Thursday, December 3, 2015

Extravagant table settings... a feast for the eyes and soul....

 Have you ever admired these fabulous tablescapes, and wondered where the food fits in?
Well of course, once upon a time, the 'staff' served your food and it wasn't left on the table.
Nowadays, I guess the food is on a separate table from where we serve ourselves.
That's my best bet.
Actually I think setting an extravagant table is a great way to minimise your food waste this Christmas. After all, the table should be a feast for all the senses, not just the tastebuds.
This year, I'm focusing on setting a truly beautiful Christmas table, and serving simple food.
I get that we don't feel right, if the table isn't groaning with stuff on Christmas Day, but it's a special sort of crazy really, isn't it? We waste so much and I'd rather donate a little more to charity now that we have a family of adults.
So, we're making it a feast for the eyes and soul, not just the stomach.
Our menu this year, is a simple leg ham, two lovely salads, fresh stone fruit and nuts in the shell, and a dessert yet to be decided. That's it.
But here's how I want the table to look...
...or maybe like this...
....I'm loving the combination of the tartan (plaid), metallic, fresh flowers and greenery, and festive nonsense.
Gotta love the plaid platters and transferware too.
Alas no plaid platters or transferware here, but I do have several toning blue fabrics, including a tartan sourced for just $2 a metre, a chambray remnant, a vintage toile, and a ticking style... true British Colonial style, I also have a collection of crystal stemware and blue and white Ginger jars, and some lovely simple white china, so I think I'm on to something.
Here's a first attempt, using only what I have on hand today, and photo taken with my phone...sorry for the quality of the shot!
Taking my cue from the ginger jar, and using the plaid, a combination of crystal and vintage pink glasses, ginger jar, vintage cutlery, pearlised pine cone and a rose from a friend, I threw this together.
I think it needs frou-frou-ing, and I need to take my 'understated' self off to make it even more extravagant, but I like it so far.

How's your Christmas table shaping up?


  1. Mimi a woman after my own heart - our dining area has ended up with a british colonial feel so even though most of my good things are still in storage I think I have enough to pull this look together.

    I have a tartan double bed doona set that I picked up from an op shop a few years ago - still in it's original packaging too. It is the tartan you have above with the candy cane on the serviette.

    While I will not have time to pull the doona apart and hem the two pieces I am still going to use it, as is and use some dark green brand new still in their packet serviettes I found in the local op shop when we moved here. Square plain white plates will have to do.

    Then I have a choice of two vintage bowls, both belonged to my grandmother - do I go with the one in the metal surround (looks a bit like gold or do I go with the plain 3 legged crystal one? Depending on what looks the best then I have some morrocan glass tea glasses - blue with gold patterns or the other set are clear with silver - decisions, decisions, decisions....

    Thankfully I have some of my crystal glasses out - the vintage water jug and matching glasses is still in storage so which it wasn't.............there is always next year or Christmas in July.

    We do the traditional roast minus the pork as the children (adults now) never liked it - still working on what I am going to do for dessert and I also need to remember to make a birthday cake as well.

    The 20th will be here before I know it.


    1. Lynette, this sounds just gorgeous. I think you have to actually lay it out and decide what looks best. I'll be having several trial runs! Birthdays close to Christmas are so much fun because it feels like everyone is celebrating with! Mimi xxx

  2. All are very Pretty! I am sure anyone you choose would create a memorable Christmas for your family!

  3. These are such beautiful holiday table settings. I love setting a pretty table but I haven't done one in a long time. Maybe this will be the year I get it done.

    1. Do it Stacy! It's just a way of adding that additional dimension to the day, I think. Mimi xxx

  4. I absolutely love your blog. You always share something that is useful to me....that I adore! At the risk of embarrassing myself and telling all that I am just learning how to set a formal table in a lovely manner, I have a question pertaining to the two knives. I've never seen two knives at a setting or on that particular side of the spoon. I would appreciate you filling my head with more knowledge in this area so that I can be proper at my next formal meal. This, by the way, is not Christmas. lol I only cook for one of the holidays here in the US as Thanksgiving and Christmas are so close together. And this year I cooked for Thanksgiving. I chose cream and gold table decor along with crystal and bone china. So Christmas, I am going to have an informal table setting along with a "regular" meal and dessert. Oh there's so much to know! But it's so fun learning!! Thank you so much for your help! :)

    1. What a lovely compliment Melinda! Thankyou. Okay, this is a very European setting I think. This is how my Mum taught me, and not only was she European, but she also worked in five star hotels, serving at Weddings and upper crust society functions for many years when we were growing up. So with the cutlery, you start from the outside and work your way in. So on the outside, I have the bread and butter knife (which is always smaller), and the entrée` fork. Then working inwards, you have your knife and fork for your main meal, and finally, your spoon for dessert, hence the term 'dessertspoon'. Sometimes, the dessert cutlery would go horizontally at the top of your dinner plate, so it's a preference really. Right side is always for knife and spoon, and left for fork. Once upon a time, you had several forks according the dishes served too. Not so much now though. There is a designated spot for each glass too, but most modern tables don't have the space lol! Your cream and gold sounds divine, and yes, for you Thanksgiving and Christmas so close....arrrrrgh! Keep up the good work. I love a good table setting. Love, Mimi xxx

    2. Thank you, Mrs. Mimi for sharing with me! I love the European way of doing things. It's always so proper and elegant. I can't wait to try this arrangement! For my Thanksgiving table, I chose to place my dessert cutlery above each plate. My youngest daughter, Bethany (she's 13), kind of giggled at the "formality" of the setting. lol :) I have four daughters and I want them to know these things. It adds such elegance to life. Hopefully, I'm not too late! Have a wonderful day! Or maybe it's night there. Either way, may peace fall on your household. :)

  5. Morning Mimi,
    Very pretty Christmas tables. I love tartan plaid, but have none of that here. I do have a tan and red plaid tablecloth that I use sometimes.
    Love what you have done for your Christmas table.........very lovely, and like that it is blue
    rather than the traditional red or green. Always nice to have something that is different.
    I noticed the difference in the silverware right away, definitely with european flair, I like it.....
    Haven't even thought about our christmas table yet, but the thought of my red chargers with
    white plates ran thru my mind, maybe on a white tablecloth.............hmmm you got me thinking now!! lol
    Checked out some of your other posts too while I was here, and you gift tags are fabulous,
    so so pretty, and yall getting married again in front of the Eiffel tower by your daughter, how
    cute is that...........and romantic to say the least.
    So enjoying that is the gift that keeps on giving all month long......very cool.........

    You have a sweet day, cause you are a really sweet lady...........

    Love and Blessings, Nellie

  6. IKEA cutlery in the first picture? Rock on!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx