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- British gardener
A huge part of Christmas celebrations orbit around the festive table. If you want to impress guests over the holidays, create a beautiful nature-inspired tablescape by using fresh foliage, twinkling lights, pretty placemats and dazzling decorations.
"Arranging the table is one of my favourite moments in the festive period," says Sarah Raven. "Not only does it really transform the space into a magical area for the lengthy Christmas meal, but it combines all of my favourite things — scent, colour, flowers and food."
Looking for some inspiration? Take a look at Sarah's tips below...
1. Start with a centrepiece
If you want your Christmas table to have a real impact, always start with the centrepiece. Set the mood for joyful gatherings and magical conversations by choosing festive plants, flowers, candles, foliage, or a traditional advent wreath to place in the middle. This will set the base for everything else, giving you something to work around.
"Christmas can also be about plants growing and flowering, or foraged from the garden or hedgerow, with the outside brought in," Sarah says. "My Footed Wire Cake Tray is the perfect base for this, adding instant height to your table. Add candles, foliage and flowers like ivy and hellebores, and let these trail beautifully onto the table."
2. Don't forget the garlands
Another way to create a quick centrepiece is by placing a garland on the table, rather than on your door. To do this, simply wind two or three garlands along the centre of your table for a stellar display.
Sarah suggests to "intertwine the garland with some foraged evergreens - camellia branches, pine, ivy or eucalyptus" and add in delicate LED wire lights for a sparkly show.
3. Place the candles
"I love to use tons of candles in our rich jewel colours," says Sarah. "Our Dinner Candle sets come in different colour palettes. For a table that pops, choose my favourite set, the Party set with hot pink, lemon, dark orange, lime and heather coloured candles (£10.95). "For a different look, try more muted tones."
An atmospheric fragrance also really elevates the mood, so don't be afraid to indulge in beautiful Christmas scented candles, such as cinnamon, clove, neroli and orange. We've got this one from The White Company right at the top of our wish list.
4. Add single-stem flowers
Christmas might be all about fresh foliage and bright red poinsettias, but a must-have for your table is single-stemmed flowers placed along the Christmas runner or tablecloth.
Not sure which ones to choose? Sarah suggests: "Red freesias paired with eucalyptus buds or seasonal winter jasmine are perfect for a light, delicate arrangement. Try to use whatever grows seasonally in your garden – a key part of our 'growing' Christmas concept."
5. Add your favourite decorations
Make holiday feasts with your family even more special by adding some of your favourite decorations. From beautiful baubles to traditional ornaments, cleverly incorporate them into your tablescape by placing them on plates or hanging from table centrepieces.
6. Complete the look with your favourite tableware
"Finish the table with crockery, plates and add colourful napkins as the final touch," says Sarah. "Our Venetian French Cotton Napkins in specially chosen colour combinations look lovely rolled and tied with a pretty ribbon. They are very long-lasting too. You can wash them over and over again, a hundred times or more, and they just get nicer."
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