiday Table
The Pink and Green Holiday Table
Christmas at My Island Bistro Kitchen
Purple Tablesetting for the Holidays
Christmas Eve Tablesetting and Dinner
Cupcake Tablescape