It’s a nice touch to place a pretty wrapped memento at your guests’ place setting—it adds to the decor element of the table and replaces the traditional cracker with something they might actually use. Finding a gift at your seat definitely sets the tone, and having guests open it before the meal is a fun way to kick off your festive meal.
Greenery and fresh floral (these are by Celsia Floral) is a decadent edition to your decor, and adding it to your table in vases, laying greenery down the length of the table like a garland or even incorporating a sprig into your place setting are all ways to include a fresh festive feel.
The holidays are about breaking bread with loved ones, so why not simplify and forego the cooking and the cleaning? Restaurants like Market offer family-style dining options, available for private dining parties. Go for a classic entrée, such as turkey with foie gras and chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce and sage vin blanc. Or try something non-traditional, like porchetta, roasted apples and grainy mustard. At Market, all family-style dining packages include pumpkin soup to start, and to finish, a decadent eggnog cheesecake with gingerbread crumb.
Wine is an important addition to any meal, but especially during the holidays—and making sure you have plenty on hand to offer guests is essential. Many restaurants offer corkage options so you can bring your own bottles, but you should inquire at the time you make your reservation. If you’re eating turkey, serve white wine with the meal; red can be a richer choice that also works with turkey, and it also pairs well with lamb or pork.
Get a little sparkly and set the mood with your lighting. Keep the lights dim (or off completely!) and eat by candlelight or close to a roaring fire. Lay string lights across your tabletop (look for the battery-operated variety) and, of course, candles are an essential. Putting tea lights in pretty holders (like these ones from The Cross) and incorporating tapered candlesticks to add height, are lovely options.
Just like the linens, the good china and silverware shakes off its dust for festive meals. It’s never too late to start your collection—and these dinner plates and cutlery from The Cross are a perfect place to start. If you’re holding the meal at a restaurant, like Market, you can go with the supplied place settings and glasses.
The holidays are the perfect time to break out the good table linens. Laying a neutral linen (I prefer white as a canvas) not only protects your table, but makes the meal feel special. If you don’t own one, look to big-box stores for inexpensive options or just rent one (bonus: you can return it dirty!).
If you aren’t into hosting your holiday soirée at home (or don’t have the space), look into private dining options, such as the Shangri-La’s private dining rooms at Market by Jean-Georges. While the table, chairs and menu and are included, you're welcome to bring in all of your decor and florals to decorate exactly to your taste.
An expert at producing beautiful, inspiring lifestyle content, Erin is well-known for her ability to create a captivating visual story. She contributes to BCLiving, Glitter Guide and blogs on her own website, The Sparkle, sharing lifestyle, decor, and creative content. Erin lives in her downtown Vancouver condo with her husband and pup, and is probably taking a photo of peonies and posting it to Instagram right now.