Food, drink and good vibes – it’s what the holiday season is all about! This Christmas was nothing short of food and drink and we had a glorious celebration.
A few weeks back, I was fortunate to attend my first outing at The Grounds. A popular eatery in the heart of Sydney’s inner west, this rustic institution is a haven for influencers, local and international. Over the Christmas season, The Grounds hosted a delightful dinner party styling masterclass for connoisseurs of style such as myself.
Therese demonstrated the art of infusing traditional trimmings to your dinner party styling for the holiday season.
Christmas is the season to celebrate all things red and green and well ‘Christmas-y’, but we also took inspiration from the beautifully presented workshop to pass on to our beautiful maharani brides who are planning their wedding in 2019.
I thought I would share a few takeaway pointers that were passed on to attendees of the masterclass, so that you can also be a styling pro this holiday season.
Colours and textures
Whether you are opting for traditional colours or for the more alternative inclined, think about the key elements on your table and work your way backwards. Styling for the holiday season doesn’t mean that you need to go all out over the top.
For Therese’s Nutcracker themed table, she started with a thick, heavy red silk with scalloped edges as her base in order to build the setting.
One thing I have learnt over the years from stylists and experts in the industry, is how important it is to wow your guests, appeal to all the senses, which is why textures are so important.
The beauty of this table lied in the subtle centrepiece details, with layers of spruce, holly and elegant gilded twigs all clustered across the long table. Therese also had us adorn the table with antique brass candelabras, mason jars filled with berries, roses and eucalyptus for added texture and fragrance for the table. For added sparkle and a hint of winter (for us deprived of the white Christmas), gold baubles and fairy lights were added to highlight the snowflake detail.
Setting a table doesn’t have to be complicated. Utensils are usually placed in order of use (according to your menu), from the outside in. Working in hospitality taught me to never place the blade of a knife outwards. So often I see stylists these days placing their entrée and dinner knives outwards that really makes me cringe. But, that’s a story for another day. Rule of thumb is, forks are placed to the left and knives and spoons to the right.
The last thing you want on your dinner party table, is a busy place setting that doesn’t leave a memorable first impression on your guests. This holiday season, party styling is all about keeping it simple, yet classy with a touch of festive elegance. The combination of a simple white plate with matte coloured cutlery and crystal glassware provides an ideal setting and adds oodles of texture. For additional sparkle and romance, place mini tealight candles in between your foliage or centerpieces.
Christmas is the time to celebrate with your loved ones and it’s always lovely to add some surprise elements such as bonbons, candy canes and golden keys a la Nutcracker style.
This beautiful holiday themed tablescape is the perfect combination of classic charm meets rustic elegance. We aren’t ones for over the top details, so it’s important to not get too caught up in the tiny details. I firmly believe in using your imagination to create a stunning festive backdrop. Enhance the space with your favourite accents and your guests will thank you!
Our fabulous host, Therese, was an absolute pro, guiding us with ideas on how to transform our homes this season using florals, textures and layers that are not only affordable, but create a gorgeous impact that will bring your table to life.
I loved how the class was hands on and I met some gorgeous people over the course of the night. Following the workshop (plus a few glasses of champagne), executive chef, Paul McGrath served a traditional Christmas feast under The Grounds, romantic fairy-lit arbour.
A huge thank you to Therese and the staff at The Grounds for hosting this wonderful masterclass. Looking forward to attending many more in the future.
Happy holidays maharanis!
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Poonam is the founder and director of The Maharani Diaries. She has a passion for South Asian fashion and weddings. Drinking coffee is one of her favourite pastimes and she also enjoys donating her time for charity. You’ll often find her volunteering on the side for various community events.