When hosting a dinner party it is important to ensure that your guests are well fed and entertained throughout, so make sure you have plenty of food and good wine available for them.
If you want to make a good impression with your guests, why not try a few hints and tips from the world of silver service dining? By making sure that all the components on the table are top-notch – everything from the cutlery to the candelabra to the tablecloth – you can impress your guests and add a little decorum to your dinner party.
‘Service a l’anglaise’ as its known in France, is the method of serving food to your guests using a particular method which entails serving from the left of the host. Whilst you may not have a waiter to serve for you, why not try a little silver service during your dinner party rather than putting the dish down in the middle and letting everyone help themselves?
Of course, the table would be covered with a good quality oilcloth tablecloth or a fabric tablecloth. Whatever it is, the table would not be bare, not in a silver service setting, anyway.
Here are a few simple rules about silver service that you could use during your next dinner party:
The guest to the right of the host is usually served first – this is usually the order of service during a silver service, and traditionally it’s usually a female guest, so consider assigning places for your dinner party to accommodate this.
The meal is usually served from a platter at the table – rather than prepare the portions in the kitchen before you serve them, try offering them at the table. This method will allow your guests to determine their own portion sizes, with more available in the centre of the table should they wish to help themselves to seconds.
Service usually continues in a clockwise direction, and when each guest has been served the remainder is placed in the centre of the table, usually for your guests to help themselves to extras throughout the meal.
For drinks and other plated meals, these are served from the right-hand side, while silver service food is traditionally served from the left.
When it comes to the placement of glasses, they are usually stacked in a certain way. Diagonally to the right and away from the guest in order of course, with the water glass at the front. This setup can be useful if you’ve chosen wines which go well with each course, and give your guests a bit of variety when it comes to wine during the meal.
So if you’re looking to impress at your next dinner party, why not try a few silver service techniques to impress your guests, or even get someone to be a butler for you to add another aspect to the evening – particularly if you have chosen to use a theme for your gathering.