Lay an artful table
Entertaining at home is not everyone’s cup of tea – but if you do enjoy having people over for a meal, be it formal or casual, it’s always good to know how to set a table that perfectly complements the tone you’re aiming for. As etiquette queen Martha Stewart puts it, ‘The way a table is set contributes to the ambiance of a meal as much as the food and wine.’
Table-setting 101Fork, plate, water glass, wine glass, knife, spoon – right? If only it were that simple. HL spoke to Matt Mulholland, operational partner at legendary Cape Town steakhouse HQ. Matt has 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry and, believe it or not, does still enjoy entertaining at home. He gave HL a few tips on creating the perfect atmosphere for your occasion.
Understand the occasion‘Embrace the occasion and let it define the overall look and feel of your table setting. Some meals call for a degree of formality – think special milestones or those times when you need to impress. Other occasions call for a more casual style: a family lunch or dinner with close friends.’
Conversation, ambiance and practicality are key‘Always take into consideration the spacing and placement of people. The more intimate and less spread out the seating is, the more exciting the conversation and more successful the event. Set the table to be practical and always consider the ambiance (which could involve anything from lighting to decor).’
Don’t be afraid to be yourself‘Express yourself. I often used to let what I believed people would think influence not only the way I set a table, but the decor and setup in general. People are coming to dine at your house and they are attending your event because they enjoy what you do. Embrace that and let your personality shine through.’
See three artful tablescapes that'll inspire your next dinner party in our July 2016 issue