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Let's talk dining, with Helena McConnell

Photo of Helena McConnell

Entertaining is firmly back on the menu, so we sat down our dining specialist, Helena McConnell, to talk tables!

“What trends have you seen emerge this year?

As life has gradually returned to something resembling normal, entertaining is firmly back on people's minds. Spending precious time with family and friends is cause for a celebration and so beautiful tables are a way to create a sense of occasion. Glamour is firmly back on and with even the most beautiful cutlery and porcelain dishwasher safe, there is no excuse to hold back!

Christofle for example, are celebrating their heritage and imperial roots embodied by the Marly and Malmaison collections, which are beautifully detailed.


“Do you see these carrying on into next year?

Most definitely. I think people have realised the value of spending precious time with those that are important to them and celebrating in style. Amongst many of our clients there is a trend for the "tablescape", which is a way of layering a table to create different looks. It allows for a bit of drama and is a way of incorporating season, occasion or simply changing things up.


“What are your top three tips for table dressing?

  • Not matching everything on the table - and have fun! Adding pops of colour with water glasses that perhaps echo the scheme of a room is a way of adding interest and making a statement. It also makes the table look less formal. Something like the wonderful jewel tones of the Saint-Louis Tommy collection are perfect for this and can even be complemented with matching champagne flutes. Alternatively the Sip of Gold tumblers from FÜRSTENBERG are sure to be a talking point - suitable for both champagne and water.

  • Beautiful vases and candlesticks add mood and glamour to the table. Remember with vases that your guests will want to see each other, so low is usually preferable. Christofle's Uni vases in silver plate are ideal for this. They reflect light around the table and are a great alternative to crystal. The silver also hides the stems, bringing focus to the flowers themselves. For something less traditional, try VENINI's Murano candle lights which add a colourful glow to the table.

VENINI candle holders

  • Try something different. You can change the look of a table with striking table linen, or also perhaps introducing cutlery in something other than traditional silver. Rose gold and gold is incredibly striking, and Zanetto have a wonderful selection of designs that also offer a choice of unique textures. For true opulence there's the Jardin D'Eden collection in its combination of gold and rose gold, showcasing the incredible skill of the Christofle silversmiths.

Cutlery from Zanetto

Jardin D'Eden, designed by Marcel Wanders for Christofle

L'Ame de Christofle, with Gold, Rose Gold and Black PVD finishes


“What type of tableware projects are you working on at the moment?

A real variety! 2021 has seen the welcome return of numerous hospitality projects, with restaurants and hotels wanting to up their game. From 600 pieces of exquisite Jardin D'Eden by Christofle for a Michelin starred restaurant in London, to the refreshing of an exclusive hotel's suites with Gien tableware, they are all looking to stand out. Meanwhile a number of projects involve designers who are looking to upgrade tableware for clients they have previously worked with, including a striking set of Emperor's Garden from SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG's unique MYCHINA! shape.

Emperor's Garden from SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG


“Who are your go-to brands for traditional, timeless and contemporary tableware?

Gien would be my choice for traditional tableware. With a history spanning two hundred years and a renown gained during the 19th century for their exquisite dinner services bearing the coats of arms of prominent families. They continue to employ many of the same techniques today, with each piece passing through the hands of 30 craftspeople. Designs such as Oiseux de Paradis has a long history, with the more simple Filet design available in an array of colours celebrating the French 'art de vivre'.

Some of Gien's renowned collections, including Les Filets, Oiseaux de Paradis and Jardin de Palais.

Christofle has a wonderful timeless quality with many of their historic cutlery designs having stood the test of time. In addition, their collaboration with contemporary designers means they are firmly in the present, with Andree Putman's Vertigo collection being one of their most iconic.

For an exceptional contemporary porcelain brand, look no further than SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG. Michael Sieger's Ca' D'Oro, part of the MYCHINA! range is incredibly striking and is inspired by gothic architecture. Cleverly designed with each piece having multiple uses, it allows you to enjoy a little luxury every day.

Ca' D'Oro, from the MYCHINA! collection by SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG


"Which influencers and collaborations have caught your eye recently?

Brands from within our portfolio have benefited from some exquisite collaborations over recent times.

Christofle - @monalogue

Christofle invited Ramona to create an English summer table, and she chose the Cluny cutlery collection to create a stunning outdoor dining experience.

Famous for her sensational tablescapes, this beautiful layout in spring tones features Gien's Filet Coral collection.

SIEGER by FÜRSTENBERG - @drbarbarasturm

The newest collaboration between SIEGER design, FÜRSTENBERG and Dr Barbara Sturm has created stunning new designs in the Sip of Gold collection which both look good and do good - a definite conversation starter with your guests.

Saint-Louis - @stepanechapelle

Saint-Louis' collaboration with Parisian floral artist, Stéphane Chapelle has brought life to their exceptional vases. Here pictured are pieces from the Tommy and Royal collections which are perfect for adding luxury to a dining table.


Don't hesitate to contact us to talk through how we can help you with tableware solutions for hospitality, interior projects or to enhance your retail selections.


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