The Gastronomic meal of the French was inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2010. It is described as “a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking”. It is also stated that “the setting of a beautiful table” is one of the major elements of the French meal.

In short: a great meal is a combination of good eating and drinking, as well as a nice table setting. One would argue that there are many other factors contributing to a successful dinner (good conversation, guests interaction, etc.), and I agree, but table setting is definitely a large determining factor. Setting the scene for what you have cooked is undoubtedly an integral part of the meal and establishes the tone of a party.

There are many different options to choose from when it comes to table setting, but most importantly, it depends on the situation or the occasion. It is crucial to set your table according to the event — just as how you wouldn’t set your table the same way for an elegant dinner with the Ambassador and a romantic dinner with your +1.
Whether you are setting the table for a casual dinner with friends or a formal meal with your boss, your table setting has to be successful.

The crucial components of a successful table setting are space, style and simplicity:
– When it comes to space, make sure your guests have ample space to manipulate their cutlery. There should be about 50 to 60 cm between each plate.
– As for style and simplicity, establish a theme and try to keep it simple. You might want to repeat certain shapes or introduce one main color that ties all the other elements together. For instance, during Christmastime, red and white are two good colours to start with.

Use candle lights to create a warm atmosphere, and you can choose from either candlesticks or t-light holders. You may want to lower the intensity of the electric lighting around you as well.
Get some fresh flowers and display them in these statement vases, bringing an elegant touch to your setting.
Last but not least, place a few decorative items around to match the theme and colours you have chosen.

I would recommend personalised, DIY place card holders, as these add a personal touch and can make a big difference.

Now that you’ve been inspired to create your own gorgeous table settings, style up your dinner parties and send me pictures of the completed settings! I’ll share them with my followers — other deco-fanatics like yourself.