Growing up, I was brought up in a milieu where ladies didn’t dress casually, young girls got fine porcelain and fine crystal for their birthdays and Christmas as (very) advanced wedding gifts, singing at the table was not allowed and children stayed at the table (often for hours) until they learned the etiquette. It’s a shame some of the etiquettes have disappeared with time.
And in the last few years, when the recession hit, entertaining at home became once again popular.
Here are some rules I’ve put together to help anyone entertain and set a beautiful table at home:
1. Never use paper napkins
Use beautiful white table napkins instead. They are elegant and versatile. Be creative, see photos below for ideas:
2. Ensure flowers and centrepieces don’t block the view of the guests.
3. Have a Theme
Having a Theme will help you not over/under do it. Choose anything from Sparkly Christmas and Harvest to simple Themes like Classic and Red roses and white Porcelain.
4. Know the etiquette and cutlery/glasses placement
Follow one of these and you won’t get it wrong. However, the cutlery setting should be agreeable to the courses you serve, don’t set a seafood fork if you are serving meat and salad entrée!
For a fool proof event the cutlery should also be used from the outside-in, so set accordingly, having the main course closer to plates etc.
5. Be Creative
Don’t be afraid to try something new:
Fruit and flowers centrepiece
Presents on the chairs
Make your own menus
An unusual al fresco table setting
Make little flower arragements
Use props such as flowers