Puckett's tablescape-1

A Guide To: Creating Your Christmas Tablescape

by LeeAnn Carlen, Puckett’s Events Coordinator

Happy Holidays!

I am so excited to have the tree up, Christmas music on, and twinkling lights everywhere. Christmas is my favorite season, in part because of the entertaining and decorating opportunities that abound.

Many people think they aren’t skilled at creating a beautiful holiday table, but think of it this way–you decorate your tree, right? A table is very similar! Below are some photos of a Christmas tablescape that I put together and step-by-step instructions on how to make your dining room the star of the season.

Step 1: Take a good look at your “canvas”

Determine if you want to showcase your table and use only a runner or placemats, or if it might need a little bit more coverage (ahem, like mine) and require a full tablecloth. I was decorating our Director of Operations–Claire Crowell’s–Farm Table in her dining room, and I knew that I wanted to showcase it and not have it fully covered. I wanted to incorporate some traditional Christmas colors and decided that the Cherry Red dupioni/satin runner from our dear friends at Southern Events would be a perfect accompaniment to the farm table… and would lay a nice color base on our table. I selected the Silver Fairmont runner to use as an accent color (and “fluff”), and this is where the foundations of our table started!

Step 2: Determine what you have

We rented all of our dishes so we could leave the clean up to someone else and fully enjoy our time together, but take a look in your cabinets! Do you have beautiful wedding china that you never use? Dishes passed down from your grandmother? Now is the time to bring them out! I used the Artisan Dinner Plate from Southern Events to anchor the high/low combinations of our table. It looks beautiful on the silver charger (more on that later), but the casualness of the plate pairs nicely with our farm table while our red charger pulls out the subtle red accents on the plate.

Decor is often much easier than we think. Take a look around your dining room at what you might already have and then head out to your yard! Claire had beautiful mercury glass hurricanes on her entry table that I knew I wanted to incorporate as well as some adorable candles in the shape of Christmas trees. Outside, pull stems from a holly bush and pick up pinecones, pineleaves and even branches from your yard to add a juxtaposition to your holiday table. Bonus? These items are nature’s Christmas gift to you and cost nothing!

Step 3: Determine what you need

Linen placemats or chargers are a great way to add a little excitement and variety to your table and those we definitely needed to rent (or check out the deals at Hobby Lobby–all Christmas decor is 50% off!). I decided to grab a silver charger to put our plates on and then focused on our linen napkins. Because I wanted to incorporate another traditional Christmas color without it looking too garish, I decided on the Moss Green Crush napkin over a true Christmas green. It really pulled the table together nicely!

Step 4: Final Touches!

This is the fun part–put everything together! I didn’t want our napkins to be folded so fancily that guests were afraid to use them, but at the same time I wanted them to have a little flair. I folded them into a triangle then took about an inch at the bottom and folded it under. Then I took the corners, brougt them up and tied them into a double knot. The hammered flatware and a little sprig of sparkling, silver holly berries then tucked nicely inside. I added our Recycled Wine Bottle glasses and a little ambiance with our mercury glass votive holders, lit our candles and voila! Our tablescape was complete.

If you’re stressed about preparing the meal that goes on the holiday table, we’ve got you covered there too! Puckett’s offers extensive to-go menus full of holiday favorites, with that special Marshall touch. If choosing the perfect spread intimidates you, Claire created this special “How To Guide” just for you!

We’d love to see photos of your Christmas decor and your family around the dining room table! Tweet your pictures to us and use the hashtag #averypuckettstable.

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LeeAnn Carlen, Events Coordinator
Being born in Texas and growing up just south of Nashville in Columbia, TN made our Nashville Coordinator a true, well-rounded Southerner. After getting her Music Business degree from Belmont University, LeeAnn worked in Artist Management on Music Row for a number of years and it was there that her love for events grew. She started branching out and planning weddings on the side in her “free time” and jumped at the chance to work at Puckett’s when it appeared. She currently facilitates all catering and events in the Nashville area and would love to hear from you! Email her at leeann@puckettsevents.com.

Raised By The Fork: Happy 10 Years, Puckett’s Franklin!

This is written December 4, 2014, by Director of Operations Claire Crowell in her blog Raised by the Fork.

pucketts2004

Ten years ago today, we opened the doors to Puckett’s in Downtown Franklin. I was a freshman in college at the time, and left my hostess job in Nashville when my dad told me he was opening a restaurant in downtown Franklin to help out.

Leiper’s Fork raised me, but the restaurant on 4th Avenue in Downtown Franklin is where I truly grew up. I started there as a server and the day that we opened 10 years ago was the first day I had ever touched a point-of-sales computer. Even though we had been in business in Leiper’s Fork for six years before we opened our second location, Franklin was our first full-service restaurant and we still had so much to learn about the restaurant business. I worked here on and off waiting tables while I was in college, and I honestly had absolutely no intention of making a career in the hospitality industry. When I graduated from MTSU, I started helping dad full time as an assistant manager in Leiper’s Fork while I decided whether or not to go back to school for a graduate program. A few months in it became clear to me that I had the bug for the business, it was just simply in my blood. I remember being nervous when I decided to tell Dad that I was here to stay, maybe because it felt like such a grown up decision.

Read the rest of the post here.

Hatch Show Print & Puckett’s: Be Real, Get Local Y’all!

It’s that time of year, and we’re making your gift-giving guide easy this year: Puckett’s has once again teamed up with historic Hatch Show Print–a Nashville institution!–to offer a present that keeps on givin’ this holiday season.

