Turning The Table On Your Tableware

Above: 1) Jasper Conran Strata for Wedgewood 2) Dauville Collection from Canvas Home 3) Almoco flatware from DWR, $27 per setting 4) Herdmar Olso in matte black, $58 per setting 5) Riedel Vivant Bordeaux is a classic 6) iittala offers a modern take on wine glasses

You’ve decided it’s time to be a grown up and host a real dinner party, or you’ve even braver and have decided to cook for your date. But before you go planning your menu and grocery shopping list, open your drawers. Now is the time for a closer inspection. If you cutlery drawer looks more like a junk drawer filled with disposable chop sticks and assorted mismatched flatware, it’s time to upgrade. While you’re at it, check your plates and glasses. Are they junky? Chipped? Glasses look permanent cloudy? Ya? So what’s the big deal? This may not have mattered when you were scarfing down take-out Chinese with your buddies but your college days are over. Grow up. Your date will notice the chips in their glass and the bent fork tines (yup, that’s what they are called). Don’t worry, all hope is not lost, you can easily turn this around. Woo her with your table settings and your food.


Keep it simple. There are many trends in dinnerware, from square plates to matte black plates but it’s best to keep it to the classic – white, modern and round. It is always recommended to stick to classic white restaurant style plates when you are buying your first real set. These will last you forever, especially if you opt for bone china. If you want to be a bit more adventurous, consider a metallic band but opt for a modern update like the Dauville collection from Canvas Home.


If you can afford silver, go for it. And if you buy silver, use it every day not just for special occasions. For the rest of us, you want to look for good quality stainless steel. You should look for stainless flatware that is 18/10, this means that 18% is chromium and 10% is nickel. The higher the nickel content, the more protection the flatware has from corrosion. Stick to classic modern designs that aren’t too fussy. If you want to up the design ante, matte black is the newest trend to cross the table.


Glasses are created for different beverages but here is a trick to make things simpler, it is perfectly correct to serve white and red wine in the same size glass. Riedel has really cornered the market on this and makes great classic stemware. What to look for:

a) 20 oz or more. A large bowl allows the wine to breathe more.
b) Clear glass. This point should seem obvious; you want to see the wine.
c) A long stem. Stemless glasses have become popular but quickly look dirty with fingerprints.
d) Slight curve in at the top. This focuses the aroma.

Cloth Napkins

This is the final touch. Paper napkins just won’t do when you are trying to impress. Stick to linen for dinner parties; cotton works fine for everyday use. This is another instance where it is best to stick to classic white. If you are more style savvy, this is your opportunity to try something fun to match the occasion. Throwing a great BBQ? Consider classic bandanas as napkins.

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