'Fresh herbs are a wonderful addition to an al fresco table,' Oibhe, Countess of Belfast & founder of Tablescape Style.

ByHOPP Team

Under the handle @tablescapestyle, Oilbhe, Countess of Belfast, has been sharing stunning images of some of the world’s most beautiful and elaborate set ups. Barrister Oilbhe told the Telegraph: ‘Each person reflects their own personality at their table… I see a lot of people repurposing what they have to create different looks, combining old china with modern pieces." 

Oilbhe has a fantastic eye for curating tablescapes and these are available to shop as individual products through her website HERE.  We particularly love the Penny Morrison placemats - another talented woman who also took part in this tablescape series (to read click HERE)!

Where are you writing this from?

I am writing this from Wexford in the beautiful Irish countryside.

How do you start your day?

I start my day with a large pot of Earl Grey tea and a slice of sourdough – I started baking it
during lockdown and haven’t stopped since!

Who or what inspires you are the moment?

I am inspired by the aesthetics of the past. I have an interest in antique tableware and
historical home décor - table décor has played a prominent part of the pleasure that is the
social meal since the Georgian period. I enjoy browsing Sotheby’s or Christie’s for beautiful
old tableware and I am currently watching the Sotheby’s Dining In auction which has a
wonderful selection of accoutrements from Salvador Dali and Baccarat, among others. When
laying the table for a dinner party I tend to opt for maximalism, and I am inspired by the
flamboyance and fun of artists such as Cecil Beaton.

What are your favourite accessories to use when laying a table?

When laying a table at home I love using pieces that have personal meaning – for me this means
items that are gifts from friends or old pieces given to us by family. Mixing old and new accessories to create a unique table setting makes entertaining at home so much more special. My favourite accessories are a set of Ercuis silver placecard holders in the shape of frogs that were a wedding
present from friends - they evoke such wonderful memories and are always a talking point at any
dinner party!

Imagine you were hosting a party: please pick who you would use!

What are your 5 top tips for styling a tablescape?

  1. Fresh herbs are a wonderful addition to an al fresco table. Pots of basil and mint not only look appealing, they create the most delicious aroma on a warm summer evening. A sprig of rosemary or lavender placed on a napkin is another simple touch that guests always appreciate.
  2. For a summer garden tablescape, dressing the table with fresh green foliage creates a stunning natural effect and ivy serves as a beautiful table runner when trailed down the centre of the table.
  3. Seasonal flowers are the best accessory for creating an occasion appropriate atmosphere- nothing looks as fitting on an Easter table as daffodils, or on a midsummer table as roses.
  4. I like to opt for smaller bud vases instead of larger floral displays, not only does this prevent a barrier effect between guests, it makes ones flowers go further.
  5. Placecards are a personal touch that contribute to the effortless running of any dinner party.

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HOPP Team
Written by our Team of HOPP Experts.