Four top designers reveal how they’ll be adding a little twinkle, plenty of personal touches and an abundance of style to their festive dinner table...
Alice Mary Lynch: Somerset Country House
"As a child, the festive season was always a bit of a muddle. One year, our oven stopped working halfway through cooking Christmas dinner and we had to finish it off on the sitting-room fire. My parents were artists and we lived in a very old house; nothing matched, and it was quite bohemian, but it all fitted together. Today, I often theme Christmas around all the fun of the circus or the charm of an enchanted forest. We always spent it in the Somerset countryside; nowadays it’s at my parents’ house on a hill overlooking Glastonbury Tor. For Christmas dinner, I like to style our table with pastel shades, metallic accents and pops of brighter colours. I love to layer lace tablecloths and use mismatched new and vintage tableware, as well as lots of fairy lights and candles to make it feel romantic and a bit dreamlike. Food-wise, it’s all about sweet things. Inspired by many years spent in Paris, we always have a few French delicacies, such as macarons. I’m not a big drinker; that said, I do love Champagne. But I’ll always find time for a cup of tea."
Aerin Lauder: New York Holiday Hosting
"Ever since I was little, we’ve spent the holiday season in New York; it’s magical at that time of year. We often go to the 21 Club on 52nd Street on Christmas Eve for goose and carolling. On the day itself, I love to entertain at home. My dining style is classic and elegant, yet relaxed. The key is a setting that feels inviting and luxurious; I do this with touches of red and gold, inspired by winters spent in Vienna as a teenager. There’s such a sense of style and tradition there, and the colour scheme is festive and warm. I always have gold-coloured bowls filled with gourmet potato chips, nuts and festive candies – something I learned from my grandmother. I use trays to create an instant cocktail-party feel and a space for people to gather around. For our main meal, I like to serve roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, followed by a classic dessert such as bûche de Noël, and a glass of Château d’Yquem."
Ethan K: Singapore Celebrations
"Singapore has such an impressive dining scene, and at Christmas it comes alive with festivities and celebrations. The world-famous Orchard Road is transformed into a magical Christmas paradise. For my festive dinner at home, I’ll host something intimate and stylish with my closest friends. I love the idea of an old-world-glamour theme, touching on Art Deco styling by using lacquered wood, geometric motifs and chrome accents, as well as some Italian influences such as beautiful tableware by Richard Ginori. The table will be laden with beautiful red poinsettias and scattered with glitter and miniature crystal stars referencing some of the pieces in my upcoming Mystical and Mythical Landscapes collection. I’ll also have some whimsical objects – such as ornamental animal figurines – scattered around. Foodwise, it will be a delectable array of seafood, fresh and utterly delicious, served alongside Very Dirty Martinis with a lemon twist."
Matthew Williamson: Mallorcan Mountain Retreat
"This year, I’ll be spending Christmas with my parents, partner and daughter in our house in the mountains near Deià, Mallorca. I’ll also do a special doggy dinner for my border terrier, Mr Plum. There is a rustic gazebo with a huge wooden table to use for Christmas lunch. The table is under a bamboo and palm-leaf canopy, and I’ll add strings of white lights for a Christmassy twinkle. I’ll style the table with a rustic feel and add some pieces I’ve collected to keep it personal – Spanish antique brass candles down the centre; acorns, ivy, pine cones and branches to create a low-level decor; and twigs in glass jars to add height. Keeping the palette to wood and gold tones will allow the food and the guests to shine, but I’ll add colour with the napkins and a table runner. I’ll serve the food in glazed brick-coloured ceramics and the drinks in cut-glass crystal. I’ll light the room with candles in hand-painted ceramic pots. My Winter Oud candles will make a wonderful present on each guest’s plate. I might even handwrite a note for each guest on a Spanish postcard, explaining what they mean to me."
- Photographer Damian Russell
- Food Stylist Kathy Kordalis