James Treble Talks Christmas Entertaining!

JT xmas entertaining 2

James Treble knows how to live the life. He’s a work-hard-play-hard kind of guy. Plus, he’s got a pretty sweet eye for décor and design.
So, we thought we’d tap his grey matter for tips on Christmas entertaining!!

Maze 16-Piece Dinner Set in Chili Red – Gordon Ramsay by Royal Doulton, available online at Zanui.

For JT, Christmas is… relishing the handmade with loved ones.

“It’s making decorations with the kids, and time spent with family and friends,” he says. “If you’re houseproud, you can share treasured time with the people you love in your home.”

Left: Noritake Hampshire Platinum 20 Piece Dinner Set. Middle image source: emilyaclarkdotcom. Right: Table Tops in a Box Mix n Match Table Setting Small with Rope Placemats, votive covers and more, available online at Zanui.

JT’s fave Christmas palette is… blue and white mixed with silver. He advises selecting a limited palette and repeating it. But don’t let this restrict you!

“I think that red and green is a bit done,” he says. “My family like to change colours each year. My daughter picked pink and orange this year. Next year it’s going to be teal and burgundy – we’ve already decided. We re-spray the baubles for a personal touch.”


From left: Noritake Golden Wave 20 Piece Dinner Set, Table Tops in a Box Ceramic Napkin Ring Set of 4, and My Drap Luncheon Serviette Roll of 25, available online at Zanui. Homemade decorations via havecupcakewilltraveldotblogspotdotcom

Christmas dinner chez JT:

“We have ham because we always had ham, and prawns… but we let go of roast meats when I was about eight. Oh – and lots of salads. I love a pumpkin, beetroot and fetta salad for all the festive colours. And I make a mean German potato salad. And, of course, champagne!”

When it comes to entertaining, James says more is more – loads of plates of food in a mix of hot and cold. “I don’t want to be a slave to the kitchen, so I put the time in with the preparations and then it’s just about serving and plating it up!”

We’re hearing you!

Divine organic decorations for your table courtesy of huntedinteriordotcom, Alex Liddy Anais Decal 16-Piece Dinner Set and Royal Doulton Charlene Mullen Foulard Star 16-Piece Dinner Set, available online at Zanui.

All the table-setting tips you need

Mix and match your dinner sets for beautiful colour contrasts. Repeat the metallic tones of your cutlery in your décor accents for festive charm. Gold or fine bone china napkin holders raise it above the everyday. It’s a celebration! Add a little finery.

“I think a white dinner set is the best investment. White is the new white, if you know what I mean. You can pair it with green for St Patrick’s Day, with red for Christmas + Chinese New Year, or with florals for feminine elegance. White also works with stripes and patterns. Have a bit of fun! Personalise your look. It makes your table interesting to the eye.”

From left: Royal Doulton Finsbury Individual 5 Piece Place Set, Vinyl Designs Baubles Christmas Tree Wall Decal and Donna Hay for Royal Doulton Modern Classic 16 Piece Dinner Set

To cloth or not to cloth

For JT, a rustic wooden or urban-industrial table adds to the vibe. For JT, it comes back to buying clever basic pieces that translate across all occasions.

“I’m not a fan of tablecloths. I prefer placemats – then you can see the beauty of the knotting in the timber, the burnished wood. It’s practical without being precious!”

Get creative with the little people in your life or just let your inner masterchef run wild. Decorate your Christmas tree with traditional Lebkuchen ornaments and gift them to your guests at the end of the meal! Image source via swidedotcom

Add a little curious to your centrepieces

JT advises a bit of daring here. Rather than going straight to cut-flowers, why not try unusual vegetables or fruits to adorn your table.

“Custard apples, aubergines and tropical fruits are all intriguing in shape and aesthetically beautiful. Potted colour is also great. You can enjoy it on your table and then return it to your balcony!”

Handmade decorations add a wholesome touch. Repurpose vases, cookie cutters and candles to adorn your table and tree. Image source from left: funflowerfactsdotcom, beckyshandlerdotcom and myfullifenutritiondotcom.

But whether it’s candles or a collection of citrus, check out your eye lines. It’s all about the conversation. Don’t make it difficult for your guests. Think about the height!

Think outside the square with your table centrepieces. Vegies can be gorgeous too, especially paired with fresh fleurs. Image sources: blogdotkatemillereventsdotcom and amberwilkiedotcom

JT’s tip for getting the kids involved:

“You can make biscuits for tie-on Christmas tree ornaments that double as gifts for your guests when they leave.”

That’s a bit cute!

Giving is a great part of Christmas! Especially if you invest and make your presents yourself. Image source from left: fancy-ediblesdotcom, blendspacedotcom, and pinterestdotcom.

And lastly, the icing on the Christmas pud

“Dress up your look with fine glassware, a decorative cake-stand, an elegant ice-bucket,” JT says, “those heirloom items that have been passed down from generation to generation. Christmas is a time for looking back… it’s a time for reflection.”

Here! Here! JT! You nailed it. 🙂

Combine candles with vegetables for super-funky centrepieces! Image source from left: inspiringhomestyledotcom, amazinginteriordesigndotcom and shelternessdotcom.

Kay is a feature, blog and copywriter. She collects empty jam jars, academic degrees and tawdry dreams in the hopes of turning them into something useful someday. Her work has been published in ACP magazines, ABC fiction, Overland, Brittle Star, Seizure, trade publications and online forums. Her creative writing has won several awards.