“Remember, remember the 5th November”
Oh wait, except it’s 2020 (fun sponge).
With all social gatherings and engagements cancelled due to that “unprecedented” pandemic you probably haven't heard of, we got our thinking caps on to see how you can still enjoy the most explosive time of year.
For most in the UK, we're heading into another impending Lockdown (for others there’s housemates, partners, family and those lucrative support bubbles), so why not host a dinner party (or a virtual one!). A dinner party so grand that Guy Fawkes and his Gunpowder crew would be proud.
With a little thought and the right execution (see what I did there?), dinner parties can be an incredibly rewarding evening for both the host and guests. So, we teamed up with the extremely talented interior influencer @catwalktocowpat to see if she can guide us through how to style a dinner table for a bonfire night themed evening.
Get a notepad ready (and maybe a sparkler), it’s time to plan the ultimate dinner party.
“There’s nothing I enjoy more than hosting a dinner party. I love the whole process; from planning and making the food to designing and styling the table. I even love a themed playlist!
In these strange times, staying in is the new going out, so any excuse to celebrate Bonfire night. Bonfire night is usually a loud and vibrant affair, which called for a table fit for the theme.
Lighting is always where I start when styling a dinner table. And, for this occasion, I knew exactly the starburst lights I was after.
We have a branch hanging above our table which started its life in the dining room’s first Christmas (it’s stayed there ever since). The branch is the perfect platform to hang lights, ornaments and various other elements to suit the occasion. And is certainly very fitting with this theme.
I suspended the collection of lights from the branch and placed them at different heights to create a firework display effect.
The most essential part of styling any table is layering. I’m not a huge fan of a pristine, flatly laid table cloth, so I opted for crumpled linen instead. I placed the linen down the centre of the table to add both texture and elevation for the foraged styling.
Next, I added sparsely leaved twigs and beautifully vibrant Chinese lantern stems - perfect for the late Autumnal theme. I added more height with papery dried hydrangea blooms and some delightful concrete pears. The pears are sprayed in metallic gold reflecting the firework bursts perfectly. I also use tree slices for coasters, which are idyllic.
To add depth below the surface of the table as well as above, I used rustic Hessian placemats which I heavily frayed around the edges but used them longways to hang over the edge of the table.
I chose the florals to have a seasonal tone. At the base is deep red Sedum, which are peppered with red Astrantia. The Astrantias naturally have a starburst quality to them and the Anemone seeds look like firework Pom Poms. Very fitting.
Again, the floral arrangement adds height and texture, which draws the eye up to the spectacular lights above. It’s all about the attention to detail.
I also hardly ever put a vase on the table, they’re too flimsy and can be knocked over with a sweeping arm in conversation or a wine top up. So, I’ve decided on a sturdy terracotta pot with metallic detail, it adds more texture and reflection to the table.
Cutlery is a chunky fire forged ironwork and the crockery is a grey coloured earthenware to keep in line with the theme. I add small bonfire burned terracotta salt and pepper pots nestled perfectly amongst the foliage.
I love a contrast with elegance and rustic, so added crystal glasses with starburst cut work to complete the look. I know it’s a tad seventies, but I thought two serviettes crumbled together into the glasses in bright orange and terracotta would look like mini bonfires - they were perfect and added essential fun.
Finally the place settings. Nothing says bonfire night more than toffee apples. So, I made these sprinkled with pistachio and added twigs from the garden, greaseproof paper leaves and little name labels. Also, made for an instant fuss free dessert!
Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did.”
Want to recreate the look? Here’s @catwalktocowpat’s shopping list (if the product is no longer listed, we have linked to the homepage of each website):
- Starburst lighting, Amazon
- Mangle cloth, Hellish Designs
- Concrete pairs, Oh So Grey
- Tree slices, Homesense
- Hessian placemats, Blue Diamond
- Tealight holders, Blue Diamond
- Star candles, Oh So Grey
- Cutlery, Caudwell Mill Craft Centre
- Crockery, Wayfair
- Salt & Pepper post, Kagu Interiors
- Star cushion, Josh & Benji Design
We would love to see how you get on in designing your very own bonfire themed dinner party. Tag us on Instagram at @Swyft_Home and we’ll share the best ones.