I wanted to very quickly pop on here to wish all of my readers a very Happy New year. It's been a hectic Christmas for me with one thing or another (another being the 10 Christmas trees we seem to have committed to this Christmas!!!)
Christmas to me is about celebrating with friends and making time to appreciate each other. So we get some of our favorites together, and have a Christmas soiree. This year we hosted an afternoon tea.
I created a winter whites table tablescape with a touch of gold, which I could later change up a little to become the Christmas day tablescape.
As it was Christmas week, I added in fresh roses to the chandelier (They are in oasis foam so they will stay fresh for a few days) and I also add fresh roses into some of the glass balls hanging from the chandelier with fishing wire or nylon thread. I also added in some sparkly snowflakes to cement the Christmas theme.
I kept the floral's white and cream with lots of green foliage. I used Ecuador roses in polar white and vendela along with amaryllis and cream spray roses. For the bottom vases I grouped white chrysanthemums together. Again I built out the arrangement using oasis floral foam to help keep everything in place, it really is a lifesaver!
For the table setting, I use my white tea set (as its neutral, its a great set to have as can be used with almost anything).
We served finger sandwiches in a variety of fillings. Turkey and cranberry, cheese and chutney, roast beef and cream cheese and cucumber. We also found mini goats cheese and cranberry parcels and the cutest festive sausage rolls. If your making sandwiches the ahead of time, keep them sealed in Tupperware and refrigerated.
For sweet treats we served mini mince pies, stolen bites, gingerbread cookies and cupcakes and Bavarian desserts.
And of course it wouldn't be Christmas without Christmas cake.
Are you planning any holiday partys? Id love to hear all about them in the comments below
For more Christmas inspiration see HERE and HERE
For last years Christmas tablescape I really tried to challenge myself not to use pink. Pink is my absolute all time favorite color and I naturally just reach for it no matter what i'm doing.
That said, I also really like to change things up and make things look completely different. After all life is too short to do the same tablescape twice!
So in the spirit of change I went with white, mint green with gold accents. For the floral display, I created a large arrangement with white and cream Ecuador roses, amaryllis and white snapdragons. I used lots of fresh eucalyptus (which just smells incredible) boxwood and white waxflower. To add in extra drama I used vases or chrysanthemums packed tightly together.
I built the arrangement with an afternoon tea party we were also hosting in mind and I wanted it to be able to work between the two but have 2 sightly different looks. Its amazing what a different shade of tablecloth can achieve.
I added foliage to the chandelier to add in some drama (and if i'm being honest its something iv wanted to do since we moved)
I hung gold snowflakes from the bottom of the chandelier, along with hanging glass balls with a combination of tea lights and fresh roses inside.
I found these gorgeous glasses by LSA which were the perfect color. These are the melon balloon glasses and the I also used the tumblers in the same shade. I actually love these glasses so much I purchased them in rose also
Now lets see if I give in to the pinkness this year....
Seeing all of you're favourite people at Christmas can be really hard as everyone is so busy shopping, decorating and visiting family as well as living life in general. If you're not careful you can miss out on time with your closest friends. This is why I always try to plan a brunch or a lunch so I don't miss out on time with my favourites at such a special time.
Last year I invited some of my girlfriends from Spain to a very pink and girly afternoon.
As it was just the girls I had free reign to go as pink and girly as I wished (not that I ever let anything stop me doing the pink thing)
Like afternoon tea, brunch is another favourite party style for me as it can take minimal effort food prep wise and lots can be prepared before hand. Which leaves me with more time to focus on the styling and decoration which is what i'm definitely better at. I also don't like to be away from guests when they arrive so this is perfect.
As its the festive seasons I cracked out the Champagne along with the coffees, teas and orange juice. I served fresh warm, sweet and savoury pastries, fruit bowls, and muffins which went down a treat. You could also add in eggs as they can be prepped before hand and kept warm.
Excuse the low res iPhone snap, but this was the only one we managed to take ha ha
Aren’t girlie brunches the best?!
After a super productive day Christmas shopping in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, (if you haven't been shopping there you should definitely check it out) we headed to the Christmas markets. Because is it even Christmas if you haven't been to the Christmas markets...
'sWe checked out the stall filled with Christmas decorations, festive foods and artisan cheese. And in true Scottish style you can pick up some cute tartan pieces.
After we had finished our days shopping we headed to The Dome for dinner and a well earned cocktail. The Dome is the quintessential Christmas venue. It is probably the most Christmassy restaurants iv visited to date, so if this place doesn't have you filled with festive cheer than I don't know what will.
They make the most incredible cocktails, they are to die for...
We had the most perfect weekend in Edinburgh, I definitely recommend it
During our festive trip to Edinburgh, we stopped by The Balmoral hotel for afternoon tea at the Palm court. Festive afternoon teas are a tradition for for us and we are always looking to try new one's. This would be my first Scottish afternoon tea... how exciting!
I think this afternoon tea gets the award for the sparkly est afternooon tea iv ever been too. The palm court is absolutely beautiful, and as its Christmas its dressed to its very best.
I was delighted when we were shown to our table and saw the sparkly backdrop. I am all about the sparkle, especially at Christmas time. It was almost as glittering as the glass dome and Venetian chandelier hanging above
We chose our tea from a wide selection of loose leaf teas, while we listed to the harpist play from the balcony.
And than we were served a divine selection of sandwiches and savoury's along with fresh out of the oven scones served with clotted cream and Jam
And than came the handmade pasties from the pastry chef. Each one as delicious as it looked. The addition of a super cute ice cream cone shaped treat was the icing on the cake.
