Your Christmas Table

I recently found a very old picture of our Christmas table that my darling Mother had prepared.  I had forgotten how beautiful she would set it, how festive it looked and how much the silver sparkled.  My Mother passed on earlier this year and so I find myself wanting to create a Christmas Day table that will be as warm and festive as hers.

I have been trawling through the internet for inspiration.  I like the idea of mixing and matching different looks.  There is so much inspiration out there, it’s amazing! A bit overwhelming but so inspiring.  Here are some of my favourites…

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In the mood for a Country style Christmas

Here are mix of images that inspire and items that are available to purchase now (listed below).  There are many ways to interpret a country style Christmas.  This is one that evokes a warm and festive feel.  OMC

Print

Edenham Print Superior Christmas Crackers - Exclusive to Liberty £45
Edenham Print Superior Christmas Crackers – Exclusive to Liberty £45
Three House Tea Light Lanterns - Cox & Cox £35
Three House Tea Light Lanterns – Cox & Cox £35
Glass Bauble Wreath by Nkuku at Not On The High Street £89.95
Glass Bauble Wreath by Nkuku at Not On The High Street £89.95
Royal Corgi Glass Decoration - Liberty £15.95
Royal Corgi Glass Decoration – Liberty £15.95

Garlands and Wreaths

Real wreaths and garlands are wonderful to look at and smell.  They transform a room into a Christmas wonderland but there are so many alternative ever lasting options now.  We are spoilt for choice.  You can pretty much find a garland or wreath for any type of theme that you can think of!  The best thing about a lot of the wreaths is that they can be used all year round.  I love the homely feel of a wreath on a front door, they can enhance a shabby chic kitchen or at the head or foot of a bed.  The boxwood and silver bells would add a chic touch to a wedding.  Here are a few of my favourites that on sale right now as well as a little inspiration for those who want to get a little crafty.

White Snow Berry Christmas Wreath & Garland by The Christmas Home at Not on the High Street £44 each
White Snow Berry Christmas Wreath & Garland by The Christmas Home at Not On The High Street £44 each
Frosted Pinecone & Fir Wreath - The White Company £50
Frosted Pinecone & Fir Wreath – The White Company £50
Frosted Pinecone & Fir Garland - The White Company £70
Frosted Pinecone & Fir Garland – The White Company £70
Noble Fir Wreath - Balsam Mill from £69
Noble Fir Wreath – Balsam Mill from £69
Boxwood Wreath by Just Add A Dress at Not On The High Street £7
Boxwood Wreath by Just Add A Dress at Not On The High Street £7
Fir and Red Berry Wreath by Just Add A Dress at Not On The High Street £12
Fir and Red Berry Wreath by Just Add A Dress at Not On The High Street £12
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Fir table Garland by Just Add A Dress at Not On The High Street £15
Vintage Style Silver Jingle Bell Wreath by Little Baby Company at Not On The High Street £14.95
Vintage Style Silver Jingle Bell Wreath by Little Baby Company at Not On The High Street £14.95
Glass Bauble Wreath by Nkuku at Not On The High Street £89.95
Glass Bauble Wreath by Nkuku at Not On The High Street £89.95
Snowy White Twig Wreath - John Lewis £20
Snowy White Twig Wreath – John Lewis £20
Christmas Felt Ball Garlandby Little Yellow Birds at Not On The High Street £16.50
Christmas Felt Ball Garlandby Little Yellow Birds at Not On The High Street £16.50
Christmas Red and White Honeycomb Bauble Garland by Ginger Ray at Not On The High Street £7.49
Christmas Red and White Honeycomb Bauble Garland by Ginger Ray at Not On The High Street £7.49
Paper Fan Garland Bunting by Peach Blossom at Not On The High Street £8.50
Paper Fan Garland Bunting by Peach Blossom at Not On The High Street £8.50

Feeling Crafty, these are some lovely home made wreaths

Tinsel Wreath
Tinsel Wreath
Vintage Christmas Decoration Wreath
Vintage Christmas Decoration Wreath

Christmas Crockery – Sophie Conran for Portmeirion

I have been on the hunt for Christmas crockery.  Something a little more special just to have out during the Christmas season.  After much deliberation I have decided to purchase a set of Sophie Conran’s Christmas side plates designed for Portmeirion which I shall be serving mince pies, cookies and many other festive treats on.  Each plate has a different pattern which is very charming.  I purchased the set of 4 but you can purchase them separately from John Lewis.

