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Setting the scene for celebration: two ways to style your outdoor festive table

christmas outdoor furniture Styling

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Setting the scene for celebration: two ways to style your outdoor festive table

Celebrate the festive season, embrace the sunshine and take elegant dining al fresco. Drawing inspiration from the lushness of the great outdoors we show you two ways to style a show-stopping, elegant table setting with minimal effort. You will create a stunning impression and set the celebratory mood for the day.

Capitalise on the ambience nature provides by providing a contrast with your styling pieces and the table they are set on. Our starting point for both settings was a neutral palette of white stoneware crockery, silver linen napery, textured glassware and a single floral centrepiece. You may choose to have three smaller floral arrangements.

To help with the selection of items consider the style of meal you will be serving and the mood you want to create. To keep things simple we kept serving items off the table.



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Contemporary casual outdoor style

For a casual contemporary feel we have used the Link Outdoor Table and Smart Outdoor Armchairs in Bianco white by Varaschin. We love the warmth of the natural teak and the contrast with the textured rope weave of the chairs.

Berzilla, Poppy Pods and Bluegum are arranged in a stoneware vase to form a long lasting floral centrepiece. A beautiful hand printed fabric runner in blush is offset by soft silver woven placemats and napery – finished with ‘Peace’ and ‘Joy’ ceramic stars and black satin ribbon. The festive theme is further celebrated with Christmas crackers–in silver and white of course!


Berzilla, Poppy Pods and Bluegum are arranged in a stoneware vase to form a long lasting floral centrepiece. A beautiful hand printed fabric runner in blush is offset by soft silver woven placemats and napery – finished with ‘Peace’ and ‘Joy’ ceramic stars and black satin ribbon. The festive theme is further celebrated with Christmas crackers–in silver and white of course!



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Classic formal style

For a classic formal approach we have used the monochrome All Size outdoor dining table by fast and the Clever outdoor Armchair. The porcelain stoneware top creates a striking look with a scratch resistant surface–fantastic for young families.

Vivid blue giant hydrangeas in a smoke glass vase form a striking floral centrepiece. The aim is to use contrast with texture in material when using a restricted monotone colour palette–this helps to maintain a formal yet layered look. Light grey wooden placemats, soft white napery, white crockery and silver cutlery contrast with the dark grey stoneware table surface. A combination of faceted charcoal tumblers, Martini glasses and large clear wine glasses provide visual interest. The place settings are finished with understated embossed white and silver Christmas crackers.



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Create ambience with lighting

Lighting is all about setting the scene to feel warm and inviting and to extend your time outdoors. Portable LED table lamps provide flexible, warm ambient light and don't take up valuable space. Evoking the spirit of a modern candle, they don't extinguish with a wind gust.

We have used the Bellhop Table Lamp in white and the Last Order Fluted table lamp in green, by flos. Both are available in a range of colours to suit your styling palette.


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Serve a signature festive cocktail

Elevate the occasion and set the festive mood by serving your guests a Christmas cocktail on arrival. Never sure what to do with the rhubarb you grow in the garden or see at the grocers–when in doubt make a cocktail!

Sparkling Rhubarb and Gin Mojito served over ice (recipe sourced from Delicious online) in hand blown kinetic glasses by Emma Klau.

Sparkling rhubarb & gin mojito

1 bunch (approx 350g) rhubarb, trimmed and chopped into 1cm pieces
½ cup (110g) caster sugar
3 limes (1 chopped, 2 juiced, 1 thinly sliced for garnish)
½ cup mint leaves, plus extra sprigs to serve
Crushed ice
1 cup (250ml) gin
300ml tonic water, chilled
2 cups (500ml) soda water, chilled

To make the rhubarb syrup for the mojito:

Place rhubarb, sugar and ¾ cup (180ml) of water into a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium-low heat. RESIST THE URGE TO STIR–it will turn brown instead of a pretty pink. Turn down to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes without stirring or until the syrup is a deep pink. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 15 minutes. Line a sieve with muslin or fine mesh fabric and place over a bowl. Gently pour rhubarb mixture into the sieve and allow to drain. Discard rhubarb pulp. Pour syrup into a sealable container and chill until needed.

To make the cocktail:

Muddle the mint leaves and chopped lime in a medium glass bowl to release flavour (alternatively use a masher). Pour mixture into a serving jug. Add crushed ice, 1 cup (250ml) of rhubarb syrup, lime juice, gin, tonic water and soda water. Using a peeler, peel long strips from extra 2 rhubarb stalks. Place sliced lime into jug. Top with extra mint to serve.



Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas, and a safe and prosperous 2022.