TAKE YOUR SEATS FOR THE PERFORMANCE…
Want a dinner party with a difference? Sam Bompas of experiential culinary duo Bompas & Parr, who turn dinners into theatrical events, explains how to turn a feast into a showstopper worthy of an encore As your guests will have been invited to several parties over the season, your celebration has to stand out as unique. I do this by focusing on a fun and memorable theme that is suitably festive but not generic, then get creative to exaggerate it for the party.
The centrepiece is the most important element on the table – pyramids of stacked food such as lobsters or quail are striking and also make for great sharing platters. Quirky stand-alone pieces such as pineapples covered in glitter or flaming punch bowls also achieve the wow factor. Colour plays a major role in creating your table. I favour a darker palette such as sapphire blue teamed with deep red and flourishes of gold for a visually rich modernised Christmas look.
My absolute must is a thoughtful seating plan. I once hosted a party and placed personalised pewter tankards, which were £1 each from a market, as part of the spread. Guests were able to take them home as a keepsake afterwards. Break away from traditional Christmas colours with blue, black and gold. This setting – by Aline Caron, founder of lifestyle blog mylittlefabric.com – shows you how to work with deep colours and still bring a festive feel. Winter blooms such as hellebores (aka Christmas roses), along with gilded cutlery and candlesticks, nod to the seasonal theme. For similar cut-crystal wine glasses, try zarahome.com. For similar stonewashed table linen, try linenme.com