How important is the art of welcoming? What makes a meeting or a dinner table cosy? A smile and decorated table setting can do much to make our guests comfortable and create the right atmosphere.
Table decoration is certainly linked to special occasions, but historically the concepts of setting and decorating, as well as comfort, arose in relation to everyday life. The tablecloth, the basic element for the preparation of a fine table, has always been a symbol of elegance and distinction since ancient times, while the first use of centrepieces dates back to the 17th century: initially they served practical purposes, but then became exclusively decorative. In the 19th century, there was a considerable increase in the number of accessories and objects for the table, due to the fact that cooking and receiving became more complex, while the 20th century saw a sharp turnaround, putting the focus back on the functionality of the objects.
Design and references to Art Nouveau or Art Deco have influenced the more modern taste, moving in the direction of cleaner, natural and unique lines. Thus table decoration passes through simple forms and objects that are not necessarily valuable, provided they are carefully chosen and positioned with good taste.
What items to choose for decorating your table? The settings must be chosen according to the season, anniversaries or occasions of celebration, as well as with the guests in mind. Non-edible materials such as ceramic, glass, paper and plastic can be chosen to create centrepieces, place cards and other decorations; or one can opt for a more natural style with plants, herbs and flowers, up to actual food. Seasonal fruit, sandwiches, confectionery, spices, biscuits, muffins … the only limit is one’s imagination.
Cinzia Boggian of the starred La Peca restaurant in Lonigo knows this well, engaging her customers in an itinerary that runs from the gastronomic to the aesthetic. Creativity and craftsmanship characterise Cinzia’s creations, bringing together everyday objects and turning them into small works of art that welcome, cheer up and bring back memories, softening the tones of a restaurant of the highest level.
Her creations are colourful and easy to make for anyone who is not at all an expert, to grace a party table or simply make an ordinary day special.
Cinzia’s decorations are having such a rapid success that the chef has recently completed a book, entitled “Decorazioni Gourmet” (Gourmet Decorations), published by Trenta Editore and she was the star of a cooking show at a major food event in Milan. The book presents creations dedicated to the seasons, to the most important festivals of the year such as Valentine’s Day, Carnival, Easter and Christmas, and to games and children.
Anna Maria Simonini e Carlo Vischi