I love cooking for friends, especially at Christmas. The festive season gives me a great excuse to go a bit overboard with the setting of the dinner table. Reds, greens and golds are my preferred colours to celebrate this beautiful time of the year. Bringing out the special cutlery, the posh wine glasses and the tablecloth I got years ago from my mum – gives the table a bold statement. I try to use materials that might not come straight to mind when decorating a dining table – and some items have been collected over the years. Flower arrangements that were a special offer from Avon, tablerunners I made a few years ago, candle holders I got as a parting gift from colleagues over 10 years ago – the list goes on. Napkins are folded nicely, evergreen is scattered around the plates and mini crackers are used as place cards.
Last year I asked Mr T to screw some hooks into the ceiling over the table – as the ceiling is painted in white, we used white plastic coated ones, that way you hardly notice the hooks. Hanging from fishing lines are Christmas baubles, adding to the whole table setting. it doesn’t have to cost a fortune to decorate a festive table – just keep an eye out for unusual items you could use. All my fabrics are either from Michael Guineys in Oliver Plunkett Street or Vibes & Scribes in Bridge Street (I have also bought fabric while travelling and from a German supplier. Most of my napkins come from Meadows & Byrne – they offer different colours and fabrics throughout the year; it is also a great treasure chest for small items from bowls to glasses. All other craft stuff comes from Cork Craft Supplies, Vibes & Scribes and any craft shop I come across here and abroad.
Below are some ideas on how to add that special touch