As the cold weather sets in, we’re becoming increasingly more excited about retreating indoors and into the comfort of home. And what better way to enjoy this than inviting friends over for a dinner party? It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it is always nice to take care and consideration when entertaining those you love.
In today’s blog post, we’re going to talk through some simple styling tips that will set the tone for the most perfectly, relaxed dinner party. True time with friends is less about perfection and more about the moments shared together, so instead of worrying about an elaborate table lay out, follow our tips and then settle on down to an evening full of delicious food and good conversation.
Try using vintage brass candle sticks for some contrast if you’ve got a table with a neutral palette. Their darker colour and aged patina brings warmth and character, and as a casual centrepiece, they add a touch of elegance and cosiness to the evening’s atmosphere. Clustering different heights together brings more dimension to the table and if you’re after a bit of order, try putting the tall one in the middle to create a cascading effect with the candlelight.
A straightforward layering of your plates will strike the perfect balance between casual and considered. We suggest using two contrasting colours, mixing dark and light tones for added depth. Once pre-dinner drinks are served, you and your friends can casually make your way to the dining room and settle in your own time without anything feeling too staged or formal.
Simplicity is key when it comes to napkins. Instead of spending hours trying to delicately fold each one, a simple knot will work nicely for a relaxed look. For a hint of sophistication, linen - with its timeworn but wholesome look - is the perfect material.
Opting for serving bowls instead of handing your guests their own plate of food instantly relaxes the occasion. A few large bowls of food spread around the table, within reaching distance of everyone, will not only put your guests at ease, but allow them to pick and choose the food they eat, taking any pressure off the evening’s menu. As the meal progresses and conversation picks up, there’s nothing quite like a steady stream of food making its way around the table, cutlery clinking and the lively chatter of friends catching up.
After an evening of good wine, great food and delightful conversation, you might want to retire to the living room for an after-dinner drink or a spot of dessert. With this simple yet classic approach to table styling, little effort needs to go into the clear down, so you don’t have to leave your guests for too long.
And if you’re using our range of Barton Croft ceramics, then they can easily be popped into the dishwasher, so you can sit back and enjoy the night as much as everyone else.