Set a Table for Two and Make Dining Special
Creating table settings for intimate suppers of all kinds
When you think of an intimate supper, the image of a small round table basked in candlelight, draped in fine linen, and set with delicate china and wine glasses fills your mind. But what if you don't have a little round table, or fine linens and a china set worth more than your car? And suppose you don't trust your spouse, or yourself, around lit candles when finishing off a bottle of wine?
This dime novel picture of what a romantic dinner for two should look like may not be your style. An intimate supper, though, is a real boost for a relationship, and you want to enjoy that time alone with your significant other. You want your table setting to be special.
Try a themed tablescape. Are you and your spouse football fans? Visit your local party supply store and pick up melamine tableware with a football theme. Remember to get cups, napkins and a tablecloth. Lay out your tablecloth and set the table with your goodies from the party store. Use a football for a centerpiece or, if you're crafty, make a goalpost. Serve hot dogs and beer.
In this example, you can expand on your themed tablescape to include figurines, or other football memorabilia. This, of course, works with any sport. Light your table with glow-sticks.
Perhaps you share an interest such as gardening or coin collecting. A themed tablescape will work with just about any shared hobby or interest.
If themes aren't your thing, you can create an intimate setting with color, texture, and lighting. Instead of an ordinary tablecloth, find a length of fabric that reflects your home's style and use that on your tabletop. Playing off the colors in the fabric, set your table with color coordinated dishes and napkins. Use clear crystal glasses. Set a pillar candle in a clear glass bowl and fill it about half way with small river rock or glass beads.
The most elegant intimate suppers are those that are simple and subdued. Build your tablescape using just the basics: a tablecloth, two table settings complete with napkins and glasses, and one centerpiece. Light your table either from low lighting from the sideboard, or from candles on the table.
But even with the more elegant setting, remember to keep it fun, not formal. Purchase a small gag gift that is sure to make your partner laugh. Wrap it in beautiful paper and ribbons and place it on his or her setting. This little present will take the edge off the more formal feeling such suppers can sometimes evoke.
A fun, and classic, idea is a picnic on the living room floor. Purchase a small potted evergreen tree. Spread out your blanket on the floor and put the evergreen near the corner of the blanket. Have your packed picnic basket near the tree, its contents ready to be spread out. Set your dishes in front of the basket, buffet style, with the flatware wrapped in napkins and tied with ribbon.
The most successful intimate suppers are those that make you feel comfortable and close. If dressing up is your idea of a good time, by all means create the elegant tablescape and slip into your Gucci. But whether you are in formal wear or football jerseys, remember, a table for two means the focus is on you and the one you love.
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