15 Mar 2024

Sustainable Suppers

Sustainable Suppers
Anna Blakey and Annie Leslie of AB Design and Interiors are an interior design duo based in London. With a philosophy of creating unique spaces full of heart and soul, they believe every room should tell its own story. Anna and Annie also founded Truffles and Ruffles, a curated community of networking events for the very best in interiors, art, design, fashion, and more. Each month, they combine talent, conversation, and ideas around a beautifully styled lunch.
Here, they give us their tips for effortless entertaining >
The Art of Dressing the Table: A Guide to Effortless Entertaining
Entertaining guests, whether for an intimate gathering or a large party, is an art form that begins with meticulous planning. From curating the guest list to crafting the perfect menu, every detail contributes to the overall ambiance of the event. However, amidst the hustle and bustle of preparations, one aspect often overlooked is the dressing of the table. A well-appointed table sets the stage for a memorable dining experience, elevating even the simplest of meals into a feast for the senses.
Founders of AB Design and Interiors Anna and Annie
Planning is Key
The foundation of any successful gathering lies in thoughtful planning. Once the guest list is confirmed, attention can turn to the table setting. Begin by thinking about the atmosphere you wish to create – whether it's an elegant affair or a casual gathering among friends. Here are some essential elements to consider:
Linens and Napkins:
Start by selecting linens that complement the theme and mood of the occasion. Experiment with mixing and matching colours, textures, and patterns to add visual interest to the table. Don't be afraid to layer tablecloths with runners or use remnants of fabric to create unique tablescapes. Similarly, napkins can be coordinated to match or contrast with the linens, adding a playful touch to the setting.
The tablescape from one of Anna and Annie's Truffles & Ruffles lunches
More is Definitely More:
When it comes to decorating the table, embrace abundance. Scatter candles of varying heights across the table to create a warm, inviting glow. Fresh flowers are a classic addition to any tablescape, but if they're not feasible, consider bowls of seasonal fruits or other decorative elements to add colour and texture.
Menu and Table Harmony:
Harmonising the menu with the table setting ensures a seamless dining experience. Opt for dishes that can be prepared in advance and cater to the dietary preferences of your guests. Keep in mind the lowest common denominator when planning the menu – simplicity often reigns supreme and allows for stress-free hosting.
Set the Stage Ahead of Time
If space allows, set the table the night before the event. This not only saves time on the day of the gathering but also allows you to fine-tune the arrangement and make any last-minute adjustments.
In the realm of entertaining, dressing the table is an art that requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By planning ahead and embracing creativity, you can create a captivating tablescape that sets the tone for an unforgettable dining experience. So, whether you're hosting a formal dinner party or a casual brunch, remember that the magic lies in the little details – and a well-dressed table is the perfect canvas for creating lasting memories with loved ones.
Our founder Jules followed Anna and Annies brilliant tips to make her sustainable tablescape. Here’s how she did it: 
  • Use a fabric remnant as a table runner, and create a focus point for your central decorations
  • Remnants also make lovely napkins if you can get your sewing machine out!
  • Avoid any plastic or anything one use
  • Shop in charity shops (as far ahead as possible so you can revisit the same ones!) to gather placemats, small jars and vases for flowers
  • Balloons can be hard to avoid for a birthday party, but paper lanterns can be ordered online and reused. Hang them with cotton thread and brown paper tape!
  • Where possible, buy local and seasonal flowers, it helps get your carbon footprint down!
  • Natural beeswax candles are ideal for your natural party
Wallpaper remnants are lovely for name settings and even placemats!