With winter just around the corner, here’s some tips to make your next feast a really memorable occasion. As well as enjoying a warming tipple from sparkling glassware it’s time to pull out your best dinner service and feast on some wintery fare.
Incorporating deep reds, yellows and greens into your table will give it a real winter feel, and these colours provide a great contrast for glistening white plates.
Think about deep golden runners and scattered green decorations for a table design that offers plenty of winter warmth.
You could also create a beautiful and fragrant centrepiece using cinnamon sticks, pine cones and dried orange, arranged decoratively in a bowl – perfect if you’re planning on serving mulled wine.
An eye-catching table is nothing without a delicious bounty of treats for your guests.
For nibbles, opt for wintry shapes such as stars and trees, especially if you’re making your own biscuits or pretzels. German lebkuchen biscuits (similar to gingerbread) are an ideal choice, as they have a great rustic Alpine feel and come in a variety of pretty shapes, from simple circles to hearts.
Another innovative idea is to present your sides in a more interesting way. Chutneys and sauces can be presented in freshly cleaned rustic clip jars, whilst other items such as stuffing can be shaped into balls and placed in bright white bowls – you could even get a little more creative with some of your items, by adding more unusual ingredients such as celery, thyme and chicken stock to your stuffing.
An excellent way to round off your evening (and send guests home feeling suitably warmed up) is to serve a few winter-themed cocktails at the end of the meal. There are numerous berries in season during winter, making it easy to find fresh ingredients at your local supermarket or grocer. Try this delicious recipe for a White Chocolate and Winter Berry Fool:
- 2 blackberries
- 2 raspberries
- 4 red currants
- 25ml milk
- 25ml raspberry liqueur
- 75ml Crème de Cacao white chocolate liqueur
- 25ml sugar syrup
- 1tbsp natural yoghurt
- 2 ice cubes for shaking
Instructions: Place the blackberries, raspberries, red currants, milk, raspberry liqueur, white chocolate liqueur, sugar syrup, natural yoghurt and ice cubes into a cocktail shaker. Shake thoroughly, then strain into a sparkling cocktail glass – coat the rim of the glass with a mixture of white sugar and cocoa powder beforehand for a charming snow-topped effect. Garnish with a couple of black currants (or other berry of your choice).