Such a lovely festive treat, and the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon
Where possible we try and come home to the U.K as much as possible over the festive season, as to be quite frank no where does Christmas like it. Spain certainly has its own Christmas traditions, some of which we have come to love but nostalgia has us craving home soil.
We decided to spend a festive shopping weekend in Edinburgh after enjoying our time their so much in the Autumn. For this trip we stayed at the Principle Hotel on the prestigious George street and was the perfect backdrop for a cosy Christmas weekend.
I love it when hotels decorate for Christmas, it really adds to the festive vibe and the Principle's hotels decoration were lovely.
After checking in, and checking out the hotel... we hurried off to see the sites and do a spot of Christmas shopping.
Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful city's iv visited, and its really brought to life in the festive period with all the buzz of shoppers and beautiful trees decorating the streets. Whether you choose to visit the castle, one of the many Art Galleries or Exhibitions or just walk the historical streets, Edinburgh’s fascinating history is inescapable.
Edinburgh castle sits at the top of the quaint and traditional Royal Mile where you can explore ancient walls, battlements and prisons. Don't be alarmed by the cannon, which fires at 1pm daily.
We passed by my favourite The Witchery by The Castle which is a must if your visiting Edinburgh which was so beautifully decorated I couldn't help but take some snaps.
Such a perfect town for romantic festive getaway. Check back this week to see what we got up to in the evening
I feel like our home was made for events, and has so many cute and cosy areas that it is just crying out for event dressing. With that in mind I like to really create an impactful entrance in the hallway and this is where I placed my pink and gold tree. This tree was inspired by my favorite colors and our wedding color palette.
Again as with the main tree, I Fill with uniform pink and gold baubles in various textures (glittery, Matt and shiny) and than I add in my unique and special finds that iv been collecting for years. Again, these decorations really have meaning to me. Some have been purchased on our trips, some are reflective of our wedding since this tree is our wedding colours (My husband actually managed to find me a replica wedding cake decoration)
I also build out a natural foliage garland (as with the main tree) in the hall, and as its at eye level I can really go to town with this one. Along with all foliage, I spray paint twigs and ferns in gold. I also add in fresh roses the week before Christmas to add something extra and tie in with the faux roses on the tree.
The Master bedroom
As the master has such high ceilings I can also get away with quite a large tree in here too. And As my philosophy in life with most things is go big or go home... I literally did just that. The color theme here is white and gold and is probably the simplest tree that I do. Its mainly filled with white and gold baubles (again in various textures and sizes) with little white and gold nutcrackers and cream bows
Its truly magical going to bed a night with sparkly fairy lights and nutcrackers glittering around us.
For the bedroom fireplace is actually use a faux garland as I ran out of time to make a third real one. I added pretty white and cream butterfly's to make it even prettier.
I just love these gold and silver nutcracker dolls aren't they cute!? I found some similar ones on amazon here and here.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing my take on Christmas. I have tried to find links for as many of the decorations as possible and added in some other options too
For part 1 click here
Winter cinema at the Berkely hotel has been on my Christmas wish list for what must be forever, but iv never managed to be organised enough to book before availability runs out. So when Tony surprised me with date night during our Christmas weekend in London, I was over the moon.
It is literally the cutest thing ever. Think woolly throws, hot water bottles, hot chocolate (
with all the marshmallows you could dream of) and mince pies
Little wooden arbours decked in Christmas decorations and surrounded by sparkling trees make it feel super cosy, while London life whizzes by on the streets below the rooftop.
Choose between mulled wine or hot chocolate (or both) and settle in for tonight's festively themed movie, Miracle on 34th street- did I mention its a favourite
And while I'm mentioning things, did I say that the mince pies were served warm, with a side of frozen cream and are absolutely delicious. I think I would visit for those alone!
Just don't forget to take a look at the gorgeous Berkeley lobby decorations before you leave...
Whats your favourite Christmas event?
We have been lucky enough to enjoy Afternoon Tea at Claridge's before, but not for Festive afternoon tea. So, When it came to deciding on which festive Afternoon Tea to do next as is our annual tradition, we decided on the world famous and oh so gorgeous Claridge's.
There is nothing like seeing London's best hotels decked out in all of their Christmas finest twinkly splendour and Claridges (with its inverted Christmas tree) really brings it to the party.
Designed by Karl Lagerfeld, this is certainly the showstopper you'd expect from the creative genius himself. In fact, people flocked from far and wide just to see this incredible creation which was hand crafted in Germany.
We were shown to our table in the beautiful Foyer and Reading room, right under a second inverted candlelit tree in place of Claridge’s famous central chandelier. It was hard not to be distracted by how twinkly everything was.
We ordered a suitably festive cocktail while we made our selections from the beautiful menu... there are over 24 teas to choose from. Then we chatted away while the treats rolled in.
Plates of festive themed finger sandwiches arrived. So delicious it would be easy not to leave room for the other elements of Afternoon Tea. This is why the art of a good Afternoon Tea is to pace yourself, don't rush and savour the moments
Claridge's serve a Christmas pudding course with their festive Afternoon Tea, and in the past iv never really been a fan of this festive dish. However, one taste and I was completely converted. It was exquisite, and I absolutely ate the whole thing
Next, we were served warm scones with Marco Polo gelée and Cornish clotted cream (the hubb's favourite) along with mini patisserie (my favourite).
We drank delicious tea from signature Claridge's china, and ate cakes too beautiful to be eaten... however we did indeed eat them.
Have you tried any of the festive afternoon teas in London? Id love to hear about them...
For more festive afternoon teas see here
A Travel, beauty and lifestyle blog with the occasional afternoon tea by Angelina Belle
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