HOW TO STYLE A WINTER DINNER PARTY
Hiya! Today I'm coming to you with a post in collaboration with the lovely folks over at Swiftcover, who asked me to share some quick #swifthomehacks for Autumn and Winter living. My first thoughts about what I do in winter? Stay in! So what better than a super cool home dinner party for you and your mates that will blow them away and make them see that staying in is the new going out?
Lets not lie, this is basically my motto all year round - I'm totally not a going out person anymore, but there is something extra special about doing it when the nights are darker and it's cold outside. Nothing beats a warm glass of mulled wine, some candle light and good conversation.
The table is where it's at, and this is where you can really make people feel special. I called my friends at Trouva and Moxon to see what fabulous pieces they had that could turn my wooden 60s dining table into something really WOW!
First up I needed to cover the table to make it a bit cosier. I chose the HAY pink dots tablecloth which was available on the Trouva site but I must have nabbed the last one as it's not longer there, soz!
The gold charger plates were from M&S a few years back and they were quite cheap. Because it's coming up to xmas you can probably find similar very easily right now, here are some I just found online for a few pounds each.
Next, some great dinnerware, I chose this set of dipped earthenware plates that added a pop of colour to the table and helped my floral decoration stand out - more on that in a mo.
Ah, cutlery. My sterling silver bits weren't really cutting the mustard so I found a cool set of gold cutlery over at Argos for £27.99, BARGAIN! Gold cutlery is normally £70+ so trust me when I say you need to get on this one guys, before everyone notices. SHHH! See what other design bargains they have in their collection.
The table tiles from Areaware at Trouva work both as coasters individually or can be put together on the table to create one larger piece. I always tend to head to Trouva to look for little bits and bobs because they collate and curate pieces from loads of independent boutiques and online stores, so you're likely to find something really individual (more importantly, something that your mate won't have!)
Ok so what else was needed - oh yeah, candlelight obvs! Nothing makes a dinner party more cosy, so I picked up the gold set of three candlesticks by Hubsch, they continued the angled look set by the glasses, carafe and coasters.
I wanted to create something that would have impact but also not take too much faffing or purchasing of throwaway stuff (I'd rather spend on the dinnerware that can be kept and used over and over again).
To decorate the table I picked up a few eucalyptus stems, some cabbage flowers and reused some gyp that had gotten a little bit dry from a left over bunch of flowers. All together this came to less than £15, but I think you'll agree it has big impact! You could do this at one end of your table or down the centre.
All you need to do is lay out the eucalyptus stems on top of each other to create the initial shape, then add cabbage flowers at both ends and perhaps in the middle. The gyp can be places over the top to finish. Easy peasy! All of these flowers are autumnal so add to the cosy winter look.
Finally, break of a short stem of eucalyptus and lay it on each plate. That's about as complicated as it gets there folks, but doesn't it look great?
I finished the look with a wooden model hand, just too add a little interest and make this an unusual table display. I like to throw in something a bit random!
If you're really looking to go all out and impress, try out Paperless Post and create your own custom online invitation, or choose from their selection of amazing templates to customise.
They even have a whole collection by Kelly Wearstler! Continue the style of your table through to the invites for maximum cool factor.
I hate being in a fluster when it comes to prepping food for dinner parties - I'd rather enjoy the convo and catching up with my homies, so why not think about making a meal in a slow cooker? That way you can leave it cooking all day and not have to rush about just before they arrive (meaning you don't get time to do your hair or makeup - rubbish).
Slow cooked meals make meat and veg so much more tender plus the flavours really develop over time.
This chicken and red wine stew recipe is perfect for cold nights. Cook it in the slow cooker and make the dumplings separately at the end.
Here are some suggestions of great playlists on Spotify for some evening winter dining!
The Dinner Party: Jazz / soul / Blues
I hope that's given you some dinner party inspo. I read once that the key to a happy life is long dinner parties with great friends. I 100% agree!
Do you have any tips for the perfect dinner party? Share in the comments below!
*This post is in collaboration with Swiftcover home insurance, and also contains affiliate links*