Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Win! A hamper worth over £350 with Bertolli Gold

If you sat down at your dream dinner table, what would it look like? That's what the guys over at Bertolli would like to know. Would it be laden with fancy china, or would everything be carefully mismatched and vintage? Would you go for a six course meal, or is a lazy brunch your idea of the perfect table?

We've partnered up with Bertolli to bring you an exclusive competition. One lucky reader will win a gorgeous hamper packed full of Italian deli goodies, tubs of the new Bertolli Gold (in a swish gold-coloured tub that will look perfect on your dining table) and loads of table accessories. The prize is worth over £350 and frankly we're expecting to be invited over for tea if you win.

To enter, just leave a comment below telling us about your perfect dinner table. It can be anything you like - we'll pick a winner at random. Want a little inspiration? Here's what we'd like our perfect dinner tables to look like.

Sian: A happy table is one that's surrounded by friends having fun (and probably spilling stuff). I can't be doing with an overly busy table. I'm such a fan of one pot cooking for that reason. A massive goulash or curry that's been in the slow cooker all day