If you are expecting guests and are looking to create a high-end dining experience for them, your table is going to be one of the defining factors of the evening.
The food you serve will, of course, also play a big role in the event’s overall atmosphere but make a mess of the settings, and even the most cordon bleu cookery will fail to salvage your soirée.
With that in mind, here are some simple steps to laying your table for a luxury dining experience.
Take a tip from top restaurants here; keep your crockery plain.
Patterned plates will detract attention from the food and give a more cluttered feel to the place settings.
For a luxury evening, avoid bulky-looking crockery too and instead opt for thin China plates, which offer a more expensive feel.
It doesn’t have to be white but keep it simple and if you do want to add colour, choose something to blend seamlessly with your décor scheme.
Choosing the right cutlery is also important. A simple design is called for, with forks boasting long, elegant prongs and handles of classic designs.
Always choose silver cutlery as it adds a touch of luxury to the setting and shows you have thought about the small details as well as big ones. Lincoln House Cutlery and Silverware have an extensive range of sterling silver cutlery on their website.
For cutlery placement, the fork sits on the left, knife of the right with the blade facing in. Cutlery for the main meal is closest to the place setting with earlier course cutlery sitting outside this.
Glassware sits at the top right of a place setting, just above and slightly to the right of the knife.
Two glasses per setting are typical, one for wine and one for water.
Make sure you clear any glasses not in use as the evening develops and if you are offering different wines for each course, remember to replace used glasses for clean ones as you clear the plates.
The table linen
Keep it simple and avoid a full table cloth if you don’t want the look to feel dated.
A table runner and napkins should suffice, again choosing a plain fabric with few embellishments.
Less is more and will avoid the table feeling overcrowded and create an attractive and understated effect.
The perfect centrepiece for a dinner party is freshly cut flowers.
Choose shorter stems to prevent creating a barrier between guests on the opposite side of the table.
You might even consider a bowl instead of a vase and cutting stems back to a centimeter or two to float the blooms on top of the water.
Candles also make a nice addition offering ambient lighting to create a more intimate atmosphere.
Lay your table following this advice, and while you will still have the usual concerns, such as cooking the food to perfection and entertaining your guests between courses, at least the dining aesthetic won’t be one of them.