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10 best Christmas table decorations: Everything you need for your festive feast, from napkins to glasses

Make your setting as memorable as the menu with these stylish details

Sarah Young
Tuesday 26 October 2021 11:14
<p>Bring a touch of sparkle to seasonal dinner parties with centerpieces and more </p>

Bring a touch of sparkle to seasonal dinner parties with centerpieces and more

There’s so much to do over the Christmas period, from making sure you have the perfect gift for everyone on your list – whether they love tech, tea or jewellery – to transforming your home into a winter wonderland.

With so much of the holiday season centred around food and drink, one of the most important things to have covered is the festive feast – and this extends far beyond planning what’s on the menu.

Whether you’re laying on a pre-Christmas dinner party with friends or have been chosen as holiday host for the big day, it’s important to give the most anticipated meal of the year the attention it deserves with a table setting that’s as much a feast for the eyes as it is for the belly.

While setting the table for dinner is something we’re all familiar with, such a momentous occasion as Christmas day requires a different level of attention: tablescaping.

Essentially the art of laying a beautiful dining table using colour, texture, depth and symmetry, this year’s Christmas lunch is as good an excuse as any to go all out and really impress your guests. But if you’re not sure where to start, fear not, because we’ve got you covered.

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How we tested

From tablecloths and napkins to centrepieces, place names and glassware, we tested a range of products that can be used to decorate your dining table, testing each on their quality, price and ability to set the scene for the big day. O come all ye faithful lovers of interiors – now is your time to shine.

The best Christmas table decorations for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Graham & Green gold multi tea light holder: £45, Grahamandgreen.co.uk
  • Best festive napkins – Sophie Allport holly and berry napkins, set of four: £16.50, Sophieallport.com
  • Best serving platter – Lakeland marble Christmas tree serving platter: £19.99, Lakeland.co.uk
  • Best placecard holders – The White Company pinecone placecard holders: £25, Thewhitecompany.com
  • Best napkin rings – Mrs Alice forest green velvet napkin bows, set of four: £28, Mrsalice.com
  • Best dinner candles – Sarah Raven winter dinner candle set: £10.95, Sarahraven.com
  • Best garland – Ginger Ray gold artificial foliage Christmas garland: £16.99, Gingerray.co.uk
  • Best tablecloth – La Redoute twinkle printed cotton tablecloth: £30, Laredoute.co.uk
  • Best wine glasses – Cox and Cox six gold rim wine glasses: £40, Coxandcox.co.uk
  • Best Christmas crockery – Habitat Christmas joy set of 4 side plates: £12, Habitat.co.uk

Graham & Green gold multi tea light holder

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Traditionally, Christmas table centrepieces are floral bouquets, but we think lighting is just as important when it comes to creating a cosy ambience. This multi tea light holder is a great way to create a magical setting and has space for holding nine candles as well as multiple decorative cups that you can choose to fill with more candles or leave empty. Made from metal, it’s coated with a bright gold metallic finish that reflects light beautifully and, while it is pretty big, it leaves more than enough space so you and your guests can still enjoy eating at the table.

Sophie Allport holly and berry napkins, set of four

Best: Festive napkins

Rating: 9/10

If you’re looking to create a traditional-looking table this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with this set of reusable napkins that come adorned with a classic holly and berry motif on a stone-coloured background. Far more elegant – and better for the environment – than the paper kind, they add a touch of colour to your setup, plus they’re just as practical as they are stylish. Made from 100 per cent cotton, they’re soft and can be easily folded or rolled to suit your aesthetic. We also loved that, once they’ve been used to mop up gravy spills, they can be chucked in the washing machine at 30C without any shrinking or discolouration.

Lakeland marble Christmas tree serving platter

Best: Serving platter

Rating: 9/10

From canapés to mince pies, or your favourite cheese and cracker combinations, who wouldn’t want to be served a festive banquet on a Christmas-tree-shaped board? Made from natural white marble, this platter looks and feels luxurious, so it’s sure to capture your guest’s attention. Plus, the heavy material helps keep food cool naturally, so you can enjoy the day without worrying about your bits going soggy while the heating is cranked up. We also loved that the trunk of the tree acts as a handle to carry the board, making it easy to take away from the table for top-ups.

The White Company pinecone placecard holders

Best: Placecard holders

Rating: 9/10

Looking for a way to make every guest feel welcome? We’ve found it. These real pinecone place settings are ideal for adding a personal touch to your festive table, and won’t look out of place with any decor style, be it traditional or quirky. Each one is covered in champagne-gold glitter, which has been applied by hand, adding an instant dose of sparkle. We also love that the set comes with 12 textured placecards for you to write on, meaning there’s plenty to use over the festive season.

