Are you planning to entertain this holiday season? At Le Pain Quotidien, we love celebrating with delicious food, good wine and company. Besides curating the menu (and the guest list), you also need to think about how to create the perfect setting for your event.

However, when it comes to party planning, these kinds of details can be the most challenging – and are often left to the last minute! If you’re coming up short on decorating ideas, never fear, we have some tips on how to set the table as well as a detailed “how-to” on recreating this holiday tablescape from a recent event at one of our locations in New York City.

  • Keep it simple – A cluttered table can detract from the beauty of your home-cooked meal. Not to mention, it can also make it difficult to see and converse with the person across the table from you! Keep arrangements low or remove them from the table just before eating. Make sure that you leave plenty of room for the platters!
  • Choose a colour – Choosing a colour scheme is an important first step. Of course, here again, it’s best to keep it simple with one or two colours (one main and another accent).
  • Natural elements – Let natural elements do the work! For the holidays, think pine cones, citrus, winter berries, cinnamon sticks, fir, rosemary or even bay leaves.
  • Lighting – The type of light you choose will help set the mood for your occasion. For a simple, but elegant look, tie sprigs of herbs onto votives with jute twine. Mass them for impact, or arrange them in straight lines on a ledge or mantle. For a more sophisticated tablescape, place a few small candelabras on the table with taper candles in a neutral color.
  • Details – Don’t forget to polish the flatware and glassware! Before you set the table, use a dry, lint-free cloth to polish them up for a table that sparkles in the candlelight. Tip: you can use new coffee filters for lint- and streak-free polishing, too!

Festive Table Settings

A centrepiece using navel oranges, cinnamon, winter berries & pine

Recreate our look:

  • The canvas – To cover the table, we used 60″ x 36″ cotton drop cloths. Their heavy weight lies flat on the table and presents a neutral field to showcase dishes. 
  • Lighting – To make the table and guests glow, we placed three small candelabras on the table with 9 inch white taper candles.
  • Centrepieces – We arranged red tulips, ranunculus and winter berries together in quart sized canning jars for a whimsical touch. Clusters of pine cones interspersed with our holiday red bowls added to the wintry theme.
  • Place settings – For the napkins, we rolled up bar towels and tied them with twine, a sprig of spruce and a spray of berries. For the glassware, we used Gibraltar high balls for water and all purpose wine glasses for their everyday good looks and serviceability. Although flatware is traditionally laid on both sides of the plate, we laid everything to the right, per our client’s request … just to be quirky!

Festive Table SettingsFTS - content2

If you prefer to leave the details to someone else, consider hosting your next party at Le Pain Quotidien. Our rustic dining rooms are available for hire and are the perfect venue for brunches, cocktail parties, birthdays and receptions. Give us a ring and let our team plan the menu and handle the details. For more information, click here.

Do you have any clever table setting ideas? Share your tips with us!