I like to feel that my dinner parties are a place where friends can come and relax, enjoy some great food and a good catch up. I enjoy setting the table is just as much as I enjoy planning the menu.
I love to create an impact with the table setting but keeping it simple and inviting at the same time. You don’t have to have immaculate sets of china or stylish flowers that break the bank to make your table look stylish and inviting.
Living in London is an advantage as I often use markets, charity shops and flower stalls to enjoy the best my budget can get. A stroll through Columbia Road Flower Market is the perfect way to spend a Sunday morning and I love keeping an eye out for little gems to use at future dinner parties.
Top tips to remember when planning a table setting
Choose a theme
Stick to one theme when planning how to set the table, or ‘tablescape’ as it is recently become known, and then create a colour palette to work to. This will keep you on track and avoid any tempting distractions.
Keep an eye on hot new trends; botanicals are a trend becoming increasingly popular with the rise of companies like The Plant Lab, who create stunning botanicals in hand-made concrete pots.
When planning what to put on the table, ensure that your guests can easily see each other over the table. Avoid using centrepieces or candle holders that obstruct a guest’s view.
Big & Bold
Large tables can balance a big, bold centrepiece. Be brave and enjoy the space you have. Avoid using smaller items to decorate the table as you will need plenty of them to create an impact.
Small & Delicate
A smaller dining space gives perfect opportunity to use a collection of smaller vases and flowers. With a small space keeping it delicate and dainty will allow the room to feel more spacious.
Remember to allow enough space for the dishes you want to put on the table. Set the table accordingly ahead of time to avoid any reshuffling when guests are seated.
Don’t be afraid to include a contrast of textures on the table. For example, at Social Pantry cafe the tables are wooden so we use grey cement planters and cutlery holders to give it that extra special look.
Making the space really inviting will allow your guests to relax. A simple runner can soften a clean lined space. Stacks of everyday items such a plates or cutlery pots placed in the centre of the table can make a table look inviting.
Most importantly being a relaxed host will mean your guests relax too, go with what suits your space and style and you will have nothing to loose.