How to dress a table
It’s that time of year again, when there’s an abundance of festive parties to attend; but somehow they all seem to meld into one. So how do you make your holiday party unique and memorable? Attention to detail. It’s important to not only decorate the table, but to make sure the lighting fits the ambience, the flowers are colour-coordinated, and the napkin accessories complement the tableware.
This year, pick a colour theme for your table. Because jewel tones are on-trend this season, buy a variety of bright-coloured napkins (I found some reasonably priced ones in @home, Dubai Mall) and wrap them with a pretty beige ribbon decorated with small jewels; both of which can be found in small craft shops in Satwa, amongst other places around the Emirates. If you’re hosting an evening event then the lighting will set the mood. Candles are always a great way to accent the table and add ambience. White pillar candles, in various heights lined along the table, will look elegant. The Lifestyle stores by Centerpoint have locations all over Dubai and carry all sorts of shapes and sizes.
Another unique touch is to make placecards for each of your guests and leave little notes on the back with personal messages to everyone that has special meaning in your life.
Last but not least, the centrepiece for the dinner table, which brings everything together. I recommend a floral centrepiece, it will add a touch of beauty and grace. Start with a white Calla lily base with accents of blue hydrangeas, red roses, pink daisies, yellow button mums, or purple orchids. Give the florist your preferences, and they can create a beautiful custom bouquet for you. Oleander on Beach Road has creative designers that are consistent and have impressed me every time.
If you’re into baking and want to tap into your creative side, why not give “edible gifts” to all your friends and loved ones. Cupcakes, brownies, cookies, and ganache are all bring a smile to people’s faces. If you can customise each item for the receiver, it will never fail you. A great place to buy decorative tools is Tavola in Jumeirah. They also host cake decorating classes, so you can brush up on your skills beforehand. Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting the modern day Willy Wonka, who taught me how to make the perfect ganache. In fact if you are a chocolate lover then it’s worth investing in, Willie’s Chocolate Bible, to learn how to make all those delectable treats on your own. The secret is buying good quality chocolate, and this book will teach you what you need to know in the pursuit of chocolatey perfection!
New Year’s day brunch ideas
New Year’s Eve is one of the most celebrated holidays in the calendar. It marks the end of the year, provoking reflective thoughts and evaluation and sets high hopes for the year to come. After a long month of celebrations what better way to start the New Year off than to host a New Year’s day brunch? Here are some quick ideas for a tasty brunch you can make at home. For people with a sweet tooth, a brioche French toast, topped with brown sugar bananas is a perfect choice. If you’re looking for something savoury, perhaps an omelette or poached eggs made with farm fresh eggs (available at the Farmers’ Market) served with a side of sweet potato and roasted corn succotash. If your guests aren’t egg fans, smoked salmon sandwiches with avocado and cucumber are a delicious alternative. A fruit and yogurt parfait is a satisfying and healthy choice. If you really want to impress your guests, serve them a fresh smoothie using berries, bananas, mango juice, soy milk, and a touch of honey!
INFO: Saba Wahid is writing her very own cookery book and is a renowned food expert. www.sabawahid.com