Gathering for a farm-to-table feast or a weekend brunch with loved ones offers the opportunity to communicate what you cherish about each of your guests. Whether the fare is simple or elaborate, a creative tablescape adds to the festivity and to the fun of hosting the party. You can throw away all the rules and pressure associated with entertaining, but always hold onto the joy of infusing meaning wherever you can, even down to the place markers.
We all know that the best hosts take time to relax and enjoy the celebration. New friends or old, we feel truly welcomed in their home while we enjoy their signature dishes and culinary experiments. When it’s your turn to host, take the party one step further by selecting place markers that reflect the passions of your crew.
If you already collect antique or vintage wares, you’re probably already sorting through a mental catalogue of pieces that can be used for this purpose. Odd objects and beloved curiosities find new life when they leave the shelf (or the attic!), particularly when juxtaposed with the season’s freshest blooms and foliage. Guests love figuring out how they are represented on the table as they mix and mingle and take guesses about each other.
Some of my favorite place markers are small porcelain figures with attractive colors and designs. Nestled among flowers on the table, they represent the passions of my loved ones – a samurai for the martial arts practitioner, a philosopher for the friend with wise advice, and so on – and they are diminutive, a whimsical reminder that we are all part of a much larger whole.