All Set to Party!

Five easy tips to find the right dinnerware, glassware and cutlery to enhance the festivities and food as you entertain at home this season

Issue: Dec 2013

The food may be the star of any meal but the dinnerware can be a great supporting cast if you know how to pick the right ones
The food may be the star of any meal but the dinnerware can be a great supporting cast if you know how to pick the right ones

‘Tis the season to be jolly and with the festivities comes the parties. While the star of any celebration is usually the food, what the food is served in should not be ignored either. On the aesthetics level, your dinnerware can be part of the decoration of the day, helping to set the right mood and tone for your party. On the practical side, having the right plate, bowl, cup or cutlery makes it easier to serve the food and drinks. They may merely be co-stars, but the right tableware can help to make the main event a hit.

So, here are five great tips to spice up the atmosphere and make your food look even better at the party!

1. Set the Mood

A formal dinner setting is usually for a meal for no more than 12 and requires several items arranged in a set pattern
A formal dinner setting is usually for a meal for no more than 12 and requires several items arranged in a set pattern

Is it going to be a formal dinner, an informal sit-down meal or a casual buffet? The formal setting is usually for a party of no more than 12 and requires several items: napkin (with napkin holder), salad fork, dinner fork, dessert fork, bread and butter plate with butter knife, service plate, dinner knife, teaspoon, soup spoon, cocktail fork, water glass, red wine glass, white wine glass, teacup with saucer. 

If fish is being served, a fish knife replaces the dinner knife. Then, depending on the menu, different dinnerware is placed on the service plate: salad plate, appetiser plate with cocktail fork, soup bowl, dinner plate, dessert plate. Everything is arranged around the service plate with the napkin on top. The salad and main course forks are to the left of the plate; the salad and main course knives, and soup spoon are to its right. Above the salad and main course forks are the bread and butter plate with butter knife. Dessert forks and spoons are placed above the serving plate with the fork facing left and the spoon facing right. To the right above the knives are the trio of water, red wine and white wine glasses placed left to right in a triangle. The cup and saucer with teaspoon can be brought in separately or with dessert.  

For a casual dinner, you may dispense with the multiple knives and forks, and the service plate. With a buffet, there isn’t even a need for place settings. All the food is simply put on one table. But the right tableware for the right food items is still required for both.

(Left) LSA Serve Low Bowl (S$136) will make an enticing addition to your buffet table and is large enough to for pasta, salads and even chips; (right) LSA Serve Square Platter (S$142) lets you serve your goodies separated yet on a single platter; the clear glass gives your guests a better view of the yummy selection
(Left) LSA Serve Low Bowl (S$136) will make an enticing addition to your buffet table and is large enough to for pasta, salads and even chips; (right) LSA Serve Square Platter (S$142) lets you serve your goodies separated yet on a single platter; the clear glass gives your guests a better view of the yummy selection
Photo credit: Luxodec

If you are looking for large bowls to serve pasta, salads or even chips, contemporary lifestyle store, Luxodec, stocks a wide range of home accessories as well as dinnerware and glassware. The LSA Serve Low Bowl (S$136) is mouth-blown and hand-finished by skilled artisans using a 2,000-year old technique.

For snacks like nuts, olives, candies and even fruits for your buffet, the LSA Serve Square Platter (S$142) allows the goodies to be separated yet seen to entice your guests to reach out for more.

2. Don’t Be Too Ambitious

A coffee scoop (S$80) and matching French press (S$310) with Sepetir timber handles; and large melon tea pot (S$1,200) from Royal Selangor will make any host proud
A coffee scoop (S$80) and matching French press (S$310) with Sepetir timber handles; and large melon tea pot (S$1,200) from Royal Selangor will make any host proud
Photo credit: Royal Selangor

If it is not a luncheon or a dinner that you are hosting, you can go for a less ambitious tea party instead. Pewter specialist, Royal Selangor, has elegant pewter tea and coffee sets, and accessories designed to inspire.

LSA Jazz Cup & Saucer (S$154 in a set of four 350ml cups or S$98 for 100ml cups) lends a lively touch to your tea things; while the LSA cakestand and cover (S$280) will showcase your pastries
LSA Jazz Cup & Saucer (S$154 in a set of four 350ml cups or S$98 for 100ml cups) lends a lively touch to your tea things; while the LSA cakestand and cover (S$280) will showcase your pastries
Photo credit: Luxodec

Luxodec’s LSA Jazz Cup & Saucer (S$98 for a set of four 100ml cups or S$154 for a set of 350ml ones) will do nicely for a funky tea soiree. To serve your pastries, get the LSA cakestand and cover (S$280), a handmade glass set that will make a timeless addition to your tea party.

