Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Table Manners

See we are back with a new post, like we promised. As it happens, we somehow chose to be back, bang in between the festive season. And what are festivals if not celebrated with family. Well, in India - Family & Food - the two F-words that never fail to bring a smile :). 

So we are here to help you with your festival preps. While food and it's variety and taste should be on top of your mind but wouldn't it be absolutely lovely if you gave the presentation a thought - a cherry on the cake I'd say, if I can freely use a food metaphor. Or in the Indian context, the Kaju (Cashew-nut) on your Boondi Laddoo (doubt there is a parallel of this awesomeness in the English speaking world) :P. 

How about we list down few important pointers to guide you in setting your table, making it guest-ready and a cynosure of all eyes. 

It's very important that you decide what kind of dinner or feast you are planning to host. Is it a formal sit-down dinner complete with silverware and overall more elaborate or is it a more casual approach where the food is set on a separate table, buffet style for which you need a fast and easy approach. Let's take each of these settings individually and discuss it at large - 

  •        A Formal Dinner - 

Here are few pointers to keep in mind while hosting a formal dinner party -

* Crockery : Don't ever compromise or penny-pinch in buying your crockery set. Remember how Monica (of the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. series) famously claimed that she is saving her Wedding china for the Queen to visit. As hosts, you should treat your guests to a royal treatment and a formal dinner is incomplete without a porcelain dinner set. And if you have been around here for long, you will know our sheer disgust at Melamine.

* Set the table in a logical manner. Each course will require separate setting. I will not get into the etiquette detail or the placement of the cutlery, as it is not highly relevant in the Indian context. It is important, though, to keep the table ready for each of the dish planned for the night.

* Table Linen : a) Table Cloth : They are like the foundation of your table setting and help set the tone of your entire meal-plan. Lighter colored solids with a metallic colored trim tend to look more formal and elegant. While a 6" drop on all sides is the basic rule to follow, the longer the cloth, the swankier it looks. 
b) Place-mats : They work great to layer the look of the table or to introduce an accent color. With them available in a variety of material, viz. fabric, wood, shells, beads etc, they are sure to add a hint of glamour to your setting.

Pic Courtesy : Elle Decor

c) Runner : Whether used alone or in combination with a table cloth-placemat combo, runners are the most versatile element of your table-setting. Centered on the table, it should hang at least 6" on either end or should match the drop-length of the table-cloth.

d) Napkins : They play an important role for setting the mood for the festivals. You can play around with a variety of festive rings to add a bit of bling this Diwali or try different folds of Napkins. You can also personalize the whole experience by adding name-cards on the napkins, setting a designated place for each of your guests.

Source : 123

* The Centerpiece : As the name suggests, this will be the center of attraction of your entire table-setting and deserves a thought without being a hindrance in the entire scheme of things. It can either be a collection, say hurricane vases with gold or your theme colored candles or a mix of a lot of elements, like flowers, floating candles in a bowl, big luxurious candle stands with slim metallic candles etc. What you should keep in mind is that your center-piece should not be too tall that it obstructs vision and a free-flowing conversation.

  •        A Casual Buffet : This is a hassle-free approach to hosting a party as what is a party where the host is just not able to enjoy!! Easier to put together, this kind of a casual approach enables the guest too, to be involved and generates an overall easy camaraderie among everyone. It also becomes possible to include food that can be set on the table in advance and not sweating it out in the kitchen when you should be mingling with your guests. On a festival like Diwali, if space permits, you can always plan an al fresco dinner. With the dazzling lights around, it will be a sure-fire hit (oops wrong pun :P). 
If you plan to use your dining table for seating then you can set the food on a spare table or the kitchen island and encourage guests to help themselves. We came across a wonderful plan at which will guide you for a seamless buffet table-setting.

Check out the wonderful decor of this casual dinner party - 

  • End it with Party Favors : Trust us when we say that nothing impresses a guest more than receiving something in the form of a party favor. It doesn't necessarily have to be something big, just a small token of remembrance. This will leave an imprint on their minds and your meticulous planning and execution will be the topic of future get-together parties. 

Now tell us how are you planning your Diwali party and was this helpful? Let us know if we missed something or you want something to be added. 

P.S. : Did you know that we are now on Twitter too? No?? Come on you guys, start following us, pronto. You can just click on the side bar with the Twitter logo or click here to follow us. 

No comments:

Post a Comment