Is a beautiful table a lost art?
One of the things my MIL created in me was my love for beautiful china, crystal, and silver. She was the queen of setting a beautiful table. Every holiday I looked forward to the perfectly set table she lovingly created. Somehow it even made the food taste better! I guess she might be the one to blame for my obsessive China fetish. There are just so many patterns and colors to choose from, each one uniquely beautiful in it’s own way. What’s a girl to do? I’ve got issues!
China just leads me to another table setting accessory that is simply a must for your table, the charger plate. I like to think of charger plates as the “shoes” of your table. Would you buy a beautiful wedding gown and go barefoot? Not likely. The same thing applies to your table setting. The charger plate is the foundation of your plates. It anchors the whole thing. It enhances the look of whatever plates you choose. It adds a pop of class to any table.
What exactly is a charger plate?
A charger plate is a large, decorative base plate that other dinnerware is placed on top of. Traditionally it was used during formal occasions such as catered events, weddings, upscale parties, banquets, or in fine dining restaurants. However, now even a more casual feel can be enhanced with the proper charger plate.
Charger plates are sometimes called service plates, under plates, or chop plates, and are a decorative part of your table setting. They are not meant to come in direct contact with food. Charger plates provide a perfect way to serve multiple course meals, where each course is served in its own separate bowl or plate, and placed on top of the charger. If you are hosting a buffet style event they can actually reserve the spot on the table for the other plates to be placed.
Why do you need a charger plate?
Besides the fact that the charger plate provides elegance and enhances the table setting’s décor, it has many practical purposes too. The charger plate anchors the dining table, creates ambiance, and is aesthetically pleasing. Let’s face it, the charger plate makes your table look cool. But that’s not all a charger plate is good for. Chargers also protect the table and tablecloth from becoming dirty during the meal. A charger plate can catch pieces of food, and prevent spills and messes that would otherwise stain the tablecloth or flow onto the table. A charger plate can also help to retain the heat in the actual dinnerware since it is placed directly underneath plates and bowls
A charger plate is kept on the table throughout the meal but is removed before desert is served. The size of a charger is usually slightly larger than a dinner plate.
A simple farm table can be enhanced with the use of a charger plate. A charger plate can add a touch of color to any place setting. You can use a charger plate to place name cards, napkins, or a menu prior to serving the meal.
A charger plate can be wooden, metal, porcelain, acrylic, plastic, earthenware or stoneware, or more. Birdie in a Barn even has some beautiful charger plates made of granite.
Charger plates come in all colors too. The most popular colors for charger plates are gold and silver but sometimes even a color as unique as pink gives your table just the right touch.