I personally go for traditional reds and greens with some vintage flatware and a touch of the unexpected like tortoise shell style glassware or tropical zebra plates. I love using succulents and poinsettias because they usually last the entire season!
Rockin’ around the christmas table feast with me
Stephanie Zubiri-Crespi (The Philippine Star) - November 16, 2019 - 12:00am

The holidays are in full swing and with that comes all the gatherings and Christmas parties. I can’t think of anything more special than a long, relaxed and intimate dinner with friends, the type that lasts till the wee hours of the morning – slightly rummy-nosed and red faced, tipsily telling everyone how much you love them. While just the joy of being together is good enough to bring good cheer, there is nothing better than a beautifully set table to get you in the festive mood. I personally go for traditional reds and greens with some vintage flatware and a touch of the unexpected like tortoise shell style glassware or tropical zebra plates. I love using succulents and poinsettias because they usually last the entire season! I asked some of Manila’s top hostesses to share their holiday tables and decorating tips. And while their styles are all very distinct, the one underlying theme is to have fun and decorate with joy!

MARIELLE SANTOS PO:

‘Don’t be afraid to be a little playful.’

Philippine STAR: When decorating your holiday table, what themes and styles do you like to use and why?

Marielle Santos Po: The festive season is truly a favorite of mine. Ever since I had kids, our tablescape has leaned towards the traditional red, green and silver combined with childhood favorites like Santa and his reindeer. This year I added Christmas hedgehogs that I found in Lady Scott Jones.

Share more about this table. Who did you invite and what did you serve?

I had my girlfriends over and we had roasted turkey with sausage and chestnut stuffing  —  my mom’s recipe, baked chorizo puff, caviar pie, pumpkin soup, softshell crab salad and apple pie.

Any decorating tips?

Don’t be afraid to be a little playful. Christmas is all about fun, love, peace and joy!

 

 

STEPHANIE KEINLE GONZALEZ:

‘Use what you have. Keep it fuss free.’

When decorating your holiday table, what themes and styles do you like to use and why?

Stephanie Kienle Gonzalez: For my holiday table decorating, I usually go with the flow and what I am inspired by that particular year. On some years I keep it modern and neutral, whereas on others I opt to go with traditional reds and greens. More than how it turns out looking, I value the process as I involve family. I pick the plates, cutlery and decorative ornaments with my girls and we also decide on the seating arrangement together, keeping it authentic, festive, and most importantly, from the heart.

Share more about this table. Who did you invite and what did you serve?

For this table, I put a crisp white tablecloth to brighten up the dining room and added a red amaryllis floral center piece. While the color was more classic, I opted for a contemporary setting and used my modern carrara design plates that are white, black and have a slim gold rim. I paired them with a textured gold charger and cutlery, classic crystal, and adorned the white napkins with fresh pine and a simple red bow. My girls added their favorite gold reindeer decor to the sides of the table and votive candle holders. We truly enjoyed an evening of our favorite comfort food (a cochinillo for the hubby, seafood paella, a creamy lasagna for the kids, and a nice big green salad followed by a generous dessert buffet spread of home-made goodies) with our closest family.

Any decorating tips?

I suggest looking at your butler cabinet and lean towards a color palette that goes with what you already have at home so that you keep things fuss free. Classic color combinations like red and green or gold and silver are fairly easy to spruce up during the holidays. While I love festive tables, I like to edit things fiercely so that you leave only what’s necessary on the table. That gives the spotlight to a few key pieces that you love. At the end, it’s about putting together a Christmas setting that is most fitting to you and your family.

 

 

HAPPY ONGPAUCO TIU:

‘Be as creative and festive as can be!’

When decorating your holiday table, what themes and styles do you like to use and why?

Happy Ongpauco Tiu: I like using fresh potted flowers so they can last the whole season. I also like adding Christmas ornaments such as Christmas tree decor, to make my table more festive. My favorite holiday theme decor is my giant Christmas parol centrepiece made of fresh leaves and flowers that’s backlit for a dramatic effect. For me, a beautiful table leaves a lasting impression on the guests, not only will it add to creating beautiful memories around the dining table but will also make the guests feel special because we arranged the table especially for them.

Share more about this table. Who did you invite and what did you serve?

For the parol flowers, it was made for a client who wanted to wow her guests with a gigantic themed table décor. The poinsettias table is in my personal private dining room — a celebration among good friends. I loved this tablescape because I was able to use it in almost all the gatherings I hosted because the flowers last long.

Any decorating tips?

The picture with the Christmas tree ornament is a perfect sample of a festive decorating tip that can easily dress up your usual settings.  Another is the picture with the fresh apples that I painted gold. This decor lasted me two weeks so I was able to repeatedly use it during my gatherings — it was an interesting centrepiece that most of my guests did at home too as it was easy to make and not so pricey. There is no right or wrong when creating a tablescape. Be as creative and festive as can be!

 

 

KATHY HUANG:

‘Just decorate with what makes you happy.’

When decorating your holiday table, what themes and styles do you like to use and why?

Kathy Huang: I tend to go for more subtle colors. I like to use metallics as it is still festive. I like sleek and modern lines, so I enjoy using unconventional shapes and colors. One year I even used black and gold as my theme.

Share more about this table. Who did you invite and what did you serve?

I usually invite only close friends and family over. My table seats 12, which is just enough for just my side, or just my husband’s side. My usual Christmas get together is with Kaye Tinga and her four kids, and my sister and her two kids. The menu always depends on my mood. Some times Spanish, sometimes Japanese. But the one constant is that I always have plenty of desserts and cakes.

Any decorating tips?

When decorating, just do what makes you happy. Christmas only comes around once a year, and its the most wonderful time. So do as much or as little as you like!

 

 

CHRISTMAS TABLE HOLIDAY
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