Happy Christmas and New Year!

We can’t believe it’s finally Christmas! What an amazing year it’s been at Decorum – we moved into our office, then moved into a bigger one in the same building, worked with some amazing people and on some fascinating projects and learnt something new every day. Random Christmassy picture coming up to represent the baking ahead…

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To celebrate Christmas this year, given that all of us are introverts* (as recently proved by Myers Briggs tests), we decided to do something we would all really enjoy for our Christmas party – namely go for dinner and then to a musical! We picked Wicked as none of us had ever seen it before. It was fantastic, with some seriously impressive singing, and Charlotte M is still raving about it… (the reason we are all green in this shot, taken in the foyer, will be clear if you’ve seen the show!)

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We’ve all got busy Christmases ahead with our families – Justyna is very excited about welcoming both her parents and her in laws over from Poland and Italy to celebrate a truly international Christmas all together in her brand new house this year; while Charlotte M will be returning to Nottingham to spend the festive season with her family and their (many) pets, then heading to Edinburgh to see in the New Year with friends. I’m having a very low-key Christmas this year at my parents’ house down in Surrey and am looking forward to plenty of cheese.

The Decorum office will be shut from 23 December until 5 January. We hope you all have a wonderful break with your friends and family, with plenty of eating, drinking and being merry! Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us this year – we love our work and love our industry. You’re all stars.

See you in 2015!

 *anyone who’s ever met Justyna may doubt this, but it’s been PROVEN

Little Luxuries: Luxury Christmas crackers

Christmas is just around the corner, and the office has been transformed from a professional work environment to Santa’s Grotto. We are all dreaming of turkey, and singing along to Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ without an ounce of shame. In amongst the festivity, we’ve been giving a lot of thought to tradition, with a focus on Christmas crackers.

Something Charlotte D and I have always taken for granted, the humble Christmas cracker is, we learned from Justyna, a British tradition, and not something that is considered to be festive in Poland. We were surprised by this, and immediately tried to come up with reasons why crackers were ‘a must’ come the 25th.

Whilst researching the phenomenon, we came across some truly beautiful designs gracing the tables of 2014. The following were our favourites…

Moet pink champagne christmas cracker. Daily Decorum by Decorum Media Top of the list are, of course the Moët & Chandon Rosé imperial champagne crackers, from Selfridges. Perfect for a girly dinner table, these pink champagne creations are ideal for a dinner with friends.

Hotel Chocolat Daily Decorum christmas crackers Be still our beating hearts, the chocolate Christmas cracker has arrived. Aptly named the ‘Rather Large Christmas Cracker,’ this beautiful creation – from Hotel Chocolat – contains 40 individually wrapped chocolates, and is basically our dream cracker. We might be in love.

Lizard orchid 2014 christmas crackers. Daily Decorum For a touch of elegance at a family gathering, we recommend the Lizard Orchid ‘Very Posh Silver Crackers.’ Not only are they trimmed with satin, they also contain gifts that go beyond the usual paper hat and bad joke – ranging from a wooden honey dipper to a leather keyring.

Daily Decorum 2014 Christmas crackers Do you like to follow your dinner with a pampering session? If so, the Bath House ‘Cracker Party Pack’ is for you. Containing a lip balm and bath salts, these crackers know what Christmas is about: relaxation.

Original woodland reusable christmas crackers. Daily Decorum  Last but not least, we have the ‘Woodland Reusable Christmas Crackers’ from Kate Sproston Design. Cute and easy to personalise, they’d be the perfect addition to any festive table.

Do you have any favourite crackers this year?

Decorum Explores: Christmas Tableware

Christmas is the time when our grandmothers and mums reach into the bottom doors of tall cupboards, and suddenly bring out the most beautiful sets of porcelain plates, most delicately embroidered table linen, and perfectly cut crystal glasses. While many of us think that these should be used everyday (every day is special!), each year the table still turns into a magical wonderland thanks to these treasured Christmas tableware and table decor pieces.

Ahead of dressing our own tables for Christmas, we’ve found our favourites for this festive season – from napkin rings and candle holders to decorative accessories and champagne flutes…

daily decorum christmas tableware l objet place card holder

These L’Objet snail place cards will add a quirky touch to every festive table setting, fitting perfectly in the Christmas colour scheme of golds and reds. Don’t feel obliged to make the whole table setting eccentric – just a little accent will make all the difference.

daily decorum christmas tableware l objet napkin rings

Yes, I do love L’Objet. I couldn’t resist including the above napkin jewels. They are stunning, beautifully crafted, quirky, but at the same time so elegant. Once again on the theme of red and gold, I thought the coral and jaguar ones were particularly striking.

daily decorum christmas tableware ca d oro sieger

Recently I had a change of heart and have completely fallen out of love with champagne flutes and wine glasses on long, slim stems. Instead, I like the weight and the feel of stemless glasses and champagne beakers. The above champagne beakers from Sieger by Frustenberg instantly caught my attention when I noticed them at the Harlequin London showroom – the texture, monochrome geometrics and a touch of gold.

daily decorum cake stand

When it comes to tableware and cake stands, I’m not a big fan of small, pastel flowery patterns. Instead, I like the idea of matching delicate cakes and baking marvels with robust designs. That’s precisely why the above cakestand from Michael Aram would be the centrepiece of my Christmas table, with its rocky gold base and polished black top.

Daily Decorum Christmas Dinner Cavalli Charger Plate

It’s not everyday that we use charger plates, so once they are out, decorating our tables, they might as well make a bold statement. These animal print designs from Roberto Cavalli are a perfect addition, and could be introduced together with simple flatware, or matched into extraordinary settings with plates and bowls featuring further patterns.

While I wouldn’t use all of the above in one Christmas table setting, the variety of designs just shows you how creative you can be, and that mixing and matching pieces rather than sticking to one brand only can result in the most striking creations.

Little Luxuries: VeryFirstTo crackers

Around my Christmas table, the crackers are less about the present inside and more about the naff joke, paper hat and best of all – the snap! No one really cares about the keyring and miniature tape measure, and these end up discarded on the table among the napkins after the cheese course has been cleared away. However, it’s pretty clear that the presents in these crackers would not be so carelessly thrown away…

Billed as the ‘world’s most expensive crackers’, these (rather unassuming aesthetically) crackers from VeryFirstTo have been designed for the super-rich. Costing an impressively outrageous £4m for six, they would be better billed as large luxuries than little ones.

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Apparently, inside these you will find one of the following:

– Aston Martin Vanquish Coupe, worth £190,000

– Breguet Tradition Watch, worth £19,000

– Cartier Diamond Necklace, worth £18,600

– Graf Von Faber-Castell, worth £6,500

– 1 Like No Other Trip, worth £77,500

– Sunseeker Yacht, worth £3,700,000

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The 1 Like No Other Trip includes a round the world trip with stops at ten different destinations, including Japan and Finland. Sounds tiring. But the best prize of all, of course, is the yacht – costing an immense £3.7m.

Our only queries are: a) why do the crackers look so ugly? and b) what happens if your cracker is the one with the yacht in, but when you pull it you get the short end?! A surefire way to guarantee an epic festive family argument, no?

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