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Explore the people and places that make downtown a great place to visit, live and work.

Ho-ho-hosting this Holiday!
Posted: Dec 4, 2017

The theme for 2017 – Keep it Simple!

Downtown Burlington décor and food experts agree, keeping things simple is a
sure fire way for a stress free holiday celebration.

Party Décor
Tori Brock, owner of Fairhome Interiors, says, “Simple and elegant are two words you will hear for holiday 2017. Bringing the outdoors in, incorporating natural elements, continues to be at the forefront of décor again this year, along with a focus on white as the foundation colour with hits of deep green.” Jennifer Klassen from Centro Garden adds that, “Mixed metals (silver and gold together) continue to be on trend also, as do hints of gold, featured in ornaments and flower pots.” So with all the options, we asked the experts for their advice on how to decorate for a holiday celebration. They agree that starting with a theme and carrying it from the front door inside is the way to go. And only decorate the spaces in your house that the guests will see. Klassen likes using white as the foundation as it mixes well with gold, silver or red, the traditional holiday colours. She suggests adding a pop of emerald green or blue for depth of colour.

Having a focal point is key according to Brock. “Inside, you can make the mantle the focal point, dressing it up with a base of greenery, adding other natural elements and hints of gold, red or white accents along with some candles.” She says you can carry
this natural theme onto the tabletop mixing your traditional red and gold items with natural elements like moss, bark and greenery. Lay a paper die cut atop a simple striped placemat to make your table festive and appealing.

A tip from both: set your table the day before to make time for other day-of party tasks! And don’t forget the powder room! Klassen suggests a festive flower and, of course, seasonal guest towels. Brock likes to put in a seasonally scented organic candle and fill an apothecary jar with simple Christmas balls or greenery.


What’s On the Menu?
When it comes to food for your party, ‘simple’ is on the menu. But that doesn’t mean skimping on flavours and presentation. A charcuterie board is a great collection of flavours, dazzling to look at and, according to Troy Smith, owner, The Block Co., “A
board need not be just an appetizer anymore. When a board is done right nothing else is needed at the dinner table. It will keep your dinner party social, fun and please even your biggest foodie friends.” When it comes to beverages, Smith’s advice? Have fun with the drinks. “With the plethora of flavours on your board, you can have more than one wine or beer for the night.”

Because of all the flavour profiles, he says you can offer guests a peppery, bold red to accompany a Brie, or sparkling wine with a full flavoured blue cheese. In fact, his preference is bourbon with blue cheese! Beer is also a great pairing with cheese and charcuterie; a smooth stout with a sharp cheddar, or a hoppy beer with a spicy chorizo. Smith says, “Have fun with it, and ask your guests to bring
whatever they would like to drink, and look for pairings while enjoying the board. Who knows, you may have found a new creation!”

The Block Co. can provide pre-made boards or you can DIY with a great variety of cheese and meat options.

Here are Smith’s tips for creating your own board.

  1. Have fun with placement.
  2. Cheese and charcuterie selection should be diverse so purchase small portions of several items.
  3. Select a variety of accompaniments and palate changers like pickled vegetables, nuts, and dried and fresh fruit, crackers and even chocolate!!
  4. You can prep your board the day before. Keep it wrapped in the fridge.
  5. To allow the cheese to reach peak flavour profile, take your board out of the fridge 45 minutes before guests are to arrive.


This article was published in the 2017 Burlington Downtown Holiday Guide with Look Local Magazine. To view the entire guide please click here.

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