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Set The Scene - Set The Table!



Planning a dinner party takes a lot of work. You’ll be busy thinking about which dishes you will serve for the starter, the main meal and the dessert. Then there is the cheese course, which drinks to serve and who to invite! The list of jobs is quite overwhelming but it’s worth the effort. There is nothing better than sitting around a table with good friends enjoying each other’s company. There will be chatting, laughing and good conversation all night as the wine flows.

There’s something you might not have thought about when planning your dinner party – the dining room. But trust us, if you put some work and effort to creating a beautiful atmosphere, the evening will be even better. There are some key things to consider when getting your dining room ready – here are some of them:

Lighting



Obviously you don’t want your plush room spoilt with light that is too harsh or too dim. Rather than one overhead light, experiment with a few lamps dotted about – and perhaps some of those could be on a dimmer switch so you can control the brightness. Don’t forget about candles – they are very atmospheric and cosy.

Furniture



You’ll need a large dining table that comfortably fits all of your guests around it. Together with some classy straight-backed chairs this will be perfect for a dinner party. If you have the space it’s great to put some soft furnishings around like a big sofa and a chaise longue, and some cushions for guests to relax on after the meal.

Setting the Table



A well-set table is inviting and beautiful. Start with a gorgeous tablecloth. Then lay out subtle table mats and glass mats. Give every place a wine glass and a water glass, a napkin and some cutlery. Make sure the cutlery is suitable for the type of food being served. In the middle of the table there should be a centrepiece like a vase of flowers or a candle display but make sure this doesn’t obscure the guests’ view of each other. Some people like to add their own decorations to the table- use this as an opportunity to get artistic! It’s good to have a separate table to display the dessert and cheese on.

Atmosphere



A subtle scented Provence candle burning in one corner will give the room a lovely fragrance that won’t overpower the room. Make the area as cosy as you possibly can in order for your guests to feel at ease. Leave clutter elsewhere and have a dedicated place for your guests’ coats so that they don’t end up on the back of a chair!
All of this planning can be done a long time in advance so that you are able to concentrate on the food on the day itself. When your dining room is ready, stand back and admire your work! When you’re ready, light the candles, dim the lights and pour yourself a chilled glass of wine as you wait for your guests to arrive. Have a lovely meal!

Kate Cullen works as a blogger for Maison Saint Louis, which provides beautiful French provincial homeware such as cushions, linen, rugs etc. She enjoys reading about interior design during her time off from work.


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