How to turn any evening into a special occasion

Spawned from Instagram’s plentiful interiors inspiration, tablescaping is the latest trend taking over your home. Here’s how to level up your dinner parties for Christmas…

In a year spent almost exclusively at home, tablescaping can provide the sense of occasion we’re all craving. The interiors trend, which is blooming across Instagram, has the power to transform any evening, adding some much-needed magic to at-home hosting.

We spoke to sisters Jemima and Alice Herbet, who co-founded the first tablescape rental company LAY London, about their top tips for creating the most beautifully decorated dinners at home.


Set the scene

When creating your theme, take inspiration from the time of year or the holiday destinations you've been dreaming of this year. From the flowers to the menu, you want every detail to transport your guests to somewhere new, so try to ignite as many senses as possible.

“Over the summer, we created St. Tropez-inspired and Mykonos-themed tables to help bring a holiday to the home,” say the sisters.


Dress your table

“Dressing a table is a bit like dressing yourself,” they add. They suggest letting your mood dictate your styling. Whether you prefer a more coordinated look or a vibrant palette, a few simple accessories can go a long way. A well-dressed table should include a smattering of candles, eclectic coloured glassware and a well-chosen tablecloth to provide the all-important backdrop.


Combine timeless with trends

Mix trend-led tableware with pieces that will stand the test of time, such as cotton hemstitched napkins from The White Company and delicate, quality wine glasses from Villeroy & Boch. And don’t worry if you have mismatched or incomplete sets: work with it.

Simply alternate every other place setting with different china or cutlery to give your table its own unique character.


Add some flower power

Instantly bring your tablescape to life with a selection of fresh flowers. LAY London suggest placing bud vases or even water tumblers along the centre of the table. No flowers? Get fruity instead and arrange a selection of citrus fruit, small squashes or pomegranate to add instant freshness and colour to your setting.


Make it personal

Whether you’re dining solo or hosting your family and friends (rules permitting), elevate the occasion with a personalised place setting. From a funny illustration or a handwritten menu to something sweet to take away, a personal touch can make the table feel that bit more special.


Don't forget the menu

Add a sense of theatre to your table and let your theme inspire your menu or vice versa. For example, a Mexico-inspired fiesta tablespace would make the perfect opportunity to serve delicious tacos.

Cooking not your forte? Fear not, according to the girls at LAY London, a recent study suggested that a beautiful table setting could actually improve the taste of the meal. As if we needed another reason to stock up on beautiful tableware…


We’d love to see photos of your creations! Share your finished tablescapes with us on social using #BicesterVillageHowTo and don’t forget to tag us @BicesterVillage.

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