The latest dinner party trend: Leave-behind tableware
High season in Southwest Florida means our social calendars are full.
There is nothing better than an evening of friendship, food and pleasant conversation. When potluck dinner parties wind down for the night, though, there is often uncertainty between guests and the host.
What should happen to the bowl, tray or platter that you used to bring your signature dish to the party?
The answer – leave it!
This season’s favorite dinner party trend is leave-behind tableware – casserole dishes, serving trays, platters, charcuterie boards, decanter sets, fruit or salad bowls, ramekins, gravy boats, mix and match cocktail glasses, and more. Guests can prepare their homemade meatballs, potato salad, seven-layer dip or other delicacies at home, and then present the food – dish and all – to the party host. Along with a bottle of wine, flowers or scented candles, the tableware can be considered part of the gift for the party host.
It’s easy to see why leave-behind tableware is trending:
- Cleanup: Hosts do not have to worry about cleaning up before guests leave. Post-party cleanup can be as simple as putting the lid back on a dish and placing leftovers in the refrigerator.
- Gifting: When the party is over, guests can thank the host and leave emptyhanded. They don’t need to scrape leftovers into a disposable container or wash tableware in the sink. Plus, guests who bring unique or memorable tableware as gifts will certainly leave a good impression on their host.
- Presentation: Professional chefs as well as home cooks understand the importance of presentation when serving a dish. Bringing food to a dinner party in a foil pan or plastic tray doesn’t do justice for a culinary masterpiece served in a stylish dish.
- Unique: Aside from being sturdy, tableware also comes in all shapes and sizes, and many feature ornate prints and designs. It can be a point of pride for party guests to bring the most unusual or intriguing dish, bowl or platter.
New casserole dishes, serving trays and ceramic bowls can easily cost $20, $30 or more at department stores and big box retailers. That is a big expenditure considering guests often bring a traditional gift for party hosts and spend money to purchase ingredients to make the appetizer, entrée, side dish or dessert.
Guadalupe Resale Shop and secondhand stores from Naples through Fort Myers offer opportunities to find high-quality, like-new tableware at discounted prices. While retail stores carry shelves full of tableware, resale stores typically offer an eclectic mix of cookware and dishes that are budget-friendly, attractive and functional.
The leave-behind tableware trend is a great incentive to host a dinner party. Hosts can keep their favorite dish or two for themselves, and breathe new life into the remaining tableware by regifting them at the next dinner party.
– By Kat McNabb, Manager of Guadalupe Resale Shop
SHOP NOW: Guadalupe Resale Shop