Inspiration 17 April 2019

Busy mum, ML, shows us how to set the table.

ML Hudson, aka @keepme4ever_thehudsonhome, is a busy mum who loves to cook. But what tips does she have for setting a table for a busy household.

A little about ML;

Life is quite hectic for mum-of-three, ML, a graphic designer living in Cheshire. ML likes nothing more than sitting around a table with family and friends, enjoying good food, wine and conversation. You can follow ML's home updates on her Instagram.

We asked ML, to show us how she’d set her dinner table using products from our in-store Abode showroom.

We had a very special guest accompany her on her visit to Arighi Bianchi, baby Kiki, ML’s youngest. Kiki was good as gold and watched on as ML styled the perfect family brunch table.

So, if you've got a special occasion coming up, or just fancy jazzing up the dinner table midweek, here are some great ideas for creating that 'wow' factor in your own home. Follow ML’s simple tips to update your dinner table and give it a really contemporary fun feel.


1. Don’t feel you have to follow a trend

Choose items that suit your style and showcase your own personality. You don’t have to go formal to get that wow-factor, it’s all about using pieces that you get joy from!

2. Add some character

Try adding something a little quirkier here and there, like character mugs! It’s not too feminine or masculine and would suit either an adult brunch or a family. It’s relaxed and easy like a Sunday morning.

3. Keep it simple

Don’t put anything on the table that you will need to clear away before you start your meal - it will save time and also means you’ll have more room for food or drink.

4. Make it sociable

Steer away from items that are tall and break down the flow of conversation and laughter. Huge flower arrangements look great but make it harder to communicate with everyone around the table.

Tarifa dining table available in-store & online now.

5. Prepare ahead of time

Fill glasses with water before everyone sits down! I’ve finally learnt my lesson. As soon as I sit down for dinner and start to eat my children ask for water. So now I know to have filled glasses before we sit.


This look is adaptable and fun. It would be the perfect setting for a Sunday brunch with the kids or with friends that have come up to visit.


When it comes to dining in, we wanted to get to know a bit more about the woman behind the table, so we asked ML a few questions:


Do you usually dress your table or is it only on special occasions?

Being so busy with three children mealtimes are usually cook, eat and go. However, my Bobonne (grandmother) taught me how to set a table properly and I feel it’s important to teach my children the same - so we all work together to lay the table.

When it comes to a special occasion though I take charge. I’m known to my friends as Monica. I like things done a certain way and one thing’s for sure on a special occasion, the wedding crockery always comes out!


What is important to you personally when sitting down at a dining table? 

Being able to see everyone - that is key for me when I’m sitting down for a meal.


What makes a dinner party successful to you?

Good company, good food, a good bottle (or bottles) of wine and of course a “hostess with the mostest”.


What would be your ultimate dinner party?

As I grew up, I was lucky to spend time with my Belgian family, where we’d have huge dinner parties with 10-course meals! It’s such a wonderful memory to have and because of this, I’ve always loved big get-togethers. So, my ultimate dinner party would have to be all my close friends and family around a huge table sharing stories, eating great food and finishing with dancing on the table and someone else doing the washing up!


What would be your dream dish to eat at a dinner party?

I always go for a dish I wouldn’t usually eat or cook at home - so I would have to go with a South African Braai platter. I had so many braai’s when I was travelling South Africa and have never had food as incredible and tasty since.


Do you feel it’s important to sit down at the table with family and friends?

For me sitting together for any meal is so important - our children, like us, are taught how important it is to have good table manners. They know to wait before everyone has finished before asking to get down from the table and always help to clear away after. It’s a time to talk about the day ahead or the day you’ve had. It’s a time to share stories, laugh until you cry and a time for togetherness.