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Super Saving Alert

The whole collection appears to be in high demand with a lot of websites out of stock of some pieces but I was able to purchase my set of 4 side plates from ecookshop.co.uk. Not only do they have stock, 20% discount off the whole range (which seems to be web wide) but they are also offering a FURTHER 15% DISCOUNT with code WIN15 (offer expires on Tuesday 18th November, 2014).  So that is a huge 35% off the collection.  Oh, plus free delivery with purchases over £50.

Portmeirion currently have a special price for a set of 4 dinner plates, side plates and mugs for £99.99 (please note this offer may be on for a limited time, therefore price may revert back to RRP £146).

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Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Christmas Pattern 12 Piece Set

The Sophie Conran for Portmeirion Christmas Pattern collection is available at

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Christmas card shopping!

I love to take my time mulling over which Christmas cards I will purchase.  Should  I go classic, nostalgic, photographic, whimsical….? You get the idea.  So I surprised myself when I popped into my local village gift shop today and purchased 3 sets of mini Christmas cards (along with some other Christmas themed purchases but more about those later).  They are published by Lagom Design.  Those of you who are familiar with Lagom will covet their brilliant selection of greetings cards, stationery and gift.  Lagom cards are always of beautiful quality.  All of the Christmas cards are printed (locally to Lagom in the UK) using environmental print technology on heavy weight FSC certified paper from Swedish Mill Munken.  All come with 100% recycled paper envelope.  £1.50 for a single card or £5.00 for 5.

Here are the 3 sets that I purchased today.

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I love these cards too.  Visit their website to view their full range www.lagomdesign.co.uk

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My Spirit of Christmas findings

My family and I attended the Spirit of Christmas this year.  In the past I have attended as a buyer for a retail company, on the hunt for unique and special products and vendors.  This time I was on the same hunt but for myself and it was a wonderful start to the festive season.  There were hundreds of vendors (gift and food) and it took the majority of the day to visit all of them.  I thought that I would share a few of my favourite finds.

 Food

Copas Very Very Special Turkeys – The sample that I tasted was extremely delicious and moist.  I do not like white meat that much but this was wonderfully tender. They offer award winning traditional white, free range bronze and free range organic turkeys.  They also sell some special accompaniments, great hamper fillers!

www.copasturkeys.co.uk

Crosta & Mollica Panettone – I very much enjoyed the apricot panettone

www.cmkitchen.net

Children

Pepe & Co – Adorable children’s clothing offering classic, contemporary Spanish brands.  Specialising in brands from babies to 6 year olds.

www.pepaandcompany.com

Walkers Books – Offer a great selection of children’s books that will become treasured favourites.

www.walker.co.uk

Plaid Tidings – I saw an old favourite of mine of their stand, a Father Christmas fabric Advent calendar.  They offer different designs as well as some really great fabric toys, beautiful quilts and much more.  Do visit their website as there are some great gifts to be had, not just for Christmas.

www.plaidtidings.co.uk

Stationery & Print

Ros Shiers  – Wonderfully illustrated prints and stationery.

www.ros-shiers.com

East End Prints – Vibrant and humorous prints

www.eastendprints.co.uk

Lorna Syson – Contemporary design with a nostalgic  undertone.  My favourite was her robin red breast print.

