It's reassuring to know that even food professionals get the Festive Fear. And despite decades of collective experience in the industry, being in charge of Christmas lunch still makes the team at Narroway Studio feel panicked. But only momentarily. A creative collaboration between author and chef Anna Jones, food stylist and art director Emily Ezekiel and photographer Issy Croker, between them they've come up with the recipe for seasonal success...
Why worry about honouring tired old traditions when you can create your own at home? A striking vegetarian centrepiece set on a Pinterest-worthy dining table decorated with relaxed linens, sprigs of greenery and plenty of candles in differing heights. See the Narroway team's tips for festive dining and styling below...
Veggies are the new turkeys
A whole roasted squash, filled with freekeh, chilli and sweet roasted fennel, topped with toasted oats. Place in the centre of the table for everyone to share.
Nibbles not starters
"Rather than a starter we’ll have some little nibbles to hand around, or a nice loaf of homemade sourdough bread."
Freshen up with seasonal crunch
Christmas food can be so rich and heavy, it's nice to interrupt it with a bit of seasonal crunch. Think: kales and big greens, like colourful cavolo nero.
Plenty of greenery
"Use herbs from the garden, lay a bit on each plate so you’re not worried about hand calligraphy-ing name cards." Or... you can if you want to.
Layer-up your table setting
"People want to take pictures, and layering is quite nice," advises Anna. "A plate, then a napkin. Then a side plate on top, your cutlery on top of that, with a little sprig of something."
Create a wow-factor drink
You don't have to be a mixologist to create a cocktail. Prep in advance and serve on the day. Says Emily: "blitz up a fruit, a gooseberry, pour in some prosecco or champagne."
Article written by: Natalie Wall
Imagery by: Issy Croker