Welcome, readers, to our November issue, featuring themes of food and entertaining. Speaking of which, did your childhood chore list ever include setting the family table for meals? Did it matter to your parents which side of the plate you placed the forks, knives and spoons? (Stay with me; I promise this line of inquiry will wrap around and make sense.)
Growing up, setting the table was one of our nightly chores, and, yes, it did matter in our household where the utensils were placed. It left an impression—just ask my children. I still can’t resist doing a premeal drive
by the table to straighten a fork here and there or move a drinking class to its proper post. Don’t bill me as fussy. I just like what I like!
When it comes to a holiday table, I don’t set it—I build it. And construction begins days before guests arrive and dinner is served. The centerpiece is generally the first on the scene, followed by chargers, then plates and “the silver.” On it goes. For days. I tweak. I adjust. I add. I delete. And I love it. It’s fun for me. When I dropped into Wayzata’s Brick + Linen, I was instinctively drawn to its beautifully set table, replete with sky high brass candlesticks and colorful glassware. (I have a thing for glassware. Who doesn’t?)
The table’s aesthetic was very different from a table I generally set, and yet I was taken in by its simplicity and gentle sophistication. Lisa Robbins, founder and principal designer, explains in wonderful detail how to achieve the look. I’m inspired. Creating a refreshed, new dining tableaux is on this month’s menu in my home. “Guests at a table should feel pampered by the dining experience but not overwhelmed by décor,” Robbins says.
Happy Thanksgiving, and cheers to dining in pampered style.