How To

How to style your table for Valentine’s Day dinner

© Adam Bartoszewicz

The time has come, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Would you like to spoil your partner with a nice and cosy Valentine’s Day dinner, but don’t know where to start? No worries, because DECOVRY helps you on your way!

 

Big night prep

Before you set out on the fun part or decorating, make sure the space is clean, and all the things that don’t belong are out of the way. If you work from home, hide your supplies somewhere out of sight. Think also of spaces your guest, or guests, are likely to use: put fresh towels and an unused bar of soap in the guest bathroom, and clear out all those pairs of shoes and coats from the rack in the hall.

 

© Jonathan Borba

© Jonathan Borba

 

Use the good dinnerware

Do you know that set, hidden deep within a cabinet you never open? The dainty collection of fine china you never use. Use it. The time you will feel perfectly comfortable about using it will never come, and dinnerware is made to be used, so you best go ahead despite trepidations. Tip: forgo the dishwasher and wash each plate separately to minimize the chance of things clanking together and chipping in the sink.

Success is in the details

Forget paper napkins. Those are a no-go and will cheapen even the best setup. Use soft, new (or spotlessly clean) cloth napkins and either present them in a napkin ring, tie them together or watch a tutorial about pretty ways to fold them. Placemats are optional. They make a table seem pulled together, but only if they are of the decorative kind and not the please-don’t-stain-the-tablecloth kind. Speaking of which, a tablecloth is an absolute must, even underneath placemats. There’s nothing like the sound of cutlery on a hard table surface to take the romance out of dinner.

 

© Visual stories Micheile

© Visual stories Micheile

 

Set the table & the mood

It’s best to have one focal point to the table, so if your plates are very ornate, keep everything else simple. If you’re going with plain white plates, you can play with coloured glassware or daring table decoration. Tip: coloured plates may look nice by themselves, but vivid hues easily make food look washed out or mismatched. If you’re feeling either overwhelmed or too adventurous, picking a theme can help with both of those. An overarching concept looks put together, takes some of the weight off your shoulders and reigns you in with constraints. Lighting is important: don’t make it so bright that it feels like you’re sitting by an operating table, but not so dim that you can’t see the food, either. Candles are a great way to set the mood, just make sure they aren’t scented and that they are trimmed to a length you can see — and reach — over comfortably.

 

© Alexandra Golovac

© Alexandra Golovac

 

Happy Hour

When hosting a dinner, people often forget one of the most important aspects of the occasion: the drinks. Everyone loves drinks! (Almost). The prospect of serving cocktails can seem daunting but is certainly easier to pull off than a perfect roast. If instead, you’re feeling adventurous, you can create bespoke drinks and write up a menu on cards with poems fit for the occasion. Not sold on the idea? Stock up on exotic fruit juices like lychee or pomegranate, add a clear liquor, crushed ice, serve it in a pretty glass with edible flowers, and there you have it.

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