Table Setting 101: How to Wow Your Guests with Your Tableware

Tis the season of parties and gatherings, and with that, #food and entertaining guests. Hence it is a great time to talk about a frequently missed opportunity when it comes to #decorating, the table setting.

Window shopping at any homewares store, you will find a multitude of beautiful, colorful, and sometimes even artistic #tableware and serving platters. So why is it that most of us don't seem to have a cohesive set of dinnerware and platters to whip out when we are trying to impress our guests. Well for me, it had a bit to do with confusion with so much choice, and storage. Most of the etiquette articles out there list so many things that you need to get in order to have a formal dinner setting, that it just gets too daunting. I know that was definitely the case for me. There were things I had never even heard of, let alone knew of buying. Case in point, what they were calling a salad plate, I just called a side plate, or dessert plate. Also, does anyone actually use a bread plate unless we are having the Queen over for dinner? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Typical formal table setting

And so without further ado, I present to you all my tips on finding the perfect dinnerware that you will actually use.

1. Material and Durability

When looking at #dinnerware, it is easy to mind a multitude of materials, from earthenware, to plastic, to bone china, to porcelain. I'm sure each will have their individual pros and cons, but for the purpose of this article, I will just skip to the one that I have found to be most versatile. Porcelain. Most porcelain dinnerware these days are long lasting, chip proof and oven and dishwasher safe. So important when your guests have left for the night and you have a mountain of dishes in the sink. You know those pretty plates with the gold trim, have fun hand washing each and every one. This really helps when you are trying to keep your tableware to a minimum to help with storage. Just get one pretty set you can use all the time.

2. Most Used Tableware

Now this is completely my personal opinion, but I have never needed more than a few things when setting out the table for a sit down #dinner. Dinner plate, side plate/dessert plate, soup bowl, water tumbler, fancy glass for other drinks, cup and saucer, fork, knife, table spoon, and two tea spoons. Outside of this, people just seem to keep moving things out of the way to make room on the table. Save yourself the trouble and space, and just stick to the essentials. This obviously may vary from person to person.

My simplified table setting

3. The Look

The biggest mistake I find people commit when choosing dinnerware, is thinking of them solely as food holders. Wrong. Go to any upscale restaurateur and they will tell you that people eat with their eyes first and than with their mouths. Hence, presentation is crucial. When it came to my setting, I made sure the tableware had a connection to the overall decor of my house. I did this by picking a color scheme found in my dining table armchairs. I mixed and matched the different plates and platters to add variety, but made sure the underlying colors were the same, i.e. navy and black. The cutlery is brass colored to go with the light fittings and other brass accessories throughout the house. Lastly, accessorise with beautiful chargers or placemats, table runners, napkins and napkin rings.

My guests always love my table setting, and I'm pretty sure it makes the food taste better than it actually is ;)

Let me know if this has been helpful and if you would like more content like this in the comments below.

Happy holidays!

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