We eat with our eyes first, and this includes not only arranging food on a plate so it looks delicious and appealing, it also means setting the table in a way that entices diners. Hosting a dinner party need not be a stuffy, over-formal affair but for the comfort of your fellow diners, having the basics laid out in front of them is essential. With a few pleasant additions, your table will look exquisite.
1. Formal or Informal
When setting your table for a dinner party, there are two categories to choose from: a relaxed, informal more intimate affair or all the trappings and pomp of a formal place setting. The formal place setting has far more cutlery, plates and glasses, as well as a name card.
The idea is to create a relaxed dining experience but with an air of formality about it. Informal dining contains less clutter around the place setting, but has more detail than a mid-week teatime meal.
2. Crisp white cloth and matching napkins
Now that you have decided whether to have a formal or informal place setting, you can start to create the perfect dinner party table. A crisp, white tablecloth is elegantly flawless and a timeless classic too, providing a blank canvas for the rest of your table. Want a modern look to your dinner table? Opt for large ‘charger plates’ that complement your dinner service.
3. Beautiful dinner service
Dinner plates, side plates, dessert bowl, cup and saucer, along with bright, sparkling cutlery are the main components of your dinner table. As such, they need to match and complement each other. Many people have a best dinner service for when they host dinner parties and there is certainly no compensation for having the highest quality dinner service your budget can stretch to. There is a certain satisfaction in the weight of the plates that balance the food perfectly.
Take a look at a variety of dinner service options and if you opt for colour, current trends are for more muted, gentle colours such as those in the modern, yet classic elegance of Denby Pottery.
Now that you have your chargers or tablecloth in place, and your dinner service to hand, here come the glasses. In a formal setting, you will have a glass for water, one for red wine and one for white wine, as a minimum. In an informal dinner party setting, you will probably only have two glasses – one for water and one wine glass. They should be placed on the upper right hand side of the place setting, around the tip of the knife.
Good quality cutlery is essential for any dinner party. Choose a cutlery set that has weight in the handle so that it fits comfortably within the hand of your diners. The amount of cutlery at a place setting will depend on the number of courses you intend serving. Three courses will mean three sets of cutlery and so on. And remember the adage, start from the outside and work your way in, hence a smaller knife and fork for the starter, or sup spoon above the dessert spoon, followed by the main course cutlery followed by a dessert spoon and fork.
6. Finishing touches
A centrepiece for the table is essential. Either an ornate candelabra or bespoke arrange of flowers is preferable. Don’t have anything too tall, as your diners will not be able to see each other across the table.
Setting a dinner party table is a practical consideration of a dinner party. Once your table is set, all you need to do is serve a delicious meal to complement your perfectly presented table and amazing company.
Thank you Guest Blogger David Milsont / Blogger