We believe that all guests (including family members) should be treated like royalty all the time. If you take anyone for granted you are less likely to make the effort to raise the bar. Try and set your table the day before (if you can) or first thing in the morning for sure. When this is out of the way, you can concentrate on the dinner. Should something unforeseen happen and you find there is just enough time to finish your dinner preparations, it will have been worth having prepared your table earlier.
Once you have set out the charger plates,* dishes, glasses, cutlery, napkins, flowers etc., stand back and take a good hard look. Now is the time to take it to the next level. Add a napkin ‘cover’ (a sheer napkin in gold or silver) or put the sheer inside the napkin and call it a liner and use a napkin ring. If you have a meter or two of sheer material you can lay this over the tablecloth – you now have a tablecloth ‘cover’.
Add salt and pepper holders to the left of the charger plate. When you put out glasses of water for each guest, add a slice of lemon, add some ice and it changes everything. Now take a look. It is fabulous! Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
* charger plates are larger plates that go under the dinner plates. They don’t have to be expensive. You can buy them in plastic as well as china if that is what you can afford.