Scandinavian Tablescape Inspiration

Creating a dinner setting that is sophisticated and stylish doesn’t need to be stressful. The easiest tip to remember is that the combination of black and white is always a winner! This styled shoot is just the inspiration you need the next time you’re planning a party or get together with your friends. As a bonus, the creatives even included their recipes for the delicious dishes used on the day! We asked them to describe how they put it all together and what inspired their minimalist theme.

The Shoot

We were looking to bring two very different worlds together. The softness and elegance of the bushveld with the monochromatic simplicity of the the Scandinavians. The natural fibres were used to represent the bush and the black, white and grey we incorporated to bring in the Scandi feel. We shot at Lunikhy Game Farm, a beautiful game farm about an hour’s drive from Pretoria – the perfect location for our day. Elements we included were black cutlery, linen table cloths, cement vases and chairs, slate boards and handmade Wonki Ware plates.

We added a panna cotta because it’s so beautifully simplistic. We also included a beautiful, layered cheesecake because everyone loves a good cheesecake! We added black salts as seasoning for the fish to give a fresh, Scandinavian look, as well as squid ink spaghetti for a bold touch. 

To achieve this look

Less is more – make sure to give attention to the finer details. Be bold and daring with food whilst tying it into the colour scheme. Dye the food with natural colouring – like the squid ink to make the noodles black. Salts and seasoning also add a great touch to the table but remember to put it in a bowl befitting the setting, like the cement accents we used on the table.

Always take off the last thing you put on. – Louzelle van Dyk, photographer


Cheesecake filling

  • 750g Good quality cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
  • 500ml Double thick cream
  • 1 1/3 cups Icing Sugar
  • 4 XL Eggs
  • 2 Vanilla pods, seeds scraped out
  • 40ml Lemon juice


  • 200g Original Salticrax (1 packet)
  • 200g Salted butter
  • 1/2 cup Plain flour

Panna cotta topping

  • 280g Good quality white chocolate
  • 600ml Whipping cream
  • 80ml Caster sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Gelatine sheets
  • 250ml Double thick yogurt
  • Water


The crust

  1. Place the salticrax in a food processor until fine crumbs form.
  2. Add the butter and flour.
  3. Scrape out the dough and press a thick crust on the bottom of a rectangular pan – only covering the pan halfway in depth. Refrigerate for one hour.

The cheesecake filling

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Mix the cream cheese, cream and icing sugar with a whisk. Add the eggs, vanilla seeds and lemon juice and mix until smooth.
  3. Transfer filling to the pan and bake for 20 to 40 minutes, checking every 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

The panna cotta topping

  1. Combine the chocolate, cream, sugar and vanilla in a small saucepan over a low heat, stirring until all the chocolate has melted and the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. Pour cold water over gelatine leaves and leave for five to ten minutes. Squeeze out the excess water and add the leaves to the hot mixture.
  3. Stir until dissolved. Add the yogurt to the hot mixture and pour over the cooled cheesecake filling.
  4. Allow to cool to room temperature and refrigerate for a whole evening.