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Christmas Entertaining with Willow

Willow's top ten tips for laying a festive table
From linens to candles, glassware to flowers, and all the fun decorations… half (or more) of the fun of festive entertaining lies in styling the Christmas table. Here Willow shares her top 10 rules to follow (or to be broken!) when it comes to laying the table for festive celebrations…
It is Christmas after all, and winter! Everything and everyone looks better by candlelight and it's the most failsafe mood booster..

    Layering of Linens

    Our beautiful botanical hand illustrated pattern in green on a cream background is inspired by my favourite flowers, with a generously sized tablecloth and matching napkins, it's the most wonderful base to build your tablescape. I also love to mix the green & white striped linen tablecloth and napkins to mix things up - layering print with stripes is one of my favourite ways to decorate at home - the more the merrier!


    Delicious dinnerware

    Christmas is a time to really layer the dinnerware as there is so much to eat! I love our beautiful serving bowls from our new range of hand thrown and painted ceramics created by artisans in Romania make a gorgeous rustic, folksy feel to Christmas and holiday tables. The side bowls and smaller mini bowls are very useful to dot along then table (and other side tables around the home) to house nuts, dips & chocolates.

    I will also be using our beautiful floral ceramic collection and mixing up the print floral print with the green.


    Mixed Glassware

    A festive table is elevated with beautiful glassware to catch the light from candles on darker days. I love our green and clear tumblers - the perfect size for sparkling water on the table and for pre-dinner cocktails! My best tip is to mix and match the colours rotating them along the table. For champagne and wine glasses, I love The Vintage List and anything from Nina Campbell.


    Candles Galore

    It is Christmas after all, and winter! Everything and everyone looks better by candlelight and it's the most failsafe mood booster. I just can't get enough of them and we have so many in the shop to choose from. (They also make the most perfect gift at this time of year for friends & family who are hosting). 

    Dot our scented candles (with carousels - see below!) around the home to scent the space - my favourite is greenhouse at this time of year. Then have fun choosing your dinner candle colours (we have 10 to choose from) I think I will go with dark heather and pale pink this year but as ever, I will mix it up and decide on the day! 

    We have a wonderful array of candle holders that instantly change the look of your table so if you're entertaining for several days over the Christmas holiday period, you can achieve very different (and beautiful!) looks. 

    New in the Christmas shop are these wonderfully Scandinavian-feeling brass candle holders - the 4 candle holder has a gorgeous advent tradition and double candle holder looks so effective placed at each end of a rectangular table.  I love attaching little velvet ribbon bows to them to add more magic.


    Bows Aplenty 

    Our bow bar was designed mainly to use with our napkin ring holders for a very special place setting. This Christmas we've gone for claret red velvet bows and checkerboard woven bows. Mix them up for maximum effect and watch your guests feel utterly spoiled (and inspired to wear on their pony tails or as bow ties!). I love them tied to the back of our dining room chairs too for real bow overload!


    Vases with Flowers

    Well of course there will be many vases spilling over with flowers and foliage for my Christmas table. A mix of bud vases is my favourite way to layer flowers on the dinner table - a mix of heights for some variety mixed in with candlesticks, and a mix of styles. From the Willow bud vases to recylced bud vases, the options are almost endless.


    Candle carousels

    I’ve been mesmerised by candle carousels since I was small and am so excited to have designed some of our own.  The dangly leaves are the leaf design from our linens and are so pretty and twinkly! I have quite the collection at home - they look incredible grouped together and with the larger scented candle and smaller tea light carousel. The more the merrier literally with these!



    I love to add fruit to the table - tangerines with their leaves on especially - nothing feels more Christmassy to me and I love the scent.   I dot them down the dinner table and group in our splatter footed bowls on other surfaces around the home.

    I also love to use dried fruit such a limes where you can buy from your local florist and they last and last - some I use in wreaths and garlands, others just to scatter down the table for a bountiful feel.


    A Loving Cup

    A special mention must go to my signature favourite, the loving cup. we now do them every season as I adore the shape and they are brilliant for flowers - I will mix up using the floral loving cups and the winter loving cup for my festive tables.



    Crackers & decs

    It's simply not Christmas without crackers and I can never go past gingham or a stripe

    Once the table is set, I can't help but layer some other festive decorations and this year I'll be adding our gorgeous corn husk angel decorations to each table setting.

    Discover the Festive Folktale Collection here. Follow Willow for more inspiration for finding joy everyday whatever the season.