For a designer like myself, Christmas in July, real Christmas or any occasion with family and friends is a chance to style up a storm. Can you relate?

So, what does it take to plan a feast for the eyes with a beautiful table setting? Well, start by thinking about the event itself, in this case Christmas in July. From there, you can then focus on your colour palette and theme.

To get those creative juices flowing I’m going to share with you, two settings I recently put together in collaboration with The White Place and The Essential Ingredient in Orange. And yes, it does snow here.

While both settings display unique styles, it’s important to notice the artisan ceramicwares are the same. Table one features champagne flutes, candles, a full table setting and minimal colour palette. Table two, sees those same features removed and replaced with items that bring in a fun and vibrant atmosphere. So, by changing some key pieces you can take your setting from day to night.

Photographer: OXO Creative

Gingerbread Recipe

350 gm (1 2/3 cups) plain flour

110 gm chilled butter, diced

1 tbsp ground ginger

1 tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice

2 tsp baking powder

90 gm golden syrup or treacle

1 egg

Buttermilk icing

480 gm pure icing sugar, sieved

90 ml buttermilk 1 tsp lemon juice

Method

Process flour, butter, spices and baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add golden syrup and egg and process until mixture comes together into a smooth, glossy dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Gingerbread dough can be made 1-2 days ahead.

Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out gingerbread dough on a lightly floured piece of baking paper to 4mm thick, transfer to a tray and refrigerate to rest. Cut out trees with biscuit cutters, transfer to baking trays and bake until edges start to darken. Cool on trays for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for buttermilk icing, combine ingredients in a bowl and mix until smooth, then spread over gingerbread trees and decorate.

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