Our own Amy Whidby has worked with Hatch to create 100 limited-edition “Be Real Get Local” posters to sell at Puckett’s downtown Franklin, downtown Nashville and downtown Columbia locations…. with all of the proceeds benefitting the Nashville Rescue Mission, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County and the Boys & Girls Club of Maury County, respectively!

Through the season, each restaurant will offer one-of-a-kind, numbered prints for a minimum donation of $25. The poster sales kicked off during Small Business Saturday, and our head honcho Andy Marshall said he hopes they can help raise the profile of the three non-profits through the effort.

“All of these groups do so much for our communities in Middle Tennessee, and our family here is honored to be able to give back to them this season. It’s something tangible that people can display as art or give as a gift, while directly supporting a non-profit that will use the funds toward their missions,” says Andy.

The iconic Nashville-based Hatch Show Print is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in the nation, and has become a Music City treasure since its handbill printing days 133 years ago. In recent years, Hatch prints have been commissioned by Anthropologie, CNN, the New York Times, Nissan and Nordstrom, among others. Now, they can put Puckett’s on their list!

It was a real honor to work with Hatch, and Amy had a good ole timing doing it: getting a say in the design, taking a tour of their new facilities, and getting to see ’em hot off the press:

 

Another cool part of this whole story? Puckett’ Staff at the restaurants’ locations identified the community-centered organizations.

Take our 5th & Church location, for example: The Nashville Rescue Mission is dedicated to helping the hungry and homeless, and offers programs that focus on spiritual growth, education, employment and life-recovery. Puckett’s Director of Operations Claire Crowell said the Mission’s work hits close to home for her team and their guests.

“The Mission makes such a difference for people in downtown Nashville who are struggling, people we see face-to-face every day. We can become numb as a community to the challenges they’re facing, and this is one way we can help,” she says.

To get your poster (and donate to a great cause at the same dang time!), visit one of our Puckett’s locations. Or, you can call & place your order… we ship!

 

2014 Hatch Show Print poster

Time Flies: Puckett’s In Franklin Celebrates 10th Anniversary

This appeared in Franklin Home Page December 3, 2014. By Michael Ackley.

Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant in downtown Franklin will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary Thursday.

Claire Crowell, director of operations for Puckett’s and daughter of owner Andy Marshall, said she “can hardly believe” the restaurant is entering its second decade.

Crowell was waitressing tables as a freshman at Middle Tennessee State University in 2004 when the restaurant first opened its doors.

“When we opened the Franklin location in 2004, the restaurant scene was completely different,” she said. “There was Sandy’s Downtown Grill, which closed, and the Mellow Mushroom was just opening up; that was about it for dinner options downtown. It was a ghost town at night.”

Puckett’s has become an institution in downtown Franklin; however, Crowell said its success was not a sure thing.

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Read the full story here.

A Guide To: Creating Claire’s Holiday Spread

Womanista_oyster dressing

 

The holidays are here, and it’s snuck up (as always) so fast! If you’re like the rest of us with busy lives and little time to plan that far ahead, you’re probably stressing a bit about what in the world you’re going to lay on your seasonal table.

Like we’ve been telling y’all, it’s time to stop frettin’ and let us help! Each year Puckett’s offers extensive to-go menus full of holiday favorites, with that special Puckett’s touch.

But it’s a mighty big list though, so we’ve asked Director of Operations Claire Crowell (also blogger at Raised by the Fork) to help us out on narrowing down the options. We were able to catch her for a brief moment—she’s a busy woman, y’all!—and ask her what her favorite items from our holiday to-go menus were.

After giving it some thought… and considering the fact that she’s feeding a baby girl for the first time this year… Claie listed these items that would spread on her dream holiday table:

  • Smoked turkey (yes, Puckett’s does all the work for you!)
  • An additional meat option: Glazed ham on a biscuit or roll
    Are you a fan of mixing it up? There’s nothing like a little oyster dressing or peel ‘n’ eat shrimp to wow your guests! See Puckett’s Boat House‘s quirky holiday to-go menu here.
  • Cornbread dressing AND cranberry relish (she likes all the fixin’s when it comes to the holidays)
  • Sweet potato casserole (hint: she makes hers slightly savory by adding a sweet crunchy pecan topping)
  • Creamy mac & cheese
  • Green beans casserole (Claire personally prefers the green beans amandine — crunchy healthy green beans to balance everything else, but it’s Thanksgiving… so she’s game to gobble up casserole!)
    Fawn over Chef Carlos’ genius at Puckett’s Boat House? Us too! Claire would choose pineapple casserole and cabbage with country ham!
  • Pumpkin pie and more pumpkin pie.
    Oh, and PBH’s carrot cake too — with a cup of black coffee, please!

 

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Sides, Holiday & Chicken-13

Not on Puckett’s holiday to-go menu—but still one of Claire’s favorite categories—is red wine. She said it’d be a sin to eat all this amazing food without it! And since this is her dream table, she indulged and said she’d be sipping on Belle Glos Clark & Telephone Pinot Noir. Though she’s not a big pinot drinker (she likes bolder wines), she could drink this one allllll day long.

So there you have it: Claire’s dream feast! Feel free to take her list to heart, or mix it up a bit with your own tastes and preferences.

View the holiday menus + order from:

  • Puckett’s in downtown Nashville HERE.
  • Puckett’s in downtown Franklin HERE.
  • Puckett’s Boat House in downtown Franklin HERE.
  • Puckett’s in downtown Columbia HERE.

Coming up: be on the look out for our suggestions on designing holiday tablescapes for your perfect seasonal feast!

 

PBH-Carrot-Cake [web size]

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Green Beans Side

Puckett's Thanksgiving - Sweet Potatoe Casserole