This year, my table colours will be green and white, with vintage French plates and plenty of vintage glass to give some sparkle. Individual candles set on old Irish butter dishes are pretty and practical and I collect tiny, low soliflore vases (mine are from Le Petit Atelier de Paris) whenever I see them. Ivy “flowers” with strands and individual leaves, give a texture and a wildness to the table I love. Make sure to handwrite a menu and name cards to make everyone feel extra welcome.
My silverware is Puiforcat and in true carpe diem spirit, is probably the only item on the table I now use every day. The table linen is, naturally, from Thomas Ferguson in Co Down, and for someone who absolutely hates ironing, when it comes to linen tablecloths and napkins, it actually becomes a real pleasure, another part of the comforting rituals of Christmas preparation. Setting the table is always the very first thing I do in the morning for a lunch or even a dinner party. For me, it is probably the most pleasurable part of anticipating the party, and I like to take my time to make sure it’s right.