When it comes to hosting a dinner party, we all like to put time and effort into the food, creating beautiful dishes that we want our guests to love. To host a dinner party to remember, you want your table - where you’ll spend most of the evening - to look the part too. The table will be the centrepiece of the night, and so whether it’s for a summer BBQ or a Christmas extravaganza, here are some tips for making your table look extra special.
Start off with a beautiful tablecloth that adds a sense of occasion. This should complement the decor in your home, and can be topped with a matching table runner. Tablecloths with a long drop to the floor add a touch of luxury, whereas shorter drops can be used for more casual gatherings. Lighter colours and soft prints can brighten the room, but won’t hide stains and spillages as well as darker colours and highly patterned cloths. Napkins add the finishing touch to your place settings, and can be casually placed beneath your cutlery, or elegantly wrapped in ribbon, twine or decorative napkin rings.
How you set up the plates and cutlery on your table depends on how formal your dinner party will be. Layering the plates helps create the appearance of a fuller table, and is great if the food is being self-served from the middle of the table, banquet style. Place your larger plates on the bottom, followed by a smaller side or salad plate. Charger plates are purely decorative, and sit beneath the large dinner plate. They can add pattern and texture to your place setting, and are handy for catching little spillages.
Your cutlery should be laid out in the order it will be used, from the outside in. Don’t forget soup spoons if this is being served, and place this alongside the knives on the right. Dessert cutlery can be placed horizontally above the dinner plate, but can also be simply brought out with dessert later on. Mix and match your crockery and cutlery for a modern, eclectic look, or opt for matching dinnerware for something more sleek and elegant.
Don’t forget to finish off the setting with wine and water glasses, placed above the knives to the right of the place setting. And of course, some champagne flutes if it’s a special occasion!
To host a dinner party to remember, you want your table to look the part
How you decorate your table will determine the look and feel of your home for the night. It doesn’t have to cost the earth to create a magical space your guests will love. Dot votive tealights around the table to create a warm and inviting ambient glow. The gentle, flickering light will add a cosy atmosphere to your dinner party.
Fresh flowers make the perfect centrepiece, no matter the size of your table. Luxurious bouquets give a sense of occasion and are perfect for more formal dinner parties. If you’re after something more informal, a simple bunch of wildflowers can be all you need. Just make sure when choosing your centrepieces that the line of vision isn’t interrupted - you want your guests to chat to each other after all!