The Mail on Sunday - You - - Inetiors -

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

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