Although any meal with your friends and loved ones is a special occasion, there are times when you go the extra mile. Everything is perfect. And although your delicious recipes can speak for themselves, providing the right setting and accompaniments prepares everyone for the treat that’s in store. Here are a few tips that will add to the overall enjoyment of your special meal. Use them to tell everyone (including yourself) that this is a dinner that goes beyond the everyday.
1. Serve the Right Wine
Wine can either match or contrast the flavor of the foods you serve. Delicate white wines are best with white meat, fish, seafood and other light flavours. Choose full-bodied red wine to go with richer flavors – red meats, rich desserts, and foods with a little fattiness that requires something to cut through it and prepare diners for the next flavour-filled bite.
The more special your meal, the more exigent you should be with wine choices. A real bordeaux wine, for example, can come in a variety of flavour profiles and can be red, rose or white, but its message is clear: “This is something special!” After all, who is going to serve up genuine French wine from one of the world’s best wine regions with mundane fare?
2. Set the Table
From china to glassware, serviettes, and table decor, the way you set the table tells people what to expect. For a real humdinger of a meal, nothing beats the elegance of white table linen, real linen serviettes, fine dinner service china, real silverware, and sparkling glassware.
Tip: generous placemats will help to protect your table linen from getting soiled. Choose something elegant in neutral shades and natural materials to match the mood or go all out with festive, bright colors. A centerpiece is a must, but do consider the space you’ll need for serving dishes and platters, and choose something not too tall – you won’t want your dinner guests having to peer round the ornaments just to make eye-contact.
3. Set the Scene
We all know that soft lighting and a few candles can transform a room into a romantic and mysterious place – but do remember that people need to see what they’re doing, and don’t let the light be so low that people can’t fully appreciate the beautifully-presented dishes you’re planning to serve. Over and above that, clear away all clutter (or celebrate the end of spring cleaning with a dinner you deserve) and add a few attractive details to enhance the overall look of the room – flowers are always a good bet. Now, all you need is some soft background music that sets the mood without overwhelming the conversation. The scene is set for your extra-special dinner.
Not Just for Parties
Any day is a good day for good food, but it’s fun surprising your family with a carefully-planned dinner that tells them you’re pulling out all the stops to give them something remarkable. While these tips are awesome to use when you’re planning to entertain guests, there’s nothing to stop you from adding these frills to days when your family celebrates special achievements or days together. Surprise them. Delight them. With a few extras, your dining room becomes a beautiful venue where your special touches add ambiance to a familiar scene.