Reclaim your dining table
Once a solid traditional family ritual, the evening meal. A time to set the table, sit, eat and catch up on the day’s events
For others, it’s a Sunday tradition, but for the most part it’s something we have all too easily swapped out for dinner on our laps in front of the TV.
As Virginia Wolf once put it so eruditely, “One cannot think well, love well or sleep well if one hasn’t eaten well”. We seem to have lost this ritual, our dining tables have since become encumbered with office printers, school work and piles of paperwork. No room for that leisurely elegant glass of Pinot Grigio at the end of a long day.
Our dining tables have moved from hosting the best china to modern-day workstations. I am a traditionalist and do love the pomp and splendour of a set table. However but I also take great joy in setting up my dining table in a way that suits my purposes. I have mastered the art of arranging the dining table with the following essential items:
My Moleskin notebook. Indispensable for for planning, plotting and doodling!
A fountain pen. I had a mentor for many years and he was a stickler for detail. I would not be allowed to meet with him unless I had a fountain pen as penmanship was in the detail.
L-1 Architect lamp. This is a must. A good source of light will not only create the perfect atmosphere, it will also ensure long nights of illuminated work. A delicate glass of Frangelico is my reward post work.
A Bottle of Frangelico!!
Pencils. I am a sucker for pencils and I always have a glass jammed with different pencils ready to sketch my inspirations. The good thing about pencils is that nobody wants to steal them. Leave a pen lying around and that’s the last you’ll ever see of that again, but a pencil…….
Obligatory is the music. My taste in music is questionable, so I have been told. As I am writing this I have Miami Horror playing in the background. Worth a listen I promise.
On my travels, it is commonplace to find the dealers and antique houses filled to the brim with ball and claw dining tables, large pine monstrosities and dining tables for 18 people that will set you back a small mortgage and possibly your kidney! There are so many dining room options to choose from, ones that will reflect your style.
I have opted for an old workbench from a carpenter’s yard as my dining table. I sanded the top down and rubbed white wax into the raw wood and the legs have been left as I found them, chipped and faded in colour.
It does not matter the style of your house as long as that table fits your personality and lifestyle. What is the point of having big tables that nobody sits at? Find what works best for you and best for your space. It may be traditional, it may be unconventional, it may need a paint or it may just be perfect as it is.
Yes, I am a traditionalist, my dining table truly does reflects my personality. It reflects my lifestyle. I might not be able to sit at it every night with family and loved ones, I am able to sit at it every night feeling content and with the satisfaction of knowing that this is still the cornerstone of the house. No matter the hour, it is an open place for laughter, s a space to debate and drink wine. Mine is a sturdy table that can transform from an office to a culinary feast at the throw of a white table cloth.
It does not matter what purpose it serves as long as it does two things. One, bring people together. Two, provide you with a sense of delight. How many businesses and life adventures have started over a simple plate of food at the table?
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