Holidays Are Coming

December 17, 2017 • Food and DrinkHome Decor

just popping in quickly between end of year deadlines, winter colds, weekend brunches and gift wrapping to share this table setting i created for a recent dinner with friends. what is it about this time of year that it always seems to fly by so quickly? i spend october and november in anticipation of my favorite month of the year – planning visits to christmas markets, date nights with the husband to go gift shopping, trips into the hills to go sleighing with juliet… and it always seems like we’ll have so much time to do everything multiple times, but in the end we’re lucky if we’re able to check off half of our to do list.

it’s so easy to rush through life – always in anticipation of things to come – and so much harder to live in the here and now. i’m trying really hard to appreciate the moments as i experience them, especially now that i’m seeing so many things from a new perspective through the eyes of juliet. having a kid really makes this period so much more intense and enjoyable, but i do miss some things from our old life as a couple. dinners with friends are definitely on top of that list – we used to host people all the time, and it still is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

so this year we consciously made the decision to host a few pre-christmas dinner parties to spend some time with dear friends and start enjoying the holiday season extra early. we tried to keep the menus super simple so we (okay, okay, my husband) didn’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen and we could really enjoy sitting down, talking and laughing with our friends. we don’t exactly live nearby most of them – our belgian friends need to plan a weekend and take a plane to get here, and even our friends in switzerland have to take the long drive from geneva up to our place in the hills of the jura.

so to make it worth their while, i did make an effort to create really nice table settings for each dinner. i feel like nice tableware, fresh greenery and lots of candles can make even the simplest meal feel that much more luxurious. and we really do enjoy spoiling guests in every way we can – putting drinks in their hands the minute they arrive, putting out little bites before dinner, refreshing their glass of cold sparkling water before they have to ask… leaving them wanting for nothing is such a nice way to show people you care about them. what are your favorite ways to make dinner at home with friends or family feel extra festive?

photos by stephanie duval • post created in collaboration with BRU WATER, our family’s favorite belgian sparkling water • table linen from H&M HOME • tableware from POMAX

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do you remember that episode in friends when ‘joey doesn’t share food’? yeah, that could have been me. ever since i met my husband, who is waaaay into haute cuisine and a pretty great chef himself, i’ve learned to appreciate good food as one of the most enjoyable things in life. my love for an elaborate and wonderful meal is perhaps only trumped by my love for original and unforgettable experiences, many of which i try to share here on this blog as a way of remembering them forever. so when both food and an incredible experience are blended into one concept, you bet your sweet little ass i’ll be there.

i wasn’t in belgium to attend the inaugural edition of water brand BRU‘s ‘parelende tafels’, but i was beyond pleased to be able to go to the second edition on the grounds of the palm brewery. a long, kinfolk-ish table was set right next to the hop fields and decorated with greens and nostalgic tableware. a mix and match of wooden chairs and string lights were the perfect decor for a dinner that many brides and grooms-to-be could pin straight to their wedding inspiration pinterest board.

i brought along one of my dear belgian friends who i don’t get to see nearly enough, and we thoroughly enjoyed catching up and having dinner under the starry summer sky. i had such a good time i completely forgot to take pictures of the food, so you’ll have to take my word for it – it was delicious. but i doubt that anything could have tasted bad in such a dreamy environment. if you’re interested in joining one of bru’s upcoming dinners, they are organizing a new version every month and the locations are always awesome. check out their ‘parelende tafels’ calendar right HERE.

photos by stephanie duval


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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