How to lay your Christmas table

Decorating ideas for the perfect Christmas dining table

First, make sure you have enough chairs and extend your table if needed. Lay a heatproof cloth over it to protect the surface, and wash and iron your Christmas linen.

Table checklist:
• Table linen – we used a plain white tablecloth, runner and napkins, with a heatproof mat under the table cloth
• Charger plates
• Crockery, cutlery and serving spoons for each course
• Wine glasses, water tumblers and champagne flutes
• Mats for hot dishes
• Place cards – we used luggage tags – and ribbon
• Candy canes
• Crackers
• Table centrepieces
• Candles and holders

Prepare your table linen

Place a crisply ironed plain white cloth over your dining table, then lay a bright, festive runner down the centre, making sure it’s hanging evenly from either end of the table.

Lay the cutlery

Put the main course knife and fork either side of the charger plate, then put the starter knife and fork on the outside. Place the dessert fork at the top (handle left) with the spoon above (handle right).

Position the glasses

Allow a water tumbler, wine glass and champagne flute for each adult guest. Put the tumbler above the knives. The flute goes to the above left of the tumbler, and the wine glass to the above right.

Add placecards and napkins

We’ve folded our napkins into pockets then put a candy cane in each as a treat for guests. Cream luggage tags make inexpensive place cards. We’ve replaced the string tie with ribbon.

To get the look, try John Lewis, Heal’s, Marks & Spencer, Lakeland and Tesco.

Get more great Christmas ideas and inspiration.

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