Fabulous festive table ideas

Cook and food writer Cook Barnett has teamed up wth Habitat to create three Christmas dinner table looks

The food is the star of the show at Christmas dinner but table design is also important in making this meal extra special.

Cook and food writer Anna Barnett has teamed up with Habitat to come up with three very different looks.

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She says: “I love tradition but there is something really exciting about designing a table that really takes your guests by surprise. Being creative with contemporary Christmas decorations, foliage, food, music and finishing touches all goes towards creating an amazing seasonal experience for your guests.”

*Look one is nature inspired and brings together eucalyptus, fruits and warming metallics.

The centrepiece is easy to make. Simply lay a line of eucalyptus stems the length of the table and intersperse with warm gold, copper or bronze baubles that reflect candlelight.

The colours look incredible together and the eucalyptus gives off a great relaxing aroma.

You can also add in fruits such as pomegranates, walnuts, oranges. Here, I've spray painted some of them gold too. Then add in a selection of candlesticks of different heights to create some atmospheric lighting.

The hanging display is a small bunch of willow branches attached to two leather straps. Hang from the ceiling centrally and attach baubles to the branches at different heights using invisible thread. Here, we've also added in some miniature Christingles. You can attach to the ceiling with white drawing pins or small tacks.

Alternatively, if you have a pendant light or chandelier, you can always hang baubles from these using the invisible thread.

*Look two has a black theme. Black is a great base to accentuate colour and texture. I've used black dinnerware as the base to this look and then layered gold and pine on top.

Adding texture,like the pine fronds and pompoms, helps add warmth to this look. Layering fir tree branches down the centre of the table and entwining fairy lights will create a stunning centrepiece.

The place names are on gift tags attached to Habitat's eye baubles.

*Look three is inspired by a fiesta. If you love colour then this one's for you.

I've used a seasonal palette of red and gold as a base but then thrown in a fiesta vibe with patterned baubles, sequins and glitter.

For place names, I've attached gift tags to small cocktail crackers. I've also used wool tassel tree decorations as a cutlery tie.

Lightweight sequin garlands are strung across the dining table for a festoon effect and reflect candle light for a kitsch but elegant look.

Anyone for cocktails? Anna Barnett says: “I offer guests just one or two options of cocktails and keep the ingredients simple.

Seasonal fruit Bellini or a mulled wine or cider are classics. They are easy to make and look stunning with a few simple touches.

Think about the glassware and how to add something special. For our candy-cane White Russian, we coated the rim of the glass with sugar syrup coated with crushed up candy-cane and served them on a tray of candy-canes.”