Essentials: Simple, and very dishy

After dinner enjoy a glass of port in these elegant goblets with 22-carat golden trim. pounds 10 for two, poured from a glass decanter at pounds 17.50, from Boots.

Indulge yourself with some chocolate truffles served in this stylish chrome dish. pounds 10 from Debenhams.

No Christmas meal is complete without crackers such as these luxury red and gold ones from Marks & Spencer. pounds 10 for six, or, set on a gold underplate, pounds 12.

The Time: Dressing for dinner

The Place: Your dining room

The Essentials: If you're cooking the Christmas dinner you've probably got enough on your plate, without worrying about dressing the table. But by investing in a few simple table decorations and place settings you can turn a plain dining table into a festive feast

This gold-leaf wax- filled cup- and-saucer candle from Debenhams, price pounds 3.50, makes a stunning table decoration. Just don't pour your coffee in it.

Above left: These good looking two-cup espresso sets priced pounds 24.95 and pounds 44.95 finish off a seasonal episode of gastronomic indulgence perfectly.

Above right: This Blenheim fine china dinner service with 22-carat gold trim from pounds 2.80 to pounds 68, can be dressed up or down. For a festive look include a midas knife and fork, pounds 3.50 each, and damask napkin, pounds 7.50 for pack of two, and a sprig of holly.