A Christmas Table with Five-Star Appeal


Five-star, The Lowry Hotel is currently closed to the public due to Manchester’s tier 3 status, however this hasn’t stopped Jason Orton, Director of Guest Services giving his Top Five Tips to make sure you have the perfect five-star table setting for Christmas day celebrations at home – even if it’s just a table for one!


Your choice of centre can really finish the table setting. As it’s Christmas a ruby red poinsettia plant and candles are always best to help make the atmosphere festive and appealing.

It is tempting to go with a festive smelling candle, the likes of cinnamon or winter spice, but for your table, I would recommend scentless candles, so as to not impact your senses when eating your delicious Christmas meal.


Mainly used for presentation purposes, having the charger plate pre-placed on the table will really set your table alight and look ready for the meal ahead.

Usually larger than a dinner plate the charger is placed on the table and remains on the table until mains have been served. The charger plate should be removed before desert, as it is regarded as bad etiquette as is using them for eating purposes.

I wouldn’t normally suggest a coloured charger plate, I like to keep it white and simplistic. But as it’s Christmas Day, and let’s face it, we all need a little festive sparkle this year, I would recommend a festive golden coloured plate to brighten up the table and give you that five-star look.


There’s many different options and styles can be made here to aid in the presentation – I always recommend a simplistic five-star napkin fold, with as few folds are possible.

As it’s Christmas Day, a simple but effective addition to the napkin fold is to add a pinecone to your place setting – a real five-star touch. You could attach a small white label to the pinecone and write a festive wish to those in your household.


For the perfect five-star Christmas Day meal, cutlery must not go unnoticed and should be perfectly polished and placed well. All cutlery on the table should be a thumb nail from the bottom of the table.

My top tip is to place your main plate on the table while setting the cutlery, so you know how much space to leave. Cutlery should never have to be moved to place a plate down it should be in the right place from setting stage.

When dining, the golden rule is to work from the outside in, and as you would in any restaurant, the same rules apply for Christmas Day at home.


Crystal clear glasses and importantly, odourless is so important.

After the glasses have been washed fill a bowl or ice bucket with boiling water use the steam and a polishing cloth to achieve the glistening five-star shine.

There’s many different glass placement opinions but for me the rules generally are:

  1. Three glasses per diner – white, red and water
  2. The stem of the white wine glass (smaller glass) should be in line with the main knife on the right side of the plate set-up
  3. The water glass should be to the right and slightly lower than the white wine glass
  4. The red to the right and slightly higher


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