Setting the table just right is an important visual element for a lunch or dinner party
QWe love entertaining outdoors in the summer. Is there anything fun we can add to our usual decor?
It’s all about casual, approachable materials and lots of texture. Linen is always a great choice for a tablecloth, napkins or place mats. Layer on some texture with rattan or bamboo napkin rings or place mats. If you want to add some colour, go for a colourful water glass. Also, try incorporating metallic elements such as gold and brass. (SC)
AQWhat advice do you have for someone who has never designed a table setting?
No one comes out of the womb ready to host a dinner party. We all have to start somewhere. Look around your home and your cupboards for inspiration. Pick colours and textures that already play a role in your life. For example, if you lean towards rich kid attire, go with a navy-and-white nautical theme. If you’re more of a black jacket and Converse kind of girl, go with dark hues and unexpected fabrics such as leather runners and jewel-toned water glasses. (LC)
AThere’s a great way to be cohesive without being matchymatchy. For instance you can be cohesive with tonal colour combinations. Use shades of blue, for example, and then bring out the colour of your plates by adding a vase with flowers in that same colour somewhere on your table.
Don’t be afraid to loosen up. Think of it as a personal choice, rather than worrying about “rules” to follow. Experiment. (SC)
QHow do you prepare for a dinner party? Do I need to set aside a lot of time before my guests arrive?
AThe more time you set aside to prepare, the better you’ll feel going into the dinner party. Set the table the night before, and do as much food prep as possible before people arrive. And don’t be afraid to ask for help in the kitchen once your guests are there – most people love to contribute to the evening. (LC)
Q AWhat’s the best way to kick someone out of your party?
This is an excellent question. If it’s a weekend, I typically plan for everyone to have an after-dinner destination (karaoke is always a favourite). If it’s a week night, or if your crowd isn’t up for a post-party, start doing the dishes. Either you’ll get help cleaning up, or people will take the hint that the evening is over. (LC)
QI always protest but end up hosting holiday dinners at the last minute. How do you recommend putting together a tablescape if there’s no time to prepare?
Holidays are usually overwhelming for everyone, so don’t put too much pressure on yourself by striving for perfection. For last-minute table setting, pick up pomegranates or apples to place at each setting with each guest’s name written directly on them to serve as place cards.
Or buy a bunch of greens for the centre of the table.
Remember, it’s the thought that counts, so skip stress and have a great time with people you love when entertaining. (LC)
AWarm regards, Vivian Warby and team
It’s all about roses. See page 12 Cnr Bosworth and Diens Roads, Alrode Albertonover the road from Alrode Brewery
Casual table settings are the way to go when dining outdoors.
When entertaining, celebrate and don’t get stressed.