If you are looking for that something extra, that little cherry on top, to transform your table setting in your own unique way, say hello to My Ottoman Home’s elegant and distinctive charger plates.
Charger plates are larger (and largely) decorative plates used to dress up dinner tables at parties, weddings, and other special events. They have actually been around for centuries, having been used quite often in Medieval England. The Middle English dictionary gives us the word "chargeour" which refers to a large platter – which is essentially what a charger plate is. It never directly touches any food and instead functions as an aesthetic resting place onto which food-bearing dishes and bowls are laid -- thus its decorative appellation.
The popularity of charger plates has grown again in recent years, and its use has evolved over time to become an enterprising way for hostesses to spice up ANY gathering, even the most casual of dinner parties among friends. Adding charger plates to your table setting immediately serves to anchor your dining table and set the unique theme and elevated ambiance you seek to create.
To achieve the table setting of your dreams, do select chargers that complement your existing china and dining room décor. One smart idea is to pick a solid colour to match your plates and bowls, or even your chairs or curtains. Do have fun mixing, matching and coming up with your perfect place setting.
For the more practical minded, note that on top of providing that extra dash of elegance to your table setting, charger plates do have in fact several functional purposes. Indeed, chargers protect the table and tablecloth from becoming dirty during service. Charger plates can catch pieces of food, and prevent spills and messes that would otherwise stain the tablecloth or flow onto the table. Moreover, chargers also help retain the heat in dinnerware since they are placed directly underneath plates and bowls. Additionally, you can use charger plates as a tray or platter to pass around small appetizers or desserts. Just make sure to place a doily or a linen napkin on top of the charger to avoid contact with food. Chargers can also be used as an elegant centrepiece or eye-catching base for pillar candles or floral arrangements.
Lastly, do note some basic charger plate etiquette:
The charger plates should be on the table when the guests are seated. The soup, fish or salad course are served on top of the charger. Some choose to remove the charger plate prior to the serving of the entree or dinner course. Others however, will leave the charger plate on the table during the entrée, perhaps because they simply enjoy the visual appeal of the charger, or possibly do welcome the practical benefits of utilizing the charger as mentioned above. But note that regardless of if you remove the charge after the soup, fish, salad or entree, the charger plate should always be removed before the dessert course.
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