Whether I am entertaining for easily pleased friends, or a proper formal sit down for those with higher expectations; my table always has to look good, actually no, make that inviting (there is a difference). I also have a minor obsession with cutlery. Its not so much the shape, though that is important, but more the weight and the feel of it. I judge restaurants by the standard of their cutlery and sorry to anyone I may offend by declaring this, I do judge my friends too. It doesn’t even have to be “posh” but it has to feel good in your hands.
My cutlery drawer offers a multiple choice. lightweight odds and ends for the kids who are old enough for stainless steel but whose little hands couldn’t yet cope with anything too heavy. vintage mismatched pieces from charity shops (and my mother-in-law’s collection), there is the old swirly set which I received as a wedding present and then there is the favourite, every day but also good enough for entertaining; my Robert Welch Norton and Malvern collection.
I have now amassed enough Robert Welch cutlery to comfortably offer every guest that can fit onto my large dining table the same beautiful shiny little pieces of steels. I don’t have a formal dining room and I don’t have expensive china or glassware so I like to create a style which is both casual but elegant and their collections blend perfectly. The latest addition to my over-spilling collection is the new Malvern range Christmas edition which came with some amazing steak knives. Having never owned steak knives before, I wasn’t quite sure what I was missing out on but having tested them out on some of my guests at a recent charity dinner, the comments on the the cutlery were equally as complimentary as they were about the food!
The cutlery we eat with can really impact on our whole dining experience, as much and maybe even more so than the wine glass we drink out of and the plate we eat off. I may look as though I have just thrown a few things on the table for that casual mid-week supper for those easily pleased friends; but actually, I have thought about it just as much as when I set it for more formal dining and paying guests. I think about the style of place mats and candles, tablecloth and napkins (always paper to save on washing and ironing.) I do have choices on all these adornments because I collect so much but even if you don’t; get yourself a really good all-round cutlery range such as the Robert Welch Malvern collection, which you can use for all occasions and then you can feel confident that whatever you serve for your guests, they have the best tools in their hands to enjoy it with.
Priced at £84 for a 30-piece set, this makes an excellent Christmas present (to yourself if desired). For stockists, visit www.robertwelch.com