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We’re fast approaching the start of the season of fun, and I’m beyond excited. Last week we focused on waving a little magic into our lounges. This week we’re going to zest-up our eating spaces, the other important hub for entertaining.

My passion for home springs from my overwhelming love of food, wine, friends and family. There’s truly nothing I cherish more than gathering my favourite people, lavishing them with gorgeous grub and nattering the night away. Born into a family of incredible cooks, I’ve been raised with an apron on and a whisk-in-hand. I’ll share recipes with you all over the coming weeks, but in the meantime we need to make our munching spaces worthy of gourmet cuisine.

Lamps, Lanterns & Candles: Pillars v Skinnies

Lighting is everything. A warm, caramel glow will mellow the mood, relaxing your guests and yourself alike. Pillar candles or dinner candles (the long, skinny ones) look great on a table, with the former promoting a more casual, contemporary vibe, and the latter striking a sense of sophisticated grandeur (they actually remind me of Downton Abbey). Your choice will completely depend on the mood and feel you’re aiming to create. Personally, when I think of dinner candles I envisage a smart “occasion” rather than a laid-back gathering of loved-ones. Lamps and overhead lanterns that emit a soft, foggy hue are likely to be needed to add extra light when people are eating.

Wine Glasses: Tall and Sleek v Squat and Stumpy

Totally unconsciously I seem to have garnered a collection of wine glasses that only come out when friends are over. I didn’t set-out to buy guest-only glasses, but being a little longer and larger they somehow feel a tad more regal than their stumpy, squat counterparts. It’s not something many of us really consider, but supping from a good wine glass (aka long stemmed, thin rimmed) can completely shift the attitude of the drinker. It genuinely feels as though the wine tastes better and we’re more inclined to savour every sip rather than blindly down it.

Place mats, Cutlery, Napkins: Simple silver vs fun patterns

This is completely down to personal taste, but as a rule of thumb, plain silver cutlery is simple, sleek, matches with everything and you won’t get bored. Investing in a sturdy set of silverware will give you more freedom to chop-and-change your table linen with seasons, and as you personal taste grows. Generally, I hate tablecloths, preferring instead to go for quirky, colourful place mats or simple wicker mats paired with white linen (the feature image of this blog shows this perfectly). To add a little spice to the table, if you’re using paper napkins tuck them into the wine glasses so they tower out of the top.

The Little Extras: Cushions & Carafes

If you’re eating area is looking a little scruffy and bland, or you’re just a bit bored of the same-old décor, try either adding some cushions to the dining chairs or switching-up existing ones. Cushions are a relatively low-cost household item, so they’re a fantastic way to spruce up tired spaces, pack some punch and add flair. I mention carafes because my Mum gave me one last Christmas, and it really has been the present of the year.

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Image: Marks & Spencer

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