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With the festive season coming up and the colder weather upon us, it can only mean one thing – it’s dinner party season! Getting your dining room guest-ready needn’t be difficult; as long as there’s conversation (and good wine) flowing, everything else should be positively simple. Nevertheless, if hosting a dinner party seems stressful, here’s our tips on how to dress your dining table to impress.
BEGIN WITH A CRISP TABLE CLOTH
A clean and crisp tablecloth is an ideal place to start when it comes to creating the ultimate dinner table, and fabric is everything. Choose a natural fibre cloth such as linen, silk or cotton in a neutral colour way before adding a colourful or patterned table runner to the mix. You could even make your own with one of our sumptuous fabrics.
CREATE HEIGHT WITH YOUR TABLEWARE
Layering china plates with bowls on top creates height and a theatrical impact, so place your starter plates on top of your dinner plates and simply remove once the first course is over. Our poetry plates feature traditional gilded gold edging and romantic, love letter style handwriting on each plate. All your guests will fall in love with the sentimental words scrolled across them, adding an extra little bit of charm to your dinner party.
USE PLATTERS FOR SHARING DISHES
For a quick and easy starter, why don’t you create a sharing spread of local produce such as cheese, olives, fruit and vegetables. Use large mix and match serving plates and wooden boards to allow guests to graze at their leisure. With our wooden platters, shot cups and wooden serving troughs, you can create a farmhouse feel for your guests, impressing them with your rustic display skills and support of local businesses.
GET YOUR GLASSWARE RIGHT
Jane, the founder of AUTHOR, often doesn’t go down an overtly formal layout purely due to lack of time; stacking piles of plates and handfuls of cutlery on the table allowing guests to serve themselves. When time is available it is a joy to be able to formally lay out your table, the process of preparation should be as rewarding as the actual gathering.
When going down the formal route, consider the layout of your glassware. Pop water and wine glasses in the upper right corner or the place setting with the water glass closest to the guest. If you’re pairing wine with dishes, the red wine glass goes just behind the white wine glass.
NAPKINS ARE A GUEST’S BEST FRIEND
Linen napkins are perfect for more formal dinner settings, especially when folded within a chic napkin ring. Our pick is from the amazing team at Mallon Foundry in Northern Ireland. These beautiful napkins are clean and unembellished in nature, adding a sophisticated touch to any dinner table whatever the decor. If you’re looking for something with more va va voom, try our cocktail napkins designed by Iona Crawford instead.
DON’T FORGET THE TABLE DECORATIONS
Table decorations will bring an extra little bit of elegance to your dining room, adding a point of interest to the table and encouraging conversation amongst guests. Pomarius’s bronze walnuts and bronze figs as well as Ashleaf London’s bronze leaves will make a glamorous addition to your table settings. Each piece has been cast into bronze using the Lost Wax casting method resulting in a bronze work that is a direct translation of the original organic specimen, capturing every detail and curiosity of its form. You could even send your guests home with one as a special gift.
THINK ABOUT PLACE CARDS
For that extra special touch and to prevent awkwardness, consider making some of your own place cards. They will make your guests feel special while also adding in an element of control for you to choose where you seat your guests. It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy either; handwritten on heavy parchment or on a leaf would work perfectly, perhaps tied to a small sprig of rosemary or whatever you can forage.
ADD FLOWERS AND CANDLES
The final touch? It’s always flowers and candles. Make sure flowers are low to the table and impact can easily be created with masses of candles at varying heights down the centre of the table. Our shot pot candles will satisfy the need for both as once the wax has burned down, you can reuse the cups for flower posies. Looking to make a statement or create some drama? Our Paris Candlesticks will do just that.
Choose your signature scent and burn it for a few hours before your guests arrive to ensure a delicious scent throughout. Be careful when choosing your scent that is is not too overpowering to intrude on your meal. It really is all about those little details and finishing touches.
Still looking for tips to help style your home? The AUTHOR team is here to advise on any aspects of design and furnishing. If you would like any further advice or interior design tips on how to make the most of your interior space, please do get in touch.