How to Set an Elegant Table: Part II
Just as the silverware is placed in order of use, so, too, are the glasses. The water glass should remain on the table from the very beginning to the very end of the whole soirée, and it's typically placed closest to the plates.
Take the example of a dinner that begins with a soup course paired with sherry. In this situation, the sherry glass would be on the right, closest to the plate. Now, imagine the soup course is followed by a fish course paired with white wine. You’d preemptively place the wine glass next to the sherry glass, further away from the center of the setting. After that, perhaps you'd like a toast at the end of the meal. In that case, the champagne glass would be placed at the rightmost corner of the setting, to the right of all the other glasses. If you choose to start your meal with a glass of champagne or prosecco, then the champagne flute would be before the water glass.
There are some key considerations when selecting the centrepieces. Flowers should not be so overly fragrant that they overpower the food; centrepieces should be low enough so that diners can see each other across the table. Candles should not be lit until it is dusk or later, though you might be able to get away with lighting them earlier on overcast days. Traditionally, formal dinner candles are white or ivory, and fragrant candles are a definite no-go. Keep in mind that the food should always be the main event.
Give each person as much elbow room as the table permits. Leave an even amount of space between places. Consider the look, the aesthetics of the table. If it’s a large table with few guests, perhaps space the plates out; you then should also space out your flatware, and consider the distance from your knife to your plate; you can add ornamental knife holders, or maybe spread some decorations, leaves, or small condiment dishes.
“Table setting is akin to getting dressed for the day: you create it by layers, starting with basics, and adding accents and accessories. You can mix and match any patterns, as long as you have a good basic colour palette with several matching colours” - says Marie Daage, a renowned French porcelain artist. “Like with the wardrobe staple, the little black dress," new excitement in table setting is created by changing just a plate, or a cup. The table is a reflection of who you are. Dress it tastefully as you would yourself – and create an environment that invites one to dine! "
Photos courtesy of Esther Rulli and the BLUE RIBBON Company
About the author: Esther Rulli is the founder of BLUE RIBBON Company, a supplier of 140 luxury homewares brands. The Blue Ribbon Company can be visited online at www.theblueribboncompany.com and followed on Instagram @ Blueribboncompany