Anyone else out there with a fangirl love for table settings? Oh the crystal, oh the gilt, oh the gleam.
While I appreciate rustic Thanksgiving tables – n a hello pretty picture kind of way – my heart belongs to fancy. Or, as the British say so endearingly, “Posh.” Perhaps I have a few allies here?
But posh is expensive! How annoying! Harrumph. So, here’s a graphic for those who would be Posh, but must at least Nosh. Yes, that’s a completely dopey alliteration, and now you know why I was not a marketing executive, but let’s forge ahead.
From plates to candelabra, the look for less.
- Eat | Bernadaud “Etoiles” china via Bloomingdale‘s / 16-Piece “Bianca” Beaded-Edge Dinnerware from Neiman Marcus
- Cut | Reed & Barton Pointed Antique Sterling Silver 5 Piece Place Setting via Amazon / Polka-dotted flatware from Anthropologie
- Cover | “Chateau Blanc” linen tablecloth from Schweitzer Linens / Embroidered organic cotton voile from Coyuchi
- Pour | “India” Gravy Boat from Wedgwood / Polished Aluminum Gravy Boat via Amazon
- Drink | “Lismore” Balloon Wine from Waterford / “Palace Trellis” glasses from Anthropologie
- Serve | “India Covered Vegetable Bowl“ from Wedgwood / Hammered Stainless Steel Oval Fruit Bowl, via Amazon
- Light | Pair of 1930s New York silver candelabra via 1stDibs (I swear I have an identical except-for-multiple-dents pair from my family) / Pair of crystal candlesticks with drops on sale at Macy’s
And finally, a few notes on methodology:
- Posh derives character from a few fantastic big ticket items, keeping the rest simple but elegant. Nosh gets its glamor from multiple textures and refracted light.
- Posh loves silver, antique especially. Nosh thinks a heckuva lot can be done with well-crafted stainless steel and aluminum. We might even refer to it as aluminium, ironically pretentious for Americans, and laugh.
- Posh can be acquired all at once, at marriage for example, or over time, as the family tires of the goods or passes them on as inheritance. Nosh always takes a while. A new piece every year, maybe two, if the year-end bonus is big enough.
- Posh goes for striking centerpieces, either in a single flower type – tulips are good – or from sheer High WASP eccentricity, via garden foraging. My mom the Smithie always insisted on cutting her own holly. Nosh looks for color and abundance, to highlight the white, the clear and the multi-faceted shine.
You will notice that even the Nosh table costs a fair amount of money, all told. To go lower, you have to get really creative. Picnics, outdoors in California, indoors on the floor of an apartment in Brooklyn, or a young couple’s first house outside of Allentown. Potlucks, where the mismatch of dishes matters not one whit. And kitsch, do not forget our friend kitsch – go to the dollar store and buy up every ugly turkey-covered paper good you can find. I’m sure there’s a turkey candle waiting for you somewhere.
Just be sure to recycle when you’re done. Happy almost Thanksgiving, Americans, with a big wave to the rest of the world as we indulge.
Editorial note: The inimitable @kidchamp corrects me, well, correctly. I meant rhyme, not alliteration. But I’m leaving my mistake for all to see, thence ensuring my future humility.
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