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Christmas Catering: Things you need for a festive party table

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Question: What do you call a Christmas party table without seasonal napkins and crackers? Answer: A table.

Anybody who finds the above ‘joke’ funny is immediately disqualified from a job in the department of comedians who come up with the one-liners that fill our popular Christmas crackers – but as a statement of fact it’s pretty spot on!

Crackers and napkins are just two of the things that separate festive celebrations from those at any other time of the year and your Christmas party guests will expect to see them when they sit down at the dinner table.

And when it comes to making a lasting first impression, the standard of the festive table and all the things that come together to make it are just as important as the quality of the food, drink and service you can offer.

So what exactly do you need to transform an ordinary table setting into one that will instantly put your customers in the mood to celebrate?

1. Table Linen


You’ll need to cover your tables with some high quality table linen. In terms of base colours for a festive feel, white, deeper reds and burgundy always prove popular with traditionalists. To marry quality and style with tradition, you can’t really go wrong with a plain white damask tablecloth to add a touch of class.

Should you prefer an alternative, plain burgundy table cloths (pictured left) are made from hard-wearing and easy-to-launder polyester for regular use when your Christmas tables are constantly turning.

Don’t forget to use table clips to keep your table settings in good order! For more information on the different types of table linen and how to correctly measure overhang see our guide.  

2. Crockery

If your Christmas catering involves relentless parties encompassing large numbers, then you’re sure to be considering practicality alongside style and quality when it comes to crockery.

For a combination of all three, leading brands Athena (pictured right) and Olympia offer classic and traditional plain white crockery that is built to last the course in the face of frequent use in large cover environments. The availability of bulk buys and complete sets makes securing the crockery needs for your Christmas rush cost-effective, quick and easy.

For those hosting slightly more intimate festive gatherings, delicate bone china could be the order of the day. Or perhaps you are looking to stand out from the crowd by moving away from convention? You’ll find plenty of alternatives to plain and classic white in our Crockery Centre.

3. Cutlery

You’re going to need a lot of cutlery! For banqueting-style Christmas occasions you may be looking to lay up to three different knives and forks to the side of the plate before you even start thinking about a dessert fork and butter knife.

Olympia offers a real value for money option with their varied collection of classic cutlery pieces (pictured right) in a selection of patterns and sizes that will provide a mix of quality and durability. If your requirements are a little less ‘everyday’ and a little more ‘fine dining’, you’ll find weightier and  highly-polished pieces here.

4. Glassware


You’ll need a selection of different glasses on your Christmas party tables as the drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic!) are sure to be flowing freely!

Your tables are likely to include: wine glasses; hi balls and tumblers; water jugs; and champagne flutes to mark the festivities in the right way. Mason jars, meanwhile, are a great way to serve mulled wine!

Providing a wine bucket or an ice bucket on the table to keep drinks cool is a small way to show your guests that you have been prepared to go the extra mile.


5. Napkins and Crackers

Pulling a cracker at the dinner table is a Christmas tradition that dates back as far as the 19th century. A Christmas table isn’t complete until you have placed a cracker and a festive-patterned napkin alongside your crockery, cutlery and glassware. Party poppers, foil blowers and balloons are just a few of the other party disposables you can add to your table to encourage Christmas cheer!


6. Candles


Candles have been associated with Christmas since the middle ages when they were used to represent the star of Bethlehem. 

A mix of red and white jam jar candles coupled with a scatter of dusted acorns will provide a beautiful centre piece to encapsulate the true spirit of Christmas amid the celebrations and festivities.


7. Extras

We’ve given you the basics of a great Christmas party table, but we’ve also compiled a one-stop Christmas Shop with hundreds of products that will help you customise to create something that will suit all budgets and tastes.  Get what you need early and enjoy a happy and stress-free Christmas!


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