By Dipika Singh
It’s 12 in the night. I have a bunch of friends over. It’s been an evening of great conversation, excellent drink and some amazing laughter. I am a bit tired, a bit happy and it’s now time to bring out the food. What? You want me to lay a ‘proper’ buffet table…with candles and stuff? Are you crazy? I’m going to bring the food out and just lay it man. These are my friends, they aren’t going to mind.
We know. We’ve been through this too. A casual, semi casual or sometimes even a formal evening extends so far into the night that you have no energy or inclination left to bother with laying out a nice looking table. Especially if you’re one of those without full time help. But, with a few well planned tricks, trust us, your buffet table can also be organized, well thought out and beautiful.
1. Plan which serving bowl you will use for each dish and lay out all of them before hand. All you need to do then is to transfer the food, heat it and lay it back on the table in the exact same place. Not having to think what to place where saves you last minute confusion and heartburn!
This also has another advantage. Laying out the table beforehand will prevent guests from dumping empty glasses, tissues, quarter plates etc on the dining table thus saving you the bother of first clearing the table and then laying out the food.
2. Place the plates at the easiest to access corner. Place the cutlery and napkins diagonally opposite or as far away from the plates as possible. Why? Because there is nothing more uncomfortable than balancing a plate, cutlery, napkin and trying to serve yourself food. Think about it. Atleast this way the guest will be able to serve himself comfortably before he reaches out for the cutlery. So the next time DON’T place the plates and the cutlery next to each other and observe how much more comfortable your guests are.
3. Always keep salt and pepper on the table.
4. Keep water and glasses away on a separate side table.
5. In case you have a table pushed towards the wall, elevate the dishes on the far side. This makes it easy for the guests to serve themselves. In this case we’ve placed the napkins on a cake dish hence making them easy to reach out for. In case you have to place food too at the far end, place books or boxes under your table cloth and place the dishes on them. Elevations also make the table look more pretty.
6. Candles are a good idea before dinner begins ( they also look extremely pretty in pictures ). However, unless you want someone’s sleeve to burn, put them off just before dinner begins.
Once you get into the habit of laying the table beforehand, you’ll discover how easy it is to enjoy your own party. You can then go a few steps ahead and prettify it too. For example, place a coaster under each dish and ring it with flowers. This will look beautiful during the festive season.
So the next time you set a wow looking buffet table send us a picture . We’ll publish it for you.
Shot at Sanctum at Vasant House, 19th Road, Off Khar Danda, Khar West, Mumbai. 26495775, 26495776.
Runner (13”x60”) Rs 640, Napkins Rs 599/set of 6, Straight side bowls (L) Rs 680, Straight side bowls (S) Rs 480, Serving Spoons Rs 850/per pc, Cake Stand ( centre) Rs 1200, Cake Stand (napkins) Rs 1000, Plates Rs 340 each, Jolly Jar ( cutlery) Rs480.