Deck the Halls
Over the top or subtle? Christmas decorations swing from one extreme to the other depending on your outlet, personal taste, and of course your clientele. However, whatever your preferred choice, make sure your Christmas decorations leave a lasting impression.
Keep it subtle
Having decorations in keeping with your surroundings works well. “Our decorations are very subtle, simple and tasteful to mirror the pub’s old fashioned, cosy decor,” says Andy Gabbitas, chef-proprietor at the Wortley Arms, a country pub near Sheffield. “We opt for traditional, understated decorations so only have one tree in the bar, lights and a festive garland over our fireplace.” In their tap room they hang blue and white baubles in support of their local team Sheffield Wednesday. “Our customers appreciate how we decorate and we have never felt the need to change,” adds Andy.
Stand out from the crowd
The Churchill Arms in Notting Hill is unofficially known as the most festive pub in England. Each year, the London pub dazzles customers by covering the outside in Christmas trees blanketed in lights and decorations of Rudolph or Santa. “We aim to create a beautiful, magical effect that appeals to families, tourists and locals,” says James Keogh, general manager. The idea was created more than 30 years ago and keeps on getting bigger; this year we are using 92 trees and 20,000 lights on the exterior alone. “It’s hard work and isn’t cheap but the rewards it brings are well worth it,” adds James. “Our December takings increase every year – it’s phenomenal for the business!”
A British tradition since the 1800s, this novelty (and fun!) decoration is a table necessity. However, to make a lasting impression on your customers, why not customise them for your party? Children’s crackers come in a whole range of designs including polar bear, snowman and reindeer, or choose those containing a game inside. For a stylish, sophisticated look, adults can pull a Champagne cocktail black cracker, or ‘party’ crackers which give you the choice to fill them yourself with higher quality gifts such as shot glasses, bottle openers, perfume atomisers and cuff-links.
A flowery touch
Seasonal, winter flowers, for example, bunches of ivy make beautiful, tasteful decorations. But keep it subtle, as too many will lose the striking effect. “Less is more – don’t overdo it,” says Greg Marchand, founder of Frenchie Covent Garden, London. “Be careful not to overcrowd your place, or tables with flowers, as otherwise you will not have enough room for everything else.”