When you invite people over to your place for a Thanksgiving dinner, or even just a few pre- or post-holiday cocktails, you want to show your guests that you’re one classy host. Besides not cheaping out on the liquor, wine or beer; and serving some well-prepared appetizers and main courses; the way you set the table is a smart way to up the elegance factor.
Start by getting rid of the mismatched barware. You don’t have to spend a lot to get a whole set of matching wine glasses or highballs. Some restaurant supply stores sell them as inexpensively as $1 or $2 a piece. Other online retailers like http://www.cb2.com/, which is a division of Crate and Barrell (another good choice), offer great specials on sets of their fresh, designer-look glassware. Get enough for every person at the party, plus two to replace any breakages during the party or cleanup.
Switching from paper plates to cocktail plates is another classy move. And if you look around, you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding some that look similar to an artist’s palette and are designed to hold a wine glass while a person holds the plate, freeing up their hands for talking, or sampling your buffet. Serving ware is another choice you can make – plain clear glass serving plates and bowls work well for any occasion, can be refrigerated if necessary and are usually dishwasher safe.
Whether or not you need a table cloth depends on the condition of your table. Contemporary style says table cloths aren’t necessary, but if you’re using a recycled card table as your main eating surface, it’s a smart idea to cover it up. In all other cases either a table runner or some cloth napkins (not paper) is all you’ll need to make a nice statement.