Gentlepeople, lend me your eyeballs. Don’t worry, I’ll give them back. But for now, it’s time to unpack the Ye Olde practice of setting the table.
And when I say ‘Ye Olde’, I mean it. Older than your Grannie’s Grannie. The Ancient Romans and Greeks, to be precise. They were the first to document the enactment of making tables look lovely. They practised it to mark special occasions and showcase opulence by using “plenty of hand-painted pottery, embossed silver and even engraved glass” (Thanks for the ref House and Garden UK). Tables in these times were low and mobile, significantly influencing how modern design has evolved. Think friezes, columns and classic blue and white.
Speaking of history, your personal history and earliest memories are probably of Mum’n’ Dad yelling from the kitchen to stop what you’re doing in its tracks and go set out the Splaydes (IFKYK. It wouldn't be an Aussie Christmas without them, right?!) The mundane chore of setting the table was offset by the promise of delicious food, Christmas Crackers, and being together as a family. Happy days.
Portmanteau, Don’t You Know?
FYI, tablescaping squishes together the words ‘landscaping’ and ‘table’, and was first used -fused even!- in 2003 by American television chef Sandra Lee. Clever Sandy took marketing an embellished table to the next level. And to be honest, we’re not mad about it. The idea of a ‘Chocolate Feast’ themed table setting would get the 10-year-old-me carelessly abandoning the Complex Barbie Universe that I’d created in the backyard and get to work! Nom! Maybe Barbie would even make an appearance as a Princess Christmas tableaux feature. Mmm Hmm. With tablesetting, anything is possible.
What Would Mariah Carey Do?
Contemporary Queen of Christmas, the Diva Herself, Mariah Carey, would undoubtedly spare no decadence on her tablescaping for The Season. Celebrities are so fickle. When it comes to major seasonal events that aren't about them and are - indeed- out of their control, they get busy with the decorations. But the real question is: How can we, here at Pulp, help you be in control of your Christmas day destiny to create luxury, cosiness and seasonal relevance? Fear not, Pulp Stans, we have a plan.
So, let’s get down to business, shall we?
- We're talking red ribbon. And lots of it. White accents in the form of lace wraps. And deep green ornaments to delicately enhance and curate the dining experience.
- How about Omomori bags for each guest at their place setting? Pop a little treat or personal trinket into this little bag with a small window, and see your guests peer into them with happy tears.
- Teach yourself calligraphy (go on, you know you want to), then set Place Cards at each guest’s seat.
- Hit the luxury table with high notes -just like Mariah- using colourful A4 paper to set the scene. As is, the paper can be used as placemats. Cut into shapes like stars, hearts or trees, they can be used as ‘table confetti’, bringing a unique celebratory spirit to the festivities.
- Up your receptacle game. The neighbours have Royal Doulton. You can have House of NuNu Bowls and give those fancy next-door people a run for their money. Splayds and Nunu together? A powerhouse of festive feasting!
- Think Medieval Renaissance Festival. It’s not as off-brand as you’d think when you string up the muskane garlands and copper lights and are teleported back to when table settings revolved around hunks of meat and a carving knife—stranger than fiction.
Boxing Day: Put ‘Em Up! Take ‘Em Down.
Allow us to flash forward. Pat yourself on the back. You've done it. You got through the day/night. The table was breathtaking. The food was delectable. A wholly satisfying experience. Now for breakfast amongst the aftermath. No one expects you to dress the table on Boxing Day, but if it does take your fancy, these egg, latte and espresso cups will do the job nicely.
Take it from us: the right table setting will ensure a beautiful experience. Not that you need perfection. Ultimately, having your favourite people by your side is everything that matters. As Mariah would belt out in her dramatical coloratura Soprano vocal range: “All I Want For Christmas Is You!” xx