In Victorian times, one could not just blurt out one’s feelings.
One had to conform to societies rules and communicate with others in a dignified and refined manner.
However, many Victorians found ways to communicate their feelings without saying a word. One of these ways was in the dining room.
According to the Sydney Living Museum, placing your fork face down on top of a knife at right angle meant “Please assist me in extricating myself from conversation with the person opposite”.
Meanwhile a fork placed with tines upwards on the side of the plate closest to the message’s recipient said “I am interested in you”.
These days, as communication has become much more acceptable (especially between members of the opposite sex) we no longer have to fumble with our forks to let someone know we want to speak to them.
However, the way you set your table still says a lot about you.
Setting a table in this world of Instagram has become an artform and there are a number of “stylists” who specialise in ensuring your table looks amazing.
Doing it yourself, though time consuming, is a great way to express your personality as well as show your guests how much you appreciate them.
There are plenty of rules you can Google about what goes where on the table, but creating the perfect table for your guests involves much more than that.
The dining table is the perfect place to express your personality.
Using objects not usually seen on the table to serve food such as chopping boards, books and cut out pumpkins can up the quirk factor and let your guests see the things that you are interested in.
Get playful with formalities to take the edge off nerves. Instead of place cards, try scrabble letters in their holders for your guest’s names.
Flowers and greenery are always a winner on the table, but instead of vases, pop them into tin cans or vintage tea pots.
This will give your party an air of the fanciful and will encourage your guests to ask questions and start conversations.
A trip to your local charity shop will unearth some amazing treasures. You’ll find teacups and platters and silverware. Mix them up and use them all together for a fun, vintage vibe.
The food is also very important in setting the scene at your table. To create a fun-filled, interactive dinner party, stack the table with food from one end to another. Guests will be encouraged to share and meet everyone at the table.
Taking the time to create the right setting at your table will ensure your next dining venture is a successful one.