A froth of slushy snow has fallen on Shoreditch this Sunday. Huddled shoppers walk from Colombia Road carrying prickly Christmas trees to their far-parked cars. It is definitely Christmas season.
Like most households, we are planning the long-list logistics of Christmas day. Dinner is at ours this year. Family and friends will taxi, cycle and walk to our flat. And we will make a mostly traditional feast, with just a few modern TV-chef inspired food twists. The festive food pantomime will be staged on a Christmas Table dressed for happiness and connection. It is a design which has unfolded over 20 years. It is a design which makes this small yet essential element of the celebratory day easier, more natural and more memorable.
Our Simple, Solid, Intelligent and Beautiful Designed Festive Table…
Foliage is always the decorative centrepiece of every FOUNDiiD table. The natural flamboyance of leaves and branches and berries are the only decorative statement ever necessary. Table foliage also echoes the festive greenery of the door wreath and the Christmas tree. We choose different varieties each year and with plants which have meaningful links to our heritage. This year we are going to use two types of leaves and branches, both with strong links to Cyprus and Ireland. The evergreen Berried Eucalyptus is to be found in the coastal regions of Cyprus (and available in any good UK florist). We will trail a runner of this singular plant along the heart of the table. We will also use the brilliant twigs of the Fire-Red Dogwood, a common winter shrub on Irish county lanes. Clutches of the Dogwood twigs will be placed in small glasses as colourful style garnishes.
Crockery, cutlery and candlesticks are the functional foundation to every festive table. Having sourced your own perfect sets there should be no need to update or replace. We keep our tableware just for Christmas service because that once-a-year removal from the back shelves and deepest drawers has to be one of the most secretly exciting rituals of Christmas manoeuvres.
We sourced our never-to-be-replaced plates and cutlery from the exquisite Scandinavian focused home-retailer Skandium. Our plates are from the Kastehelmi Clear Collection. Originally designed in 1965, these elegantly decorated plates and glasses sparkle and glint in the reflection of festive lighting. Then Scandia cutlery complements the table service with simple grooves on the handle making for the perfect gripping texture to the hands. Our wine glasses are the handsome Essence collection from Iittala.
Our table will be lit with a mint of candle sticks and tea lights. We have a trinity of brass Richard Hutten candlesticks and plenty of Kin Tea Lights. The candles will be True Grace, hand-poured wax beauties from The Conran Shop.
It is Christmas Day. The pre-present opening breakfast of scrambled eggs and salmon has been devoured. We turn the heat up on a small pot on the hob which has been pre-simmered from Christmas Eve. This broth of cranberries, cinnamon, ginger, tangerine and more works to coddle our home with a nostalgic Yuletide fragrance. This tradition of ours is not strictly table related, however it definitely delivers one of the strongest and most memorable senses to the festive theatrics.
Colour is the one style element of the FOUNDiiD table which we play with each Christmas. Inspired by our Berried Eucalyptus we will dress the table in sage green, pomegranate red and a dusty gold. A sage green linen table cloth will be our base, with a pomegranate red linen table runner placed on top on which we will dress our eucalyptus trail. The table-cloth and runner will be accented with the pomegranate red and dusty gold shades of the napkins. The delightful Cloth Store in Soho is where we buy out festive fabrics.
The bird is roasting, the vegetables steamed and glazed and our table is set. The Pogues “Fairytale of New York” plays for the 5th time. Sitting at our table for a few moments before the guests arrive, a few last minute checks and we are happy. Happy that we have crafted the perfect setting for our indulgent feast. A table with meaning and connection. One that flows from our own New Heritage design philosophy. One that is comfortable and elegant. One that encourages the warmth and conviviality of our family and friends. A Christmas table that is simply beautiful.
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