Chef Robert Harris, owner & chef of Season to Taste Catering, invited us to the new Table at Season to Taste to sit down to a gourmet dinner, and although he provides perfectly suitable restaurant-style tableware to his customers, we decided to bring our own. We chose to leave the large table mostly bare, skipping the tablecloth and using a single steel gray Libeco Home Vence tablerunner across the center of the table, leaving most of the wood surface exposed. This emphasizes Harris' farm to table philosophy and the country kitchen feel of his dining table. For the rest of the table, we wanted something more sophisticated and urbane than a typical kitschy Christmas table setting to rest against the linen charcoal-like backdrop.

Table setting with Kosta Boda Eclipse glasses, David Mellor flatware, Pillivuyt dinnerware, Libeco Home linen

Beginning with the placemats, we set silver Chilewhich Coral mats on top of smoke Chilewhich Bamboo rectangular mats. Not for everybody, the Coral placemats are very funky. They look like something you might see through a microscope; strange globular forms floating across a kind of membrane. These mats are full of small holes, so they work best with something interesting in texture or color below them. The weave of the Bamboo placemats provide both.

We selected dinnerware from the Pillivuyt Quartet collection, a series of modern square and rectangular porcelain dishes with a crumple effect around their edges. We like them because they preserve a sense of angular and Spartan modern design, but cut it with the more provincial and folksy edge crumple. Chef Harris puts forth no insignificant effort in his food's presentation, so it was in everybody's best interests to give him a clean white canvas to work with. David Mellor Embassy flatware, a 20th century design classic commissioned for use in British embassies, gave the setting a unique touch of modern design with its distinctive three-pronged fork.

Red Libeco Home Polylin napkins made a bold statement against the more subdued colors of the rest of the table and offered up a nice Christmas red that carried over into the ruby red Heath Ceramics bud vases that spanned the length of the tablerunner. Each red bud vase contained a single Chrysanthemum with just the slightest hint of green in the center.

The glassware consisted of red wine glasses and tumblers from the Kosta Boda Eclipse collection. These glasses are marked by a spun glass thread that spins a graceful helix around the body of the glass, balancing, I think, sophistication with fun and folksiness. Along the tablerunner, between the bud vases, sat Orrefors Discus votives and Simon Pearce Evergreens, creating the beautiful effect of candlelight against fine glass and adding more holiday touches.

For more on the dinner, read Part 2 and take a look at the Flickr gallery.

Table setting with Kosta Boda Eclipse glasses, David Mellor flatware, Pillivuyt dinnerware, Libeco Home linen