Earlier this month we joined the Jumbled team in Orange to be a part of The Huddle, a fun-filled, sparkly and action-packed weekend of events to bring together and inspire a wonderful group of women. There was everything from an 80’s trivia night, to a breakfast forage, to an incredible panel of guest speakers, it was a special weekend to be a part of.
For us, the day started with a visit to Jumbled’s store (one of our Bonnie and Neil stockists!) which looked as bright and joyful as ever, and where author Charlotte Ree was doing a signing for her new book Heartbake, part memoir, part cookbook which has hit the shelves this month.
Later that evening, Charlotte hosted one of her famous Supper Club events to celebrate the launch of Heartbake, and worked with stylist Bel of Styling by Minikin to bring an absolutely magical evening to life. Our tableware was styled beautifully and made for the most picture-perfect evening. We chatted with Bel about how the event came together.
What was the inspiration behind the tablescape for this event?
Showcasing Charlotte’s book was the initial inspiration for my tablescape, which has a beautiful image of a cracked hard boiled egg on the cover. Both the egg yolk yellow colour of the book and the image of the egg, as well as the menu for the evening was the beginning of the inspiration.
My tablescapes are always underpinned by my 3 guiding principles – Function, Purpose and evoking a particular Emotion:
The main purpose for styling this tablescape was to celebrate the launch of Charlotte's book while also creating a welcoming environment for attendees. The launch involved a Supper Club dinner party for a group of 50 women, a night that centred around intimacy, sharing food from Charlotte’s book while also sharing feelings with others. Styling played an important role in creating the right atmosphere to support these aspects.
I always ensure that there is an aesthetic function and a practical function to my table styling. I used texture, light, warm, earthy colours and interesting centerpieces to provide an inviting experience as soon as guests entered the room.
The choice of linen and table setting intended to create a relaxed and casual feel, whilst also providing a bit of fun and personality. The Bonnie and Neil Small Checkers Tablecloth in Tan did exactly that, allowing the green of the spinach, yellow book, and the egg candles to pop. The Florence Stripe Wheat napkins tied in a knot were casual and textural and the pattern contrasted perfectly.
The emotion I wanted to evoke was one of warmth, comfort, and a relaxed atmosphere. I wanted guests to walk into a room lit by candles, with the warm textures and colours of the linen tablecloth and napkins conjuring up a homely feeling. I also wanted to create a wow factor that was evocative and a conversation starter amongst the guests. I used quirky pieces that also had an emotional connection to the purpose of the gathering. I wanted to create an atmosphere that set the mood for an emotionally memorable experience.
Tell us about the egg candles! We hear they were handmade especially?
Charlotte’s book has a delightful photo of a hard-boiled egg with a cracked shell on its cover. When you read Charlotte’s story you realise that eggs are significant to her both metaphorically and physically, so it only made sense to me that eggs were featured on the table.
I must be honest, making the candles was a labour of love. I sat in the kitchen with a girlfriend who came to visit. We drank tea, melted and poured soy wax for a good part of the weekend. A lot of love and heartfelt conversations were poured into those eggs that weekend!
What do you think is a make or break in terms of styling when hosting an event?
Creating an atmosphere and ensuring the styling is both aesthetically pleasing but practical. There is nothing worse than sitting at a table with a large floral arrangement in between you and the person opposite
And for me, poor consideration doesn’t get me excited about sitting down to the meal. It doesn’t have to be decadently set or expensive, but when a table has nice tablecloths or napkins or a vase of flowers from the garden and is set with consideration, then it gives a sense that the host cares and makes you feel welcomed.
The table sets the mood for the meal – do it with love and it will show.