Austrian glassware, logo-embossed ‘designer’ table linens and exclusive platters with handles that hold sprigs of fresh herbs is how a ‘dressed up’ table looks at a fine dining restaurant. It surely enhances the first appeal and goes a long way in creating a great dining experience. Dining out is not merely consuming a meal, but it is a celebration of holistic ecstasy.
So what dictates the style and trend of table décor these days?
Experts in the industry have one clear viewpoint. That is, 2012 is all about blending old with new to bring a clean, non-fussy, non-garish style to your tabletop. The vintage look in contemporary avatar seems to be the latest rage. There are quite a few trends that will rule the roost this season.
Simple and classy
Keeping the tabletop simple is hot. Tarun Bhatia, F&B manager, Eros Hotel, managed by Hilton, New Delhi, says: “Contemporary look with simple, straight lines and subtle use of classic shapes and material is in.” He adds, “Use of toned-down metal and glass with vintage look is also in. Whites and off-whites have always been in trend and will always be, but we will also see more earthen colours being used with hints of warm fire colours.”
Surender Singh Thakur, Director F&B, The Imperial New Delhi, says, “The trend these days is to keep it modern, contemporary with hi-end cutlery, crockery and glassware.”
According to Nimish Bhatia, regional executive chef, south and master of trade at The Lalit Ashok, Bangalore, says, “Gone are those garish prints, and rich texture. Greys, warm earthy browns or just whites are in trend. They are interposed with bright pops of colour, like a bright red-orange tinge, metallic finishes, earthy and antiqued silvers.”
Vishrut Gupta, F&B manager at The Leela Mumbai says, “The well-travelled diner today is discerning and demands new concepts. Guests today prefer less on their tables. And after interiors of restaurants, it is now the turn of the tabletops to go minimalistic.” He adds, “To bring alive the experience, bright colours and shades that adds more character to the table and bigger glassware is now in vogue.”
‘Less is more’ seems to be the emerging look. Surender Thakur says, “We see more bare tables with maybe just some textured placemats. Lots of bare wood, butcher block, and the use of a little paper seem to be the trend as opposed to classic tablecloth.” He further points out, “The natural, artisan-style look is definitely emerging more so as it matches with the homemade traditional style of cooking which is catching up these days.”
Chef Saby of the Olive Bar & Kitchen, New Delhi says, “Interesting wood, stone finish, young feel, user friendly, all weather tabletops is the emerging look.”
According to Tarun, “Emerging look is minimalistic and contemporary with hints of classics added to it to add the up market/ royal element.”
What’s ‘In’ and What’s ‘Out’?
Tarun says, “Floral heavy designs are replaced by simple shapes.” Surender tells, “Clean looking tabletops are in without salt/pepper and flower vases.”
Nimish votes for multi-dimensional and multi-coloured, but no flashy tabletops, with more rugged finishes that lend a heritage look. Magic tablets in place of wet towel/napkins are in vogue. Slateware, stoneware and ceramic shine. Bone China is a strict no this season.
Saby goes with user friendly napkins, olive oil decanters, small pepper mill and friendly lightweight cutlery. Saby is opposed to table centrepieces.
For Ritu Dalmia of Diva fame, a classic rectangular is still what makes her tick. She says, “No matter what shapes may be available, I like to go for the classic regular shape and look. As for tabletops, I like solid wood tabletops in natural colour, just rubbed with linseed oil.”
Likewise, Saby vouches for wood, polished or rough. “After wood I like leather and glass,” he adds. Surender goes for Richard Ginori from Italy for crockery. “It has got royal looks, elegant simple and sober, even the colours are not too bright or flashy,” he says. Tarun prefers classic round in shades of white or cream with hint of silver lines.
How much does the tabletop decor matters?
“Yes, certainly, it matters,” says Nimish. “As a chef, I believe, today the diners do not go to a restaurant or an eatery to just have a sheer meal. It is about a total bliss.” Tarun says, “Tabletop matters a lot as it sets up the tone for the meal.”