We have big families and that means big gatherings on Eid. Whether your Eid celebration is lunch or dinner, whether it’s a sit down meal or a buffet, a few easy tips can help make your table setting skills the envy of friends and family.
1. Make your table a feast for all the senses.
It’s not just about the food. Ambience is so crucial when you’re hosting a party. While it’s always a matter of pride to make sure that your guests are uncommonly well fed, spend some time making your dawat a feast for the other senses too. Flowers, twigs, stones, candles can all add to the festive atmosphere. This is the time to pull our that fancy crockery and to think about napkins and centre-pieces. A large bowl of water, surrounded by fresh leaves, holding floating candles and flowers is a quick and striking focal point while something as simple as filling stem glasses with fresh punch or juice can add a festive air to your table. A pyramid of ripe peaches can be as effective a focal point as a bunch of flowers.
2. Plan your decor carefully
Functionality is important. Is your meal a buffet or sit-down? Is there a sit down area just for elders? Your table setting will vary greatly based on these questions. If you have a buffet set-up, you can go for tall decorative accents in the centre of the table, which will dress up your festive spread while leaving plenty of space for the food. Think massive floral arrangements, huge fat candles on stands and vases holding attractive accents. If you have a sit-down meal, opt for small floral arrangements that leave plenty of room for the food. If there’s no room for the kids at the table, while not spread a table cloth on the floor accented with bold cushions for them to sit on, with jars of marshmallows and sweets in the centre.
3. Make your food look pretty
While it’s imperative that food should be hot and tasty, we eat first with our eyes and food should look attractive. Think about how you will serve the food. You don’t have to use the same type of dish and you can even mix and match your serving dishes as long as they conform to a single theme. Salads can be served in bowls or in trays, roti can be wrapped in pretty cloths tucked into little baskets. Invest in some statement platters and tiered dishes so you can display food at varying heights for additional visual interest. Cake stands are not just for cakes – they can be used for bite-sized savoury treats on cocktail sticks or for mounds of steaming barbeque on a bed of lettuce. Garnish everything with fresh greens and remember abundance is always attractive – a few ladoos on a big plate will look sad but a pile of ladoos on a smaller plate with look enticing.
4. Less is more
Stick to a palette of 2 or 3 complementary colours for your table linen, flowers and crockery. If your dinner plates have an intricate design, keep your table cloth and napkins pattern-free. Similarly if you want to use patterned table linen, used plates in solid colours. Decide on a theme and don’t be tempted to add to much to your table decor – a simple arrangement of twigs painted gold with white flowers will look much more striking than if those same twigs are fighting for space with floating candles and bunches of flowers.
5. Make Dessert a talking point
If you have the space, a dessert table can elevate your dawat. Invest in individual-sized serving ware – shot glasses, martini glasses or those little plastic pots you see at weddings are ideal. Create little individual servings of fruit salad or sheer korma or trifle. Intersperse them with mounds of mithai, cakes on stands and use flowers, candles, pearls and other accessories to dress up your table. Order a spectacular towered dessert or use tiered stands for visual interest. Eid wouldn’t be the same without meetha and you can make sure your sweet is a sensation.