Host An Elegant Cheese Party: 3 Tips For Setting A Beautiful Table & Creating Ambiance For Your Guests
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Plus, don’t forget that my affiliate partner the French Farm, purveyor of many epicurean specialties from Europe, is offering Miss Cheesemonger readers 20% off their purchase through August 15 if you check out using the code word “DAHLIA” [affiliate link]!
This week, we’re continuing our series on how to throw a most posh cheese party! Last week, Annette from Petals of Love Floral Studio showed us how to create a show stopping floral centerpiece. This week, she’s sharing her top 3 tips for setting an inviting table.
On to our top table setting tips:
1. Choose your color scheme and mood.
Last week, we talked about setting a color scheme for your floral centerpiece and using a scarf or photo for color inspiration. This week, we’re extending that theme to the whole table. Refer back to your inspiration image often as you choose your table and flower décor. In this case, we used one of Annette’s scarves as color inspiration. We had a fairly neutral base with white and gold tableware, bone table runner, and ivory napkins, so to add color, we chose flowers and fruit inspired by the colors in one of Annette’s scarves. We wanted a fresh, garden-inspired feel since many of our table linens and tableware included dragonflies, so Annette made centerpieces bursting with dahlias and garden roses to give us the feeling of dining on a terrace.
2. Make your guests feel special by focusing on the details.
Here in the Bay Area, we live such busy and hurried lives. It’s a huge treat to sit down to a beautiful dinner table with friends and a great meal. Make a special experience for your guests by showing them individual attention in small ways—handwritten name cards, a small flower at each place setting, or individual menus. Check with individuals to see if they have any food allergies. If you know one person’s favorite drink, serve it. Mind the temperature and brightness of the room—make sure everyone is comfortable. You want your event to be a little escape from the realities of life. Put the phones away, and enjoy your time together.
We invited our dearest cheese-loving friends to partake in this cheese fête with us because I wanted to give them a unique experience. Annette set each place with care and attention to detail—plates were lined up, and napkins were uniformly folded. The cheese pairings (which I will talk about next week) included a combination of easy-to-find cheeses and extremely rare ones. They were described to our guests so everyone knew just what they were tasting. We made sure everyone was comfortable, and the fact that the conversation flowed easily throughout our whole party tells me that they were.
3. Engage all the senses.
To create a memorable experience, engage all of your guests’ senses.
Create a visually appealing table. Annette uses candles of varying heights to create ambiance and visual interest. Scatter fruits around the table, or add small bud vases with single stems in addition to your floral centerpiece. Use that fancy dish set your grandmother gave you, the one that’s in the closet collecting dust. Use a scarf that matches your color scheme as a table runner. It’s OK to bring unconventional ideas to the table!
Play appropriate music in the background—online music players like Spotify even have playlists to help you out.
Light a scented candle that matches your theme to bring fragrance to your fête.
Your delicious cheese plate and accompaniments will provide delightful tastes and textures to your party.
We did our best to appeal to our guests by preparing the table you see before you! The cheese pairings were extremely well received. I don’t think we had any leftovers at all. The silvery tones of clinking silverware, glasses, and laughter accompanied by the heady aroma of garden roses made me feel like we had stepped into a garden party, which was exactly our goal.
There you have it, three ways to set a beautiful table and ambiance for your cheese party guests. If this inspires you to throw your own cheese fête, share it on Instagram and tag me (@misscheesemonger) so I can see it! THANK YOU, Annette, for your wonderful expertise! And thank you to my dear friends for coming to share your company with us!
Floral design: Annette Herras, Petals of Love Floral Studio. Turquoise vase: Anthropologie. Napkins: Pier 1 Imports. Tableware: Kate Spade. Cheese board: Crate & Barrel. Cheese shop: Cheese Plus. Table runner: Catherine Denoual. Cheese accompaniments and cheese knives: The French Farm, one-time use discount code valid until August 15: DAHLIA [affiliate link].