Whether we’re cooking for two or hosting a larger gathering, I like to set the table with special servingware, whilst keeping linens and centerpiece details simple and elegant, allowing the food to shine. This week, I launched my new stone washed linen tablecloths and winter hued napkins for The Stone Jug collection, inspired by our farmhouse in Upstate New York. Noble Fir tree farms are ubiquitous in that area so as a nod, the dark green shade is named in honor of these festive trees. The second seasonal color, silver reminds me of the glistening the first sunlight casts on the grass after a night of frost. So in the spirit of gathering and feasting, this week I'm sharing how I use these simple linen elements to create a holiday table. Plus, a few tips on how to use all those holiday leftovers...
For a holiday dinner indoors, The Stone Jug linen tablecloth in silver is the perfect base. The neutral color and earthy feel of the linen fabric dresses the table up or down, allowing me to bring in other colors and textures. This tablecloth comes in two sizes: a square size (70" x 70") with fringe edging and a larger rectangle size (80"x 92"). For this table setting, I layered the square tablecloth over the rectangle size to add textural interest to the table. This is also a great trick if either size doesn’t quite fit your table.
For each place setting, I started with the Chamberlin Platter in Satin Greige. This handmade piece is a bestseller and one of my favorites. It can be used as a serving plate, but also as a charger for a place setting, like I did here. Then I layered a ceramic Pasta Bowl on top and set a Lace Salad Plate to the right. This handmade ceramic collection is a lovely mix of neutral color, organic design and handcrafted details that adds a special element to the table.
To bring in some color, I wanted shades that felt warm and festive, yet subtle, so I turned to The Stone Jug Linen Napkins in both the silver and noble fir colorways. I alternated the colors at each place setting, and to add in some natural texture, I rolled each napkin into our Cane Napkin Rings and placed a sprig of evergreen inside. You can easily snip these sprigs from a fresh garland or even your Christmas tree. There's nothing quite like the fresh smell of spruce tips to get in the spirit of the holidays.
For the centerpiece, I kept it very simple and natural using fresh seasonal greenery, choosing a garland as the focal point of the table. Evergreens are my holiday go-to when decorating this time of year – whether I’m hanging a wreath on my door or creating a tabletop centerpiece. To break up the greenery, add in different textures and bring in some soft candlelight, I mixed in my favorite antique brass candlesticks (see here and here) and a mix of candles in a clean, neutral color. I love the Square Tapers and Rope Candles in cream - they're both hand poured and made in the US from 100% beeswax.
For a little mood lighting, and because candles don’t always produce enough light to enjoy a meal, I also added a few of the Pina Pro Table Lamps. I first discovered these rechargeable LED lamps while at a hotel in NYC and tracked them down for my home and to sell in the store. They're wireless and portable and can be used both inside and out. Plus, they stay illuminated for 13 hours without a cord - simply touch to dim or turn on and off.
The natural elements of this table setting also make it super versatile, so you can easily shift a few things for a daytime gathering. If you're planning to host a holiday brunch or lunch, the relaxed nature of the linens and organic design of the servingware make them suitable for both casual and more formal meals alike. The bowls and plates are part of my everyday collection, so I know firsthand how seamless it is to transition to a more formal holiday table.
There's something festive about sipping from specialty glassware, no matter the occasion. For this table setting, I’m using the gorgeous Crystal Champagne Coupes from Louise Roe. Crafted in Poland using traditional mouth-blowing glass techniques, the smoked glass hue works particularly well for a holiday table and evokes an old world charm. I’m also using the Crystal Soda Glass from Louise Roe, which is perfect for sipping sparkling water, cocktails and more.
And when it comes to holiday hosting, creating comfort with the details is key. I love to drape these Felted Fleece Rugs from The Living Rug Company across benches and chairs for warmth and comfort. It creates an extra cozy space for guests to relax and enjoy themselves.
If you prefer to take your meal al fresco, simply remove the tablecloths and bring the servingware, napkins, cutlery, glassware and table lamps outside. The natural linen fabric, versatile ceramic servingware and festive glassware are a beautiful addition to an outdoor tabletop. And as the sun sets, dim the table lamps to give your intimate meal some mood lighting.
And what's a holiday gathering without the leftovers. Turn next days scraps into a delicious new meal with some of my favorite leftover recipes from Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook. In the UK, turkey is the main dish on Christmas Day, so Turkey Pie was always popular, and Jamie has a great recipe to try. Or for those like us who don't eat turkey, there's a delicious Kedgeree recipe that I highly recommend. And don't get me started on the puddings that he highlights in the book!
There's something extra special about hosting during the holidays – a feeling of cheer and good will that doesn’t compare to other seasonal gatherings. Setting the holiday table has always been one of my favorite parts, so creating The Stone Jug holiday collection is a nod to gathering with loved ones during this very merry season.