www.lornasyson.co.uk

Pottery

Blue Dot Pottery – Fine multi award winning Polish stoneware. My favourite pieces were their Christmas trees in varying sizes.  The beautiful designs have a heartwarming craft like feel whilst being chip-resistant, oven proof, microwave and dishwasher safe.  Outstanding!

www.bluedotpottery.co.uk

Advent calendars

20 days until December 1st! A bit too early to be buying your Advent calendar? Certainly not! There are so many options out there, far more evolved from the heavily glittered nostalgic Manger or snowy village scenes of years gone by. Thankfully though you can still find those heart warming calendars. My mother in-law bought one for our 1 year old boy recently. It made me smile and filled me with much nostalgic joy.

You are never too old to have an Advent calendar. My dear mother bought me one every year and my husband carries on the tradition (I have a delicious Lindt one this year).

The options below are only the beginning (I hope). I shall keep on adding to them as I find them.  If there are any that you find that want to share, please let me know.  The more the merrier!

All price points are covered and there are even some lovely wooden ones reasonably priced.

Paper

Probably my favourite as I still remember the excitement of wondering what festive picture was about to be revealed as I carefully pulled back the window. The glitter always crumbled off!

Crumble Cottage Advent Calendar - Anna Dempsey £5.95
Crumble Cottage Advent Calendar – Anna Dempsey £5.95
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Fortnum & Mason £10
Fortnum trad 10
Fortnum & Mason £10
Liberty of London £9.95
Liberty of London £9.95
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Personalised Advent calendar – Modo Creative (notonthehighstreet.com) £12

Wooden

They have been around for a fair few years now. They are an investment but will become a wonderful family treasure that will be loved year after year.  Have fun personalising them, not necessarily filling them with confectionery but maybe little notes, jokes or pocket money treats. I think that the preparation is as exciting as the daily discovery! I feel the same way about Christmas present buying and wrapping.

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Fortnum & Mason £90
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Scandi House Advent Calendar – John Lewis £40
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Wooden Train Advent Calendar – Marks & Spencer £45
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Wooden Cabin Advent Calendar – Marks & Spencer £65
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Gisela Graham red wooden Advent Calendar – The Contemporary Home £30

Confectionery

It is only during the Advent season that eating a chocolate shaped jingle bell before breakfast is okay!  Long gone are the days of the chalky (so called) chocolate Advent calendars.

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Swiss chocolate Advent Calendar – Fortnum & Mason £30
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Wooden Advent Calendar, confectionery filled – Fortnum & Mason £125
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Jelly Belly Advent Calendar – John Lewis £15
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Santa’s Bunny Sleigh – Lindt £5.49
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Adorable Bear Advent House – Lindt £9.99
Gingerbread House - Williams Sonoma $14.95
Gingerbread House – Williams Sonoma $14.95
Organic milk & white chocolate Advent Calendar - Montezuma £9.99
Organic milk & white chocolate Advent Calendar – Montezuma £9.99

Children’s Advent Calendars

There is an amazing array of fun Advent calendars for children.  Beautifully crafted fabric calendars hold wonderful tactile surprises.  They are usually bright and add much festive colour to a room.  Fuzzy Felt and Lego are one of many favoured toy brands that make Advent calendars.  A new toy a day, what a treat!

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Away in a Manager fabric Advent calendar – GLTC £36
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Lego City Advent Calendar – John Lewis £14.97
Fuzzy Felt Advent Calendar - Yellow Moon £14.99
Fuzzy Felt Advent Calendar – Yellow Moon £14.99

Chic Advent Calendars

Some of these blow the budget a little but they will look beautiful in situ.

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Peace on Earth Advent Calendar – Land of Nod $49
Pillow cover Advent Calendar - Potterybarn $59
Pillow cover Advent Calendar – Potterybarn $59
pb 199
Stocking Ladder Advent Calendar – Potterybarn $199
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Gilt galvenised Advent Calendar – Potterybarn $159