Mrs Alice forest green velvet napkin bows, set of four

Best: Napkin rings

Rating: 8/10

You’d be forgiven for thinking that napkin rings have little to add to your aesthetic, but these ones prove that they can be just the finishing touch that your well-dressed table needs. Made from luxuriously soft velvet, they come with additional cords at the back, which you can use to tie them around your napkin of choice.

We can’t get over how elegant these bows look and love that they come in a range of colours – forest green, snow white, ruby red, mustard and dusty pink – meaning there’s bound to be one to suit your festive theme. Even if you don’t choose to have napkins, these can make great decorations on your table – tie them around bottles of wine, on the backs of chairs or place them among a floral display.

Sarah Raven winter dinner candle set

Best: Dinner candles

Rating: 8/10

There’s no better way to add a feeling of warmth to your table than with a few strategically placed candles, and these ones have Christmas written all over them. Made in the traditionally festive hues of green and red, they’re a budget-friendly way to tie your entire tablescape together and, unlike some imposing centrepieces, won’t obstruct your guests’ view of the delicious food. We think they look best when placed in mismatched candlesticks of different heights, which adds a whole new level of drama to your table setting.

Ginger Ray gold artificial foliage Christmas garland

Best: Garland

Rating: 8/10

Centrepieces can be a great way to give your setup a focal point, but it’s important not to overwhelm the table with anything too large, as this could make your guests feel restricted while they’re tucking into dinner. The solution? Running a garland down the centre of your table, like this fancy gilded one. Made with a metal spine that branches off with golden leaves, it looks much more expensive than it is and can be moulded to shape around any other items you might have on the table. It’s 1.75m long, meaning it should fit nicely along most tables and can even be repurposed to hang across your mantelpiece.

La Redoute twinkle printed cotton tablecloth

Best: Tablecloth

Rating: 9/10

A tablecloth is the foundation for any stylish setup and a great way to make the most of your colour scheme. While some Christmas offerings are designed specifically for use on the big day, coming adorned with symbols of the holiday season, opting for a subtler choice means you can use it into the New Year and beyond, giving you more bang for your buck – and that’s exactly why we love this caramel-coloured option from La Redoute.

Great for adding a sense of warmth to your dining room, it bucks the trend for traditional Christmas hues but still feels festive owing to the different sized gold-toned stars that decorate it. Made from a durable cotton, it feels soft and can be cleaned easily – it’s machine washable at 40C – making light work of gravy and wine spills. It’s also available in four sizes, meaning there’s sure to be an option to fit your table, including a square shape for smaller dining areas.

Cox and Cox six gold rim wine glasses

Best: Wine glasses

Rating: 8/10

Typically, more thought goes into the type of wine you’re drinking than the vessel it’s served in, but, if it’s extra style points you’re after, glasses are a great way to add interest to a table. Designed in a traditional tulip shape that’s a joy to drink from, these are made from clear, sparkling glass and feature a thin golden rim that makes them truly worthy of whipping out for a special occasion. If cocktails are more your thing, fear not, because you can also grab them in traditional Martini glass form.

Habitat Christmas joy set of 4 side plates

Best: Christmas crockery

Rating: 8/10

While it can be tempting to go all out, you don’t need to invest in an entirely new dinner set just for Christmas day. Instead, we recommend picking up some seasonal side plates to go alongside the ones you already own. Great for serving up everything from sweet to savoury snacks, this set of four features wintry scenes in bright and colourful colours that will add a playful touch to your table. They’re great-quality ceramic and will last you for many years, plus, despite being highly decorated, they’re safe to use in a microwave and dishwasher.

The verdict: Christmas table decorations

For a real show-stopping centrepiece, the Graham & Green multi tea light holder is our top pick. It’s amazing quality, adds an instant feeling of warmth to the table and won’t look out of place left after the festive season. If you’re in the market for something more festive, then Sophie Allport’s holly and berry napkins are as traditional as it gets and are sure to last you for many Christmases to come.

Voucher codes

For the latest discounts on homeware and Christmas essentials, try the links below:

Complete your festive decor with a faux fir that rivals the real thing

IndyBest product reviews are unbiased, independent advice you can trust. On some occasions, we earn revenue if you click the links and buy the products, but we never allow this to bias our coverage. The reviews are compiled through a mix of expert opinion and real-world testing.

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