West Elm Table Ware and mini ginger bread men

Ok, it may only be the 26th November but I am in the festive spirit. For me, this time of year is a little like the birthday cake at a children's party. We always display our cake in the middle of the buffet table, so the birthday boy and everyone else for that matter, can enjoy it. Not spend lots of time (uh hmm I mean some money - on the resolution list to bake a birthday cake) on this incredible creation for it to be whipped out in the final 5 minutes then cut up and popped into party bags to get crumbled into the car on the way home!

Christmas is just like that. I want to enjoy the build up for as long as possible and that means getting in the seasonal spirit from right now!

I've been slipping colourful crackers into the house, picking up lengths of ribbon and edible decorations for the last couple of weeks, ready for this post. I may actually have squealed at the postman when he delivered the box marked Fragile, with not clue what was inside. But I did. 

West Elm is one of my most favourite home interiors companies. It's one of the stores on my must go to list when we visit my brother in the States and when they opened a London store with shipping across the UK I was giddy. It's one of a very very small number of brands whose products my husband and I 100% agree on. Everything from the styling of the store, the simplicity and understated elegance of the website, to the cushions and crockery. 

It's all divine.

When we bought the house last year one of the first purchases was a West Elm armchair, a blanket and matching cushion for the living room. They were the only company who embraced a coral and mint colour trend last year and I wanted to buy up the store. 

When we stay with my brother and sister in law, we have had the chance to go into New York City for the day. A quick 50 minute train ride and we always head to the Flat Iron Building to walk around the pavement cafes enveloping the park and then make a beeline for Fishs Eddy. I walk in and gasp. An independent family store, selling every kind of kitchen ware, crockery and beautiful books, vintage linens and unique glassware and ceramics. I carry my hand luggage onto the plane like it carries the crown jewels! 

I recently broke my favourite sausage dog jug and was over the moon when I spotted a Fishs Eddy collaboration with West Elm. They stock a number of their gorgeous lines and new in for Winter this year is their gilded table ware - and it's currently on sale too!  It was a pleasure to style up a festive table scene on our old french table, the mini balloons and greenery pulling together this black, gold and a hint of lime scheme.

West Elm in the country!

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There's a hint of whimsy with the comical slogans and the elegant pattern reminds me of an art deco hotel. Paired with simple styling, elegant foliage, they get to be the star of the table. I love the more rustic woven napkin rings and ever since we moved here I have collected a stash of linen napkins. If you like classic lines mixed with contemporary prints and on trend colour palettes this is the collection for you. 

Gold feels like the colour of the year and their stemless glasses give the less formal naked table a more glamorous feel and the gold cutlery puts the fabulous in flatware! Take advantage of the sale where the glassware is on special offer. I would use the salad plates as dinner wares they are slightly smaller and perfect for a narrow table. And you can always have seconds!

I love the idea of table names, even just for a few of you. It feels like an extra special meal. Mini ginger bread men are a great way to get the children involved in your festive table, make a batch and use some for edible place cards, then you can eat your name tags! A sprinkle of edible gold leaf just gave them that extra sparkle.

The simplest recipes are always the best. My mum suggests this one. 

In a mixing bowl combine 350g flour, 100g butter or margarine, 5 teaspoons of ground ginger, 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda. Mix with your fingertips until crumbly. Add 175g of soft brown sugar, 4 tablespoons of golden syrup and one egg and stir until it forms a firm consistency. If you find the mix a little wet, add a touch more flour and keep stirring until you have a pastry type texture.

Roll out your mix to your preferred thickness and cut your shapes with a cookie cutter. Lightly grease a baking tray and cook in a pre heated oven at 180c/Gas Mark 4 for 12-15 minutes. Check after 10 minutes to make sure they are not burning as all ovens vary a little. 

Laying the table over the Christmas period is such a pleasure, I love planning it all, making an extra effort for Christmas Eve, (we are planning an Indian feast) the big day itself and we have lots of family and friends celebrations from Boxing Day through to New Year. It doesn't matter what you serve, making a little extra effort just makes it all taste nicer.

How do you style your table? Do you get your wedding plates out of a box like Monica from Friends?!!! 

I am loving all the beautiful tables shared on social media today. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US, especially my brother and sister in law and their mini bump!

In collaboration with West Elm.