March is “Plan-A-Party” month. Who doesn’t want to have a party and celebrate after the long winter we’ve had? It’s time to celebrate warm weather and melting snow. It’s time to come out of hibernation and celebrate with friends over food. It’s time to get out the china and linens and celebrate spring. There’s the rub: get out the china and linens. What if you don’t have a set of good china and a damask table cloth? Don’t panic, the rules have changed. You don’t have to plan a dinner party or brunch the way grandmother did it. Etiquette and manners will never go out of style and knowing where to put the fork, knife and spoon will be important, but the way we “set” a table is different today. As with most things, you need to know the rules but once you do, you can start breaking them.
As I have told you before, the party rule I live by is: “It doesn’t matter what’s on the menu as long as the table setting is gorgeous”. That doesn’t mean you need a five-piece place setting for twelve in a beautiful china pattern. Mixing and matching dishes is much more fun. Start with basic white. White dinner plates, white salad plates and white soup bowls. They don’t even have to match. Then be creative with unusual patterns, textures and colors. Always remember, the most important part of the party is the guests. They won’t have a good time unless the hostess is having fun.