What colour scheme have you chosen for your Christmas table this year? And what are you stuffing your turkey with? That’s what the team at The Pop-Up Dining Room have been discussing this week. Bonfire night has gone, the Christmas displays are popping up in all the shops and it won’t be long until it’s time to entertain and cook for our loved ones – the best bit for us foodies!
Table Trends …
At The Pop-Up Dining Room we specialise in creating fabulous table settings. Tablescapes tend to follow fashion and interior trends so this year you can expect to see jewel tones and velvet entering the scene, rustic Scandi is still in and beautiful layers of all white table linen with crystal glassware and red berries for contrast is going to have a strong presence. Whatever you choose though, natural greenery, sparkling metallics and warming string lights remain firm favourites and lend themselves to all schemes. Above all enjoy the opportunity to be creative and sparkly,’ says Jennie Stogdon, owner of TPUDR.
Industry tips to get you started on your table design…
A simple way to put together a great look is to start with a crisp white tablecloth, add a coloured or neutral runner and some entwining greenery that snakes down the middle of your table. If you prefer an accent of greenery put together some small evergreen sprigs to lay on the napkins. Use some metallic spray paint on ivy or pine cones for some added sparkle. You can use tea lights and candles dotted across the table or choose strings of battery operated lights to give a warm glittering glow.
When you’ve chosen your crackers use their colour to accent the rest of the table. Candles, place settings and napkins can match or compliment the crackers. Tree decorations make lovely place setting decorations.
If you happen to have a beam or suspension points above your table, why not hang festive wreath for added atmosphere? Wreaths don't have to be circular. We created this one by joining two doweling rods together and attaching our greenery to them with florist wire. We sprayed some hydrangea heads and more pine cones gold and added these to the wreath along with some pretty white rose buds and fairy lights to add the all important sparkle. To add a truly festive flicker, you can suspend jam jars tied with ribbon from the doweling and pop tea lights into them.
A caterer’s guide to turkey stuffing…
Once your table is set, it's time to stuff the turkey. You need to stuff the neck end, underneath the skin. Many people position it in the wrong place. You are not placing the stuffing inside the cavity, nor are you stuffing its bottom! The neck end is the 'little wings' end, not the big chunky 'leg' end just to be completely clear. (There are quite a few good videos on YouTube for any first timers.)
The Pop Up Dining Room team have a variety of favourite stuffing recipes but we’ve narrowed it down to three of the best to share with you.
Here's three of our current favourites...
The Hairy Biker's: Sage and Onion Stuffing
This is your easy-to-follow traditional stuffing recipe for those who want a fool proof plan.
Riverford's: Sausage meat Stuffing
Sausage meat stuffing for those who love a bit of meat in the mix. Riverford have lots of suggestions on how to add variety to this such as mixing in chopped walnuts or apricots.
The BBC good food's: Chestnut, bacon and cranberry stuffing
This gives you something different from the norm. The nutty chestnuts, salty bacon and sweet zingy cranberries are a perfect combination.