Guest Blog - 8 Ways to Bring the Outside-In for Your Spring Gatherings

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Planning a beautiful meal for your friends and family can really be enhanced by the way it's presented and especially how the table is set. 

We've loved following Kay from Kinship Creative on her Instagram page @kinship_creativedc, she really is the queen of setting a table for any occasion, so we asked her to share some top tips for styling a Spring Table, for you, here on our blog...

Carafe & Glassware

I was delighted to be invited to style some of the gorgeous new Aubeterre Blue Spring homewares and to write a feature. I chose to create a Spring Gathering table-scape for a Scandinavian-inspired Spring Equinox supper that I hosted this last weekend.

I am hugely inspired by Nature and use a lot of natural materials in my styling and interior design work, as well as in my own home. 'Bringing the outside in' is a brilliant way to create beautiful, inexpensive, calming interiors and a sensory element to your home as well as providing impact.

1. Look to the seasons to decorate your space this time of year, make an Easter Gathering special by foraging armfuls of blossom or pussy willow to put into interesting vintage containers such as metal jugs, old milk bottles, or coloured glass vases. Alternatively, lay your foraged finds along the middle of your table and mix in small glass bottles with seasonal blooms such as daffodils, or pot up hyacinths into old teacups for a playful addition to the table-scape. 

2. Charity shops are a great source for pretty vintage china if you don’t already have things to use in your home. Be versatile with what you do have, for example above I used these simple, classic glass carafes as vases.

3. Think about adding a new dimension for added impact, I like to hang flowers, paper decorations or greenery from the ceiling above the table. In the picture below I filled old honey jars with herbs and foliage from our garden.

4. Seek out unusual places to buy things for your table, I love our local florist wholesalers where I found my beautiful, tactile silver birch discs that I use as rustic place mats (as in main picture).

5. Don’t worry about matching cutlery or tableware, especially if you are wanting to hold a big Gathering. It makes for a more unique and interesting table-scape to mix and match vintage and modern pieces. Again, look to charity shops or vintage fairs to pick up new additions to your collection. I also enjoy visiting potteries or craft centres when we travel and pick up hand-made ceramics that trigger happy memories when I use them back at home.

6. Mix patterns and textures, but keep to a muted palette (or a given colour if you prefer) to bring the look together. Here I put together a modern rustic vibe with some Spring greens and yellow. I love these white bowls by Dassie that come in pairs of small nibbles bowls, like these on the right, or as a larger cereal bowl size.

7. Add a personal touch and be inventive with place settings, here I have written guests' names on tiny Kraft tags and added a sprig of eucalyptus from my garden. Look to your garden or nearest outdoor space for things to use such as leaves which you can write names on using white window markers; feathers make pretty place settings (simply pop them in the freezer for 48hrs to kill any bugs), or tuck single seasonal flowers into a napkin.

8. I really recommend taking the pressure off by asking guests to bring a dish, people are usually more than happy to contribute and it means you get to try some fun new recipes. On this occasion friends brought Scandi-inspired food and we were amazed at how creative people got; one friend home cured their own gravadlax and had cucumber orcas 'swimming' on the plate! 

We had a go at home-smoking some venison using our wood burning stove which was really easy and tasted great, you can buy small smoking kits with different blends of wood chip and use a BBQ if you don't have a wood burner.

Alongside the mains there was a big homemade potato, mustard and dill salad and a delicious, super-easy, apple and beetroot salad (recipe below) which was a beautiful colour and had a lovely zing to it. Not forgetting the caraway bread, sourdough bread, prawns and lots of different pickles people had made which looked really effective on the table in glass Kilner jars. Finally, dessert was a big Swedish Strawberry cake with lots of fresh cream and berries, for added impact we put it on a big raised platter edged with fresh rosemary and Spring blossom.

To drink there were prosecco cocktails made with Elderberry and Port liqueur, a range of white and red wines with the main courses, and a friend made Akvavit to go with the cake, this tasted amazing as it was infused with caraway seeds, but made for a sore head the next day!

Apple and Beetroot Salad
Serves 8


4 apples (we used English cox, but any variety would work)
A large jar of pickled beetroot
1 lemon
A medium tub of low-fat creme fraiche
Fresh dill.

Core and dice your apples, don't worry about peeling them, into small 1cm cubes.
Drain and dice your beetroot into similar sized cubes.
Grate a little of the lemon zest into the dish and the juice of half a lemon.
Add the creme fraiche.
Mix all the ingredients together, adding salt and pepper to taste, then sprinkle with chopped dill.

I hope you enjoyed the post and feel inspired to have your own Spring Gathering! 

Kay xx



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