We asked the students at Stellenbosch’s Private Hotel School to suggest a Christmas table setting that is not only “different” but also environmentally friendly

The hospitality industry is very much about creating a unique experience for guests, so when we were planning our festive table, we tried to take the focus away from a traditional festive table and rather think out of the box while keeping current trends in mind.
All-natural table runners as the focal point of the table is something that is still on trend

Combing greenery, flowers and even fruits or vegetables adds a very natural feel to the atmosphere of the table and is also very sustainable. Keeping this in mind, our table setting décor also forms part of the menu and creates a very fun and playful interaction for guest attending.

We decided on doing a festive picnic table, with the focus being on sustainability, minimal waste and using what you have around you to create a beautiful table for a Christmas lunch or dinner.

Setting an environmentally-friendly (& affordable) Christmas table_1

What you will need is:

A roll of brown gift-wrapping paper that you will use as your runner
Wooden cutlery
Colourful twine or any rope or ribbon you have in your house
Disposable and biodegradable napkins
Greenery from your garden or nursery
Fruit that you will be serving with your menu (especially if you are having a cheese and charcuterie platter)
A permanent marker
Recycled glassware or disposable cups


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Start of by placing the brown gift-wrapping paper on the table as a runner

Then place the leaves on the table and thereafter spread the fruit around and in between the leaves – keeping in mind that you want a variety of fruit to be distributed over the whole table.
Add preserves, cheese and charcuterie.
For cutlery, take the twine and tie them together with a piece of rosemary, which besides looking good also helps to keep away any bugs.
Finally, to add a personal touch to your table – and instead of making name cards – take a permanent marker and write the names of your guest on the brown gift-wrapping paper. To make the table even more playful you can write the names of the items to eat on the paper to indicate what each item is.


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And there you go, a beautiful and fun festive table that won’t take a lot of your time or money.