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An Elegant Autumn Table

A/W '21

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and all that jazz. It’s time to celebrate Autumn. And make the most of the last blooms in the garden. Let’s lay a table for a relaxed November dinner.

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The Inspiration


Hydrangeas. And hydrangeas. And hydrangeas. Possibly at their finest at this time of year as they fade from the fullness of bright pink to green and rose, tipped with deep red and softest brown. Before we move into darkest Winter, and just before we move into the crazy, maximum wattage jollity of Christmas, it seemed like the right time to celebrate the last hurrah of the garden. And a fitting time to lay a last seasonal table which wasn’t destined to feature a large turkey and some cranberry sauce.


A table covered in hydrangea heads and dried flowers.
A lais table with white china, patterened table linens and vases filled with hydrangeas.

The Fabrics


Bungalow has served us well. With block prints (tea towels, table cloths and napkins) featuring subtle prints of muted olives, pinks and lilacs, this linen provides the perfect foil for the flowers. Make sure you mix and match. This is most definitely not a table of precision and neatness but should feel generous and relaxed. We used the colours as a prompt for a little egg spoon at each place setting (sort of like a party favour).


Hands arranging dried flowers.
A close up of Charles Farris candles in greys.
a close up of dried flower heads.
Green and clear otterbourne glass candlesticks.

The China


Without wishing to sound like a stuck record, Costa Nova is the perfect foil for all our prints. It’s a very simple plain white with just enough decoration to make it interesting. We used a charming stack of dinner, side and bread plates, with a cheeky mini bowl on the side. Don’t be afraid to lay a full table for dramatic effect and be prepared to unlay as you start to eat. Apparently it’s unlucky to eat off stacked plates and no one wants a main course on a teeny tiny bread plate. As ever Vaisselle are giving us some lovely Spanish slash French slash English handpainted vases.


Laying spoons onto plates.
A Kaymet gold tray filled with Stars champagne glasses.

The Glass


Darker evenings equal lashings of candlelight. We used our Otterbourne glass candlesticks (mostly in the clear glass but in multiple different shapes, with accents of green). Feel free to repurpose the smaller candle holders as little bud vases to switch up the scale of your flower displays. Fine etched glassware from our lovely friends at The Vintage List and subtle candle colours from our new friends at Charles Farris (founded in 1845 to supply pillar candles to St Pauls Cathedral, now finding a slightly less lofty home in SO23).


The Flowers


To the hydrangeas (about which I have already waxed a bit too lyrical) we’ve added some chocolate cosmos, in part because the colour is perfectly deep dark red but largely because it was the only remaining flower in the garden. A little foraging along the river and we gathered a bunch of dead cow parsley. Mix in these sculptural forms to dial down the prettiness of the flowers.


If you're feeling inspired by the prospect of a cosy Autumn dinner, we’ve gathered together all the elements:


- For a look at how we created our table, hit play!

- To shop our styled table, this way please...


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