It’s getting closer to Christmas, and you know what that means. Friends, family, quality time… And FOOD!
Something I absolutely love doing is planning the table for Christmas day, buying a few nice table updates, being inventive with what I’ve got lying around and foraging in the garden for leaves and flowers to make a centerpiece. In case you’re nervous or overwhelmed by the idea of planning the table, I got together with Marks & Spencers to share with you a few tricks I use for a quick but pretty table, and my favourite dessert that looks way more impressive than the 15 minutes or so it takes to make it. It’s the lazy girl’s guide to the Christmas table! And in case you missed it, we did an illustrated guide to planning for the holidays.
How to Create A Chic (but Simple!) Table Setting
Think about the occasion Knowing who you’re having over and what level of formality is required is key, like, is it your in-laws or is it your friends? If you’re keen to keep it simple (or are feeling lazy), I suggest opting for a more casual vibe with a linen table cloth and simple statement pieces like marble and greenery. These marble placemats are perfect, and you can just get a few and scatter them on the table rather than buying a whole set!
Decide on a palette Decide on a simple colour scheme by choosing a base colour (such as the tablecloth or runner) and one or two accent colours. I went with white, grey and marble tones with copper accents and flowers and leaves adding the colour – remember it doesn’t have to be complicated or overly traditional!
Nail the Essentials Napkins, cutlery, glassware and plates are essentials, so make sure you’ve got them sorted (I snapped up these gorgeous, and totally well priced, Champagne glasses that are the perfect compliment, particularly when filled with rosé). Avoid including anything you don’t think you’ll need because clutter on a table can be cumbersome (and often means more washing up!).
Mix it up Once you’ve confirmed a colour scheme and the essentials, feel free to mix and match the items on the table, not get too stuck on symmetry or perfection… So long as you generally stick to your palette you’ll be fine. For this table I went with very simple grey plates, and then used a wooden platter (so affordable!) in the centre of the table.
Get thrifty with your centrepiece Flowers and greenery can be costly, so if you can, head out into your garden or park and snip off a few green fronds to use on the table. Also, supermarket flowers are a great budget option, simply put them in some glass jars or vases. You can also use food like chocolate or fruit as an edible centerpiece!
Keep it simple Finally, don’t feel the pressure to completely fill the table, a bit of blank space here and there is perfect and remember, you need places to put the food!
My Berry Crumble Recipe
I can’t help but overindulge on desserts over the holiday period, and so often try to make something that’s even just a tiny bit healthy so that I know it’s totally ok to reach for a second (or third) helping. This berry crumble recipe is super versatile and easy to dress up into something beautiful too!
- 5 punnets of mixed berries like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and cherries. If these aren’t in season where you live, you can pretty much use any fruit!
- 1 cup of hazelnuts
- 1 cup of almond meal
- 1 cup of almonds
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 cup of butter
- Thick double cream
- An oven dish (that works with your table setting)
- Place your berries into the baking dish, leaving two cups to the side to use as garnish.
- Put them in your oven at 180 C / 356 F and cook for 15 minutes to soften. You can skip this step but I find this gives your crumble a delicious juiciness.
- While they are cooking, make the crumble. First, roughly chop your nuts and add to a bowl.
- Add your almond meal, brown sugar and butter
- With clean fingers, rub the dry ingredients into the butter until a rough crumble has formed.
- Pull out your baking tray from the oven and sprinkle your crumble on top.
- Return the dish to the oven and cook for 15 / 20 minutes until the crumble is golden. Remove from the oven.
To serve, either serve hot with cream on the side and a few fresh berries, or do what we did and wait for it to cool a little and then add the cream on top, garnishing with a pile of berries for that wow factor.
This post is in collaboration with Marks & Spencer.
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