I think we all need something to look forward to. Easter has presented itself as a golden opportunity for a heavy dose of happiness. Before covid, I become quite weary with place settings & table decorations, but a year of sitting at my coffee-marked table next to my bowl of fake fruit has blown the cobwebs away, and I am here for some beautiful tables. I decided to ask a host of people to give us a little Easter pep and show us what they're planning for the big day!
Designer, Lonika Chande
I have always loved Easter and growing up, it was a big thing in my family. It culminated in a mega egg hunt in my grandparent’s orchard, with the same colourful Lindt eggs, and oh the joy at coming across a stray egg when playing in the garden months later!
My approach to the Easter table is very much my usual “tablescape”
approach. It is an excuse to get out some of my most cherished things and to enjoy them with the favourite meal of the week in our house - our weekend breakfast.
My talented friends, Claire and Rose, have recently launched their beautiful homeware brand Late Afternoon, and I may have gone just a bit wild for their hand-painted Andalucían ceramics. The plates and bowl that you see are from their collection.
The tablecloth is actually a Kantha quilt that I bought from Francesca Gentilli earlier this year. I collect Kantha quilts and use them all the time, both at home and in projects. I love their versatility - used on the end of a bed, the back of a chair or as a tablecloth. The depth of colour and pattern that a vintage fabric brings is unrivalled, and I love pairing it with something new, like the napkins, or the quilted block printed placemats, (which are from Zojora via Cutterbrooks).
It is no secret that I love a stripe. Late Afternoon came up trumps again with their beautiful Afternoon Tea Stripe linen napkins, (they have such a lovely weight to them).
The primroses are from my mum’s garden in Hampshire. The butter dish is a repurposed antique soap dish, and the eau de nil eggs are dark chocolate
Robin Lucas, Designer & Illustrator
I like Easter, it has the joy of being different each year both in date and the progression of spring. It may be cliched but I think it’s hard to beat blue and yellow, yet I also love pink and green. The most important point is to use true spring flowers: English daffs, a bit of hedgerow blossom, really anything pretty from the garden. The eggs are a selection of ostrich, goose, quail, hen and pheasant. For me, Easter is the first celebration of spring…and after the last few months, my goodness we need it!
Assistant Producer, The Calico Club.
@daveyhunterjones Round tables are always the better choice for dining; it’s intimate and brings a sense of togetherness. Having a central point to decorate that can be enjoyed by everyone is a bonus.
It feels like an age since I last had people over, not only because of various lockdowns but because I’ve been in the midst of a year-long renovation. So building the layers of the table really gave me a much-needed boost of enthusiasm, that we’re well on our way to hosting and seeing loved ones.
Easter screams pastels, but pastels aren’t really my thing - I’ve made an Easter table to suit my palate. This meant a lot of improvisation.
Starting with the table cloth, this is simply a length of fabric from Merchant and Mills, cheap as chips and will only get better with age.
I think the importance of a beautiful table is lots of layering, building up colour and texture and print and creating a harmonious balance. To me, this means balancing the bright colours with earthy tones, hence why my next layer is this vintage woven placemat and smaller rush table mat from Rushmatters.
Next, the plates are enamelware from The Conran Shop a couple of years ago, and they’re just perfect, super flat and nice contrast.
I have an endless collection of glassware - the blue stemmed glasses are from the wonderful Tat and bring a playfulness to the table. The cups are a Bauhaus design that I picked up in Kempton, and although quite impractical (they don’t hold much) I love that they are so bloody elegant.
I’ve decorated the eggs with oil pastels and some paint pens, super easy and you don’t have to be an artist, even a 20-second scribble adds some beauty. I’ve also wrapped some chocolate eggs in fabric and added some extra bits of foliage to bring the central arrangement down to the table.
The candlesticks are from Mantel - Sadie has an amazing eye. I love them because they bring the table to life, not only adding an element of fun but also they bring the black of the tablecloth up into the arrangement.
The floral arrangement is a mix of Icelandic Poppies, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus nicholii, Pussy Willow, Craspedia, various grasses and some dried wheat.
I don’t have a full set of matching egg cups so I’ve chosen some random things that work, in varying sizes and styles. Again adding some haphazardness that breaks through the symmetry of other items.
I hope my guests enjoy it!
Mia Lillingston, Chef
@mialechef I’m currently living in Puerto Escondido, south of Mexico City, on the pacific coast. Easter in Mexico is celebrated over the course of two weeks. The first week (the week before Easter) is called Semana Santa or Holy Week. The second week (the week after Easter) is called Semana de Pascua. All over the country, Mexicans are gearing up for elaborate religious rituals and much-anticipated
processions and ceremonies. Back home, we always made an effort for for an Easter meal in my family, so
there was no way I was going to let this date slip by without doing something a little special, with of course, a heavy Mexican influence. Being in a rented property with 3 other flats and shared areas, we have a bit of a commune going on- our kitchens are equipped with mismatched cutlery and not enough glasses etc.. which made it all the more fun because of the challenge. Dressing a table, for me, is not something that should take a huge amount of fore-planning or money. I foraged the Bougainvillea from a nearby street, the vases are all old wine bottles and the table runner is actually banana leaves. I love how you can find so many unexpected items in all the local “corner shops” here, they all have these super kitsch plastic candles in all different sizes, that last for months, and in all the best colours- I already had a few because we’ve had so many power cuts. They also had 2 packs left of some pretty melted chocolate eggs, perfect to go in my little handwoven baskets I got in the Mercado (originally bought to store jewellery and hair ties in a bathroom)along with the coconut husks which I’ve used as a home for the napkins and salt & pepper. The placemats and flower plates also all came from the Mercado but the beautiful seed pods were another forage from the side of the road, when still intact they are filled with seeds and double as a fab percussion instrument, but when open, reveal this gorgeous indentation. Basically, work with what you’ve got and have fun! Felices Pascuas!
Emma Grant, Designer
Easter lunch set for two with early 19th-century floral patterned plates, silver sugar basket stacked with sugared almonds, candlestick upgraded with a crinkled paper shade and terracotta pots with pale flowering narcissi bulbs.
Me, Charlie P
So I thought as I was asking everyone else to do one, I'd throw my hat into the ring. The tablecloth was previously used as a backdrop for a Tat still life; I bought it from eBay for around £10. My job is supplying little bits and bobs, no surprise that I have a host of candlesticks (candles from Wax Atelier) & little jugs, the flowers were bought from Waitrose for £10, I can only apologise, but their spring bunch really got me. In the Porter household, we give gifts at Easter, I don't know how I started it, but it certainly adds some fun to proceedings. This Easter will be a real gift-giving bonanza as we will be making up for Christmas. My finishing touch would be the scatter of mini eggs; they look as good as they taste!
Have A Wonderful Easter/ Four Day Weekend!