Table Talk with Lucy Vail

Our  Table Talk  series is all about dinner party conversations. If you were sat beside our guests at a candlelit dinner party, what would you want to ask them? We’ve curated our dream dinner party guest list and will be chatting to our guests throughout the year, asking them all about themselves, their area of expertise and, of course, their own dream dinner party scenarios.  

Our next guest is florist, Lucy Vail. Lucy has a London-based luxury floral design studio, specialising in weddings, events and high-impact installations. She also supplies some of London’s top venues, businesses and private homes with flowers on a weekly basis. She prides herself on using as many British flowers as possible throughout the year, even at Christmas where her festive arrangements often feature dried flowers from her Suffolk flower farm alongside other natural, season items. We caught up with Lucy to chat about festive flowers, as well as her dream dinner party scenario. 

What are your personal favourite flowers and foliage to work with at Christmas?  

I love combining pimpernel blue hydrangeas with pink heather and dried oranges. For me this is the perfect mixture of clashing colours, and it goes against the traditional Christmas colour scheme of red, greens and golds to create something totally different! 

Besides garlands and wreaths, what creative ways can you introduce flowers and foliage into your home over the festive season?  
Potted plants such as hellebores, skimmia, hyacinths and cyclamens look amazing on a table, especially when mixed amongst dried fruits and pinecones. What’s especially lovely is that you can also plant them after Christmas into your borders and enjoy them for spring too.

What elements make up the perfect Christmas wreath?  
The key to a beautiful wreath is colour, texture and scent. If you use pine, dried fruits and dried flowers every time you cannot go wrong.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests and why?  
I’ve been mesmerised by the ballet ever since I was a child - I just love their costumes and sets! So top of my list is the Creative Director of the English National Ballet. Then, similarly I’m obsessed with Alexander McQueen’s mad use of pattern and colour so Sarah Burton, the brand's Creative Director, would need to be there. And then it’s got to be Taylor Swift. Her new album is my guiltiest pleasure and I think she’d have the best stories and be so much fun. 

What would feature on your dinner party playlist?  
Fleetwood Mac, every time. You cannot go wrong! 

What are three things on your Christmas list for this year?  

  1. Cashmere trackies to snuggle up in after the busy festive season! 
  2. A hand-thrown ceramics course. I did an introductory pottery course earlier this year and absolutely loved it so I’m keen to keep learning.  
  3. Tickets to Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club because I’ve heard it’s amazing.  

What are your favourite Rebecca Udall products for a Christmas table?

Hanging Brass & Zinc Mistletoe, Small 
Georgina Bud Vase Trio 
Gabriella Murano Glass Tumbler, Pistachio 
Set of 6 Lacquered Swirl Candles 
Millefiori Murano Glass Carafe 
Scalloped Murano Glass Candleholder, Denim - I love every colour!!  
Hellebore Ruffle Linen Napkin 
Hellebore Ruffle Linen Tablecloth 

Planning festive foliage for your home? Take a look at Lucy Vail’s website for house dressing, installations and Christmas wreathes. We love the ‘Deck the Doors’ and ‘Let it Snow’ wreathes – or you can create your own wreath using Lucy’s DIY Christmas wreath kit.


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