Feast for the eyes

PA Photo/Handout

PA Photo/Handout

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There aren’t many who’d disagree; the festive feast is the highlight of Christmas Day.

But whether you’re going for turkey, goose, nut-roast or something more exotic as the focus of your meal, it’s the trimmings that really make it – and I’m not just talking roasties.

The setting is almost as – or just as, some would say – important as the food being served.

Festive fun or Yuletide chic; it’s entirely up to you what mood you go for – and it doesn’t have to break the bank, or require a degree in interior design, to pull off.

You can invest in some winter wonderland 
tableware if you want to; candelabras and some carefully-chosen tealight holders and gilded glassware certainly suit the occasion and are an easy way to make a setting special. There are also lots of budget-friendly buys; supermarkets, as well as shops like Wilko and even Poundland are great places to pick up festive table-top decorations and charger plates and platters, as well as the compulsory napkins and table runners.

Get creative and don’t limit your imagination to the table top – how about hanging decorations above it, or arranging some Christmassy lighting on a mantelpiece for added ambience?

A glass bowl, filled with colourful baubles or pine cones and deep, red berries or springs of holly makes a striking centrepiece, and carefully-draped fairy lights can also be very effective.

Here are four popular Christmas Day dining decor themes to help you serve up some style...

GO FOR GOLD

“After years in the design wilderness, gold is back with a vengeance. If you’re not keen on investing in gold cutlery or glassware, paper tableware is an easy way to dip into the look,” says Clare Harris, managing director at Talking Tables.

SEEING RED

It’s bold, it’s bright, and it’s “the” colour of Christmas. For fans of a traditional setting, red is the go-to festive shade. The good news is that shops are always bursting at the seams with red decorations, which makes it ideal for those on a tight budget, as you can easily stock up on a red paper tablecloth and napkins, while some strategically-placed baubles and tinsel can be all you need to create a striking scene.

A HINT OF SILVER

“For the ultimate white and silver-themed table, start with classic white stoneware, simple white linen napkins and art-deco 
mirror chargers and coasters,” suggests Chrissie 
Rucker, founder of The White Company.

RUSTIC CHARM

Wrapping a piece of bright red gingham ribbon around a chunky candle is effective and it won’t cost the earth.