It's the most wonderful time of the year. We're trading our high-waisted jeans for billowing silhouettes that'll let us eat to our hearts' content without ripping anything at the seams. Short of jostling for tables at restaurants serving up Christmas menus with a handsome mark-up, do the next best thing and bring the festive cheer right into your home. We're talking dinner parties, of course, and since it's Christmas, there's no better time to put on the Ritz. Below, five ways to turn your Christmas table into one of the most elegant sets around.
1. Let there be light
Candles are so yesteryear. Tis' the season to embrace fairy lights. Unlike the Christmas tree staple, these lights from Midnight Sparks boast sleek copper wiring and micro-sized LED bulbs which give off a warm glow. Stretching five metres, they are long enough to drape across a long table. Pushing for more drama? Simply stuff them into a bell jar to get a glowing table centrepiece.
2. Drop the porcelain
Leave the Limoges and fine china behind. Take the lead from some of the top restaurants in town that have ditched the dated white table cloth vibe for unconventional plateware in marble or black slate. Plating up your dishes on black slate allows for colourful ingredients to really pop.
3. Let nature take centrestage
There's something transformative about flowers, no matter how small the bouquet. Centrepieces blooming with peonies and roses might be the go-to for black tie events, but unconventional floral bouquets are what's going to make heads turn and shutters clicking. Try mixing up a bouquet with more rustic blooms to add just that little more charm. Instead of glass bowls, place your blooms in metallic vessels (think Tom Dixon) for a more polished look.
4. Let the bubbly flow freely
There's no better way to get a party started than champagne, champagne, and more champagne. For catering experts Luxe Catering, champagne cocktails set the tone for an effervescent evening. Given their French heritage, it isn't surprising that classic French champagne cocktails occupy the headlines. If you have a conservative alcohol budget, go with plenty of Kir Pétillant, which combines crème de cassis with sparkling wine or prosecco. To go the whole nine yards, bring on the French Kir Royal by combining your favourite Champagne with crème de cassis.
5. Hire a private chef
Burnt your last Christmas roast? Made a soufflé that collapsed? Sometimes, it's best to leave things to the expert, especially if you're a fire hazard in the kitchen. Let the private chefs over at Luxe Catering roll out a foolproof menu. Think char-grilled diver scallops, cep mushroom soups topped with shaved truffle, Cornish game hen sous vide to perfection. Your guests will thank you for it. Private chefs have the plating chops to turn out Instagram-worthy dishes — and sleek presentation, as we all know, is really half the battle won. Better still, have butlers come around to serve up each dish.