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Restaurant-style table settings decoded!

One thing we admire most about restaurants – apart from their delicious meals – is their aesthetics. Have you ever sat down to eat at an elegant restaurant and found yourself distracted by their choice of tableware? Or their fine crockery? Or maybe just the way the entire table has been laid?

You probably made a mental note of some of the elements that stood out and how you could create that atmosphere at home. To help you out, we've put together a list of everything you will ever need to set the perfect table, including step-by-step instructions on how to get there. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon be showing off your very own stylised table setting the next time you play host!


How to set a formal dinner table


Step 1: First, decide the overall theme or colour scheme of the event. Every choice you make will depend on this primary decision. 




The nature of the event usually determines the theme. Is it a festive occasion? Is it a personal milestone being celebrated or a religious event? Is it a reunion or a welcome party for new neighbours? Is it a formal business meet or a casual gathering of close friends? For instance, gold-and-glam is festive and tends to be more appropriate for dinner time. Pastel or neutral hues tend to be better suited for a casual brunch or lunch. Try to ensure that the colours you choose blend with the decor of the dining room.

Step 2: Place the table runner of your chosen colour scheme at the centre of the table. This will act as a backdrop and accentuate every other element that is laid out.



Step 3: Lay down placemats in a flattering, contrasting colour around the table runner. These can be the traditional rectangular ones or other available shapes.



Step 4: Match napkins to your runner and fold them attractively for elegant symmetry. Add napkin rings if necessary; it will add a touch of class.



Step 5: While dining at a restaurant, you would have noticed that they provide multiple plates, one for each course. You can try this at home on special occasions. Alternate dinner plate, salad plate, and bowl; positioning them at the centre of each placemat.



Step 6: Place coasters on the right-hand side for the glassware.



Step 7: Place your chosen glassware on top of the coasters and your cutlery on top of the napkins. 



Step 8: Make a statement by choosing a contrasting colour of serveware to your runner. 



Step 9: Accentuate your table setting with a stylish centrepiece. A floral arrangement most effectively achieves this. Choose flowers with a pleasant and subtle fragrance as opposed to those with overpowering scents.



Important things to keep in mind


Select all your tableware according to your chosen theme. Factors you might consider are the type of food being served, the variety of dishes, and the number of courses. For instance, the dinnerware for a backyard barbecue party will differ vastly from that of a six-course meal!

Your choice of glassware and cutlery will also depend mainly on the nature of the event. Is it a casual get-together or a formal dinner? How many courses will be served? What beverages will be offered? A special celebration may call for champagne and the corresponding glasses. Will a spoon and fork suffice, or will you need a knife? Dessert spoons may be added later.

Have fun creating unique table settings for all your special gatherings. Feel free to experiment with your own preferred colours, textures, and ideas. If you follow the simple steps outlined above, achieving the perfect table style will be a breeze. Click here for a step by step guide on how to set the dinner table the classy way.