The Stews With the Best Tablescaping Skills on Below Deck

Photo by: Karolina Wojtasik/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Captain Sandy Yawn is a lover of tablescapes on Below Deck. Sadly, this wasn’t Hannah Ferrier’s gift on Below Deck Mediterranean. At times, this was just used as an extra reason for Captain Sandy to spar with Hannah, which we hated. Thankfully, Sandy hit the pay dirt when Bugsy Drake came onboard, as her tablescapes were always over the top.

Not thankfully, Bugsy and Hannah also clashed. We all know how this story played out on Bravo in Season 5. Despite this mess, Bugsy’s talent was clear. This got us to thinking about other crew members who were also talented in this area.

And no, we are not talking about Chef Adrian Martin, who removed marine life from its natural habitat during Season 6. When Adrian stuffed a sea cucumber into a table-top sized aquarium, we winced. Luckily, this little fella made it through the evening. He was able to rejoin his friends in the sea after the guests left the table, which we loved.

Instead, we’re talking about the stews. You know, the one’s who are actually hired to help set the mood in each of the living spaces onboard, including the tables. After a quick review, these are our top three stews with the best tablescaping skills on Below Deck.

Tumi Mhlongo

Tumi Mhlongo/Instagram

Tumi Mhlongo just finished her first season as a Chief Stew on BDM. Prior to this, she worked underneath Aesha Scott on Below Deck Down Under, where the majority of her stunning tablescapes were seen. During her first season on-air, many fans clocked Tumi’s skills. She even spoke out once about her obvious talent, and here’s what she had to say about her skills over on Showbiz CheatSheet.

“I’ve always been very artistic. I took art in school and did graphic design and mechanical design, and I’ve always been extremely artistic in that respect. So that’s what attracted me to yachting. I could do this even though you have to clean toilets, but then I could also do the tables which was the most fun.”

As for her preferred aesthetic, this hardworking Chief Stew shared that she loves “everything that looks pretty.” On how she begins, Tumi explained that it’s similar to how she gets dressed each morning, as “You kind of work with a clean palette, and then you just add key pieces. So if I’m going to dress up and wear a wrap dress, I’m not going to put like gold diamonds, gold chain, and a gold belt, gold shoes. It’s going to instead be a statement bag.”

On what Tumi hates, she answered “don’t clutter the place. Like I’m not really into like the cluttering look.” Same. Which brings us to our next talented tablescaping stew, who definitely loves the more is more philosophy.

Bugsy Drake

Bugs Drake/Instagram

Bugsy is the queen of tablescaping. In fact, she loves decorating tables so much, she wrote an entire book on this very topic. For just under $30, you too can decorate like Bugsy, after reading The Art of Tablescaping: Deck Out Your Table with the Queen of Theme. If reading isn’t your bag, you could just order one of Bugsy’s kits via her storefront for Boxed by Bugsy.

Further proving just how talented Bugsy is, the New York Times actually referred to her as being ”perhaps the greatest tablescape artist who has ever lived.” That’s high praise. That said, some viewers have found Bugsy’s tables to be a bit overdone throughout her time on BD. On this, we think that Bugsy just likes to be thorough, but also, we get it, as sometimes, there is a such a thing as having too many baubles.

Kate Chastain


Kate Chastain is a lover of tablescapes, flowers, and theme parties. Creatively speaking, she’s a pro when it comes to hitting back at the annoying charter guests, as her phallic towel-folds have proven. Yet, her tablescapes have usually arrived as a stark contrast to these hysterical dick displays. You see, for her chosen dining decor, Kate mostly just kept things simple, using colorful, fresh flowers to help set the various moods onboard.

While this might sound boring to some, it actually gave off the opposite impression, once her flowers hit her tables. Also, the smell and appearance of real flowers, especially when out to sea, where there’s zero grass to touch, just looked welcoming. Overall, Kate’s bouquets presented as a classy contrast to the other stews tables, and we appreciated her simplicity.