In countries such as France and Italy, elegant dining at home has long been regarded as a relaxing way to unwind and a time to savor. Embracing the art of fine dining at home has been known to help with stress, digestion and general enjoyment of life. And with some not returning to restaurants during the COVID pandemic, dining at home has become more common.
Whether you're dining alone, with family, or with your closest friends, the following tips will help you turn any ordinary meal at home into a chic expression of style.
Menu: Make a stylish menu, but try keeping your meal simple; there is no need to slave away for hours over a homemade baked Alaska. Keep things easy to help you unwind- it’s hard to feel stylish if you’re an exhausted chef! Fortunately, delicious meals are simple to prepare.
Use fresh, easy-to-prepare ingredients or even pre-made dishes. With a few simple additions, you can enhance any basic dish. Preparing a simple green salad? Add a few sliced strawberries for color and accompany the salad with savory bread from your local bakery. Heating up a frozen cheese pizza? Add fresh tomatoes and basil to enhance the look, flavor and scent.
Add some flair to your meal by easily importing unique and delicious food. With a few clicks on the Internet on sites such as global purveyor RudiGourmand, you can order a cheese sampler for appetizers to start your meal or Italian torrone to finish your meal.
Drinks: Adult and non-alcoholic beverages can both add stylish flair to your home meal. Select a wine from the country of your meal’s cuisine. Enjoying enchiladas? Select a wine from the Baja region of Mexico. Preparing paella? Select a Rioja from Spain. Brought home sushi? Break out the sake.
Non-alcoholic beverages can be stylish, too. Add a slice of lemon to your water. Mix fresh cut fruit in with your sparking seltzer for color and flavor.
Atmosphere: To make you dining atmosphere more stylish, stow away the TV-trays and escape dining at the coffee table. It's actually quite easy to make your surroundings more interesting whether you're dining at the kitchen table or in a more formal setting. Candles cast a warm glow when the sun goes down. Strands of small lights can also be strung around your outdoor patio or collected in a mason jar for an eye-catching tabletop display.
Décor: Is your wedding China still boxed in the attic? It’s time to take it out and enjoy using it! Instead of using your everyday tableware, enjoy special and unique plates whether gifted or passed down through the generations. Bring out your fancy stemware while you’re at it.
Add some nature to your setting with some flowers, too. A simple pre-made bouquet from the local farmer’s market or a few stems from your garden will do well in adding some color and life to your setting.
Music: Learn the art of mood music. Mellow jazz will help you relax after a long day, and classical music can add a sophisticated touch. Consider tailoring the music to the cuisine you're serving. If serving Italian tortellini, play some Luciano Pavarotti, or if enjoying French crepes, consider playing some Edith Piaf.
Focus: This is the time to put away the smartphones, and focus on the moment. Be in the present. Practice the art of mindful eating by savoring each bite that you take. Enjoy the company of your dining companions with meaningful and joyous conversation. Take this time to relax, enjoy and just be.
It is simple to add a touch of elegance to any dining setting just by adding a few small details. Ultimately, nothing says style like taking the time and giving thought to make each meal unique.