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When was the last time you dressed your table for dinner?  We put thought into the food we serve and the wine we drink – but what about the scene setting?

Away the other weekend, and responsible for the food, a friend and I put thought into how we were going to decorate the room. We ended up with a black, white and silver theme. For relatively little cost, a bit of creativity, and the hassle of ironing a tablecloth, the stage was set for the evening ahead. 

I got to thinking once the clearing up was over with (and trust me, table glitter is not always a good idea) about how often we bother to make as much effort with how we set the scene as we do with the food we offer. Has the drive towards easy living, kitchen suppers and so on devalued the skill of laying a table, adding in decorative elements to enhance the whole experience?  Has it become an occasional effort, restricted to Christmas and celebratory events such as birthday parties?  How many of us these days really have dinner parties, as opposed to having friends round for dinner and cooking in the kitchen?

When it comes to restaurants, events and parties, thought is put into how to the atmosphere and table will enhance the occasion. Perhaps we should carry this thought through to cooking for friends in our own homes. Or even when home alone.  After all, even sharing a pizza could look more glamorous and enticing by candlelight.

(And if you’re not online at the same time as eating, you don’t get those pesky crumbs in your keyboard!)