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Charlotte's Guide to Summer Tablescaping

Our Creative Director has designed 100% Irish linen table linen to inspire you for the season ahead. She shares her tips on summer tablescaping as seen in this shoot in her family garden in Donegal.

How do you like to entertain in the summer?

If it's sunny my choice would be gathering outside as it's easy and very relaxed, I adore an extended lunch! I also enjoy cooking and try to do as much as possible beforehand. I have trained myself over the years to make it time efficient so I have time to spend with everyone when they arrive.

Favourite locations to set up an outdoor table?

Our garden – we have big herbaceous borders and a beautiful lawn – magic.

Your most memorable al fresco meals?

Picnics on various beaches in Donegal. As a child we used to go to nearby Inismurray island by boat in May to see the bluebells, swim and picnic!

Why linen makes the best table setting?

My mum has always used linen tablecloths & napkins, so I have grown up with this little luxury! It’s easy to wash, yes there is a little bit of ironing, but I find that our linen gets better and better the more it is washed – it has a ‘tumbled soft’ feel after a few washes. In the summer I love some colour on a table and our new linen is perfect for this.


My mum has always used linen tablecloths & napkins, so I have grown up with this little luxury!

Charlotte Temple, Creative Director Magee 1866


What are your top 3 table setting tips?
  • Flowers for me are essential, I like smaller vases so people can see each other across the table. I use random vases & natural accessories, especially if we’re outside for a boho effect.
  • Napkins are essential, I like to pop a couple of delicate flowers on the napkin, held in place with some wool yarn.
  • Have a seating plan and change it around after the main course so everyone gets a chance to talk to each other.
What’s usually on the food and drink menu when hosting a summer gathering?

For starters we love homemade garlic pizzas & olives. Then my husband will BBQ (beef fillet & maybe a roast chicken) . He makes a great fresh bearnaise sauce and serves it with lots of vegetables. I love a mixed wok with kale, baby corn & broccoli with some roasted almonds followed by cheese and chocolate mousse.

What’s on your playlist?

We love our music & a chilled house mix works really well for entertaining.

Who would be your top 3 dinner party guests from history?

A little random but I think Ernest Shackleton, Coco Chanel & Amelia Earhart would make for good conversation.

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