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Worth knowing for festive dining
  • Christmas is a time for friends and family – and a chance for many a home chef to demonstrate their skills and give their creativity free rein. It is the season of spectacular culinary creations, magnificent table settings, and, not least, of modern opulence. But what would a richly laden table and a carefully curated menu be without the proper etiquette? After all, what was de rigueur under August II the Strong during the Baroque era has transformed to a symbol of elegance and good taste today: noblesse oblige. From official banquets to a festively decorated holiday table, classic tableware needn’t be stuffy or antiquated. The right table service and individual decorations can turn holiday dinners at home into unforgettable evenings.
    The key element of every table service is the porcelain, which, for festive occasions – and depending on the scope of the menu – should be layered: appetizer plates or soup tureens perched atop the plates for the main course, which in turn rest on underplates. Utensils are placed in the order of use from the outside in. The soup spoon takes the outermost position on the right, while the fork and knife for the main course immediately to the left and right of the plate. The butter plate and butter knife are positioned above the forks on the left. Water, white wine and red wine glasses complete the table setting; however, the first sip of wine may only be taken after the host has completed the opening toast.
“Much like fashion, table and dining culture is constantly evolving. It is a reflection of the zeitgeist and the prevailing attitudes of the day.”
  • Whereas in the 18th century, during the reign of August II the Strong, the tables at royal banquets were decorated with themed table services featuring numerous statuettes and elaborate terrines, the tableware trends of today are characterised by greater freedom. Table settings are less about extravagant displays of royal power and more about conveying the host’s own unique personality, which is expressed through the selection of dishes on the menu, the choice of music, and last but not least, in the festively laid table.
    Whether the table has a clear concept or features more creative, eclectic arrangements – Meissen’s countless historical and contemporary plate designs offer a comprehensive ensemble of tableware that can be mixed and matched to create a unique tabletop symphony. Naturally, always in the context of expert craftsmanship that forms the basis of the world renown enjoyed by Europe’s oldest porcelain manufactory. And it is these long-esteemed values that will ensure that your holidays are a time of cherished memories and family traditions.