(Left to Right) Crates and Barrel’s Garcia Margarita Glass (S$19.95) is handcrafted from recycled tequila bottles; the Dizzy Cocktail Glass (S$4.50) has a wide V shape that will hold plenty of drinks; Zinnia Engraved Wine Glass (S$19.95) with a pretty floral lace pattern
(Left to Right) Crates and Barrel’s Garcia Margarita Glass (S$19.95) is handcrafted from recycled tequila bottles; the Dizzy Cocktail Glass (S$4.50) has a wide V shape that will hold plenty of drinks; Zinnia Engraved Wine Glass (S$19.95) with a pretty floral lace pattern
Photo credit: Crate and Barrel

Another option is a cocktail party with drinks and finger foods. American housewares, furniture, and home accessories chain, Crate and Barrel, has an impressive array of glassware just for the occasion. From wine glasses to champagne flutes, martini, margarita, cognac, cordial, and cooler glasses – they have a shape for every type of drink.  

3. Get Your Stuff Straight

A set of three condiment shakers (S$225) that play on the conventional dome shape from Royal Selangor
A set of three condiment shakers (S$225) that play on the conventional dome shape from Royal Selangor
Photo credit: Royal Selangor

Once you have decided on the kind of party you want and settled on your menu, you will know what tableware you need. 

Royal Selangor has some lovely items that will make great conversation pieces and heirlooms. Pick up a jug or pitcher from their pewter jugs and water pitches series (ranging from S$120 for a milk jug to S$770 for a jug). They also have salt and pepper shakers (S$120 to S$225) that come in sleek designs that defy convention.

Match Royal Selangor’s cheeseboard (S$250) which features Tuscany’s slopes, cypress trees and villas sculpted at the edge of the marble board with its pewter and stainless steel salad server (S$195) with the same design on its handle
Match Royal Selangor’s cheeseboard (S$250) which features Tuscany’s slopes, cypress trees and villas sculpted at the edge of the marble board with its pewter and stainless steel salad server (S$195) with the same design on its handle
Photo credit: Royal Selangor

Worth adding to your buffet table is its cheeseboard (S$250) edged with the landscape of Tuscany’s slopes, cypress trees and villas. The board itself is made of grey marble that is easy to clean. Match this with pair of pewter and stainless steel salad server (S$195) with the same scene etched on its handle.

(Left) This Royal Selangor pate set (S$190) is made from walnut stained rubberwood with a cream-coloured ceramic tile for cutting with a pate knife that comes with an ornate handle; (Right) Footed dessert bowl (S$3.95) from Crate and Barrel are among its glass items that is simplicity personified
(Left) This Royal Selangor pate set (S$190) is made from walnut stained rubberwood with a cream-coloured ceramic tile for cutting with a pate knife that comes with an ornate handle; (Right) Footed dessert bowl (S$3.95) from Crate and Barrel are among its glass items that is simplicity personified
Photo credit: Royal Selangor, and Crate and Barrel

An interesting item for your formal dinner is Royal Selangor’s pate set (S$190) which comes with a board and pate knife. The lovely craftsmanship will surely add to the pleasure of the meal.

Crate and Barrel carries several tableware in glass and plain white porcelain that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, making them extremely versatile. The footed dessert bowl (S$3.95) is perfect for desserts or even small servings of nuts and candy.

4. Take Stock

After you have decided what pieces you need, go into your kitchen cabinets and take stock of what you have. You may discover that you only need to supplement your current supply of dinnerware and flatware with a few new pieces instead of acquiring a whole new set.

5. Attention to Details

A rectangular appetiser plate with a Christmas scene (S$8.95) and a snowflake plate (S$17.95) will add a quirky touch to your mix and match set
A rectangular appetiser plate with a Christmas scene (S$8.95) and a snowflake plate (S$17.95) will add a quirky touch to your mix and match set
Photo credit: Crate and Barrel

If you are adding to your current collection, you have a choice: either attempt to match your set now or mix and match. The advantage of matching dinnerware is that if provides a foundation to your dinner table. The problem is hunting down the exact pattern.

If that fails, your alternative is to mix and match. Just because you are throwing together different pieces does not mean there is no coherence. You need to find items that will match your current ones in any one of these ways: colour, style, design, and shape.

Now you know what to do and where to go to add pizzazz to your festive table, you can go ahead and party in style!

Shop with us:

Luxodec
68 Orchard Road
Plaza Singapura
#05-10
Singapore 238839
Tel: (65) 6884 7527
www.luxodec.com
Crate and Barrel
2 Orchard Turn
ION Orchard
#04-21/22, #03-05
Singapore 238801
Tel: (65) 6634 4222
www.crateandbarrel.com
Royal Selangor
3A River Valley Road
Clarke Quay

Singapore 179020
Tel: (65) 6268 9600
www.royalselangor.com
Royal Selangor
252 North Bridge Road
Raffles City Shopping Centre
#03-24
Singapore 179103
Tel: (65) 6339 3958
www.royalselangor.com
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