Autumn is a kind of in-betweeny time of year where we've said goodbye to the luxuries of the preceding season; bank holidays, the favourable weather, the long days and plentiful outdoor time. Autumn, you could say, is us going into hibernation before the festive period begins. When we have another momentous occasion to celebrate and get together.
We like to do little experiments every now and then and we thought, what would happen if, on a random, rainy weekend in the middle of October, we celebrated autumn with similar levels of gusto as Christmas day?
"Oh no" we hear you collectively scream "not another Christmas".
No, don't be afraid, this is a little bit more scaled back and achievable than the big day itself and no visits from some creepy Jack Skellington pumpkin freak.
In fact, if you're looking for a more sophisticated way to spend Halloween, could Autumn-Christmas-Day be it? Why wait until Christmas day itself?
Get Together, Portmeirion
Portmeirion have been a big part of family celebrations for almost 60 years, including ours.
This year alone we celebrated the reveal of our new niece's gender, the launch of our new business, the arrival of summer, and now autumn... all with traditional Portmeirion pieces at the heart of each get together.
On our autumn table
Whenever we’ve dressed our dining room for Christmas we’ve used plates and cutlery inspired by the colours of the season, candles, garlands, and 'all out' Christmas foliage – so it was only right we brought in the same focal pieces but with an autumn twist.
Portmeirion’s Botanic Garden Harmony range encompasses everything autumn has to offer.
Botanic Garden Harmony plates in the shades of amber, stone, forest green and moss green, are like a representation of the colourful leaves in autumn…
They're hardy plates, at that.
Chip resistant, oven, dishwasher and microwave safe, with a hard glaze washed over them and a leaf like design all around the rim.
Like autumn leaves, they'll retain their beauty regardless of the wear and tear they'll receive in our house over the years.
We mixed the dinner plates with the contrasting Botanic Garden Harmony side plates for a layered look, adding to the autumnal vibe.
The plates sit perfectly on Pimpernel Botanic Garden Harmony place mats, with enough space surrounding the plate to perch cutlery and catch any gravy splashes. The eye-catching but deep and moody design provides visual interest to the table.
The table decorations
What do you think of our autumnal garlands? Honestly, we had a lot of fun creating these together. We collected leaves when we were on a stroll in a village nearby. Brought them home, dried them off, and made these sweet, simple autumn garlands from twine and mini pegs.
They are so simple but so cosy looking.
Of course, what is an autumn table without squashes and gourds? An essential table decoration, which we later used to dress our cooker mantlepiece with.
The food & drink
It had to be a hearty roast dinner, with all the colours of autumn on the plate – red cabbage with spiced apple, carrots and ‘snips.
For dessert, we made an apple pie together using one of my favourite items, the Royal Worcester Wrendale Designs Mouse Pie dish to bake it.
Let’s just brush past our mini pastry disaster, shall we?! ;) It was too crumbly to make a top so it had to be a lattice pie. It tasted delicious though, washed down with a nutmeg-topped-hot-chocolate in our matching Botanic Garden Harmony cups.
We even managed to collect the apples to bake the apple pie with from Middle Farm – home of the tastiest apples (and cider!) here in Sussex.
Neil was in his element going all out making mulled cider – it was Autumn-Christmas-Day after all!!
Sometimes, the preparation is the best part of the Get Together…
Over the last year, since our collaboration on the Get Together with Portmeirion campaign began, we have created memories with people we love that we’ll never forget.
But perhaps one of the best things to come of this year has been both of us doing what we absolutely LOVE most. Fifi, styling and faffing. Neil, photographing and editing. Both of us, creating quirky little spaces in our home for our friends, family to enjoy with us.
It’s made us realise, sometimes the very practice of organising a get together, large or small, brings joy.
Thank you so much if you’ve followed our series, we hope they’ve inspired you to create more moments with your loved ones.
A huge thanks to Portmeirion for allowing us to create these special moments.
Fifi & Neil xoxo
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This post is in collaboration with Portmeirion. All choices, styling, words, photography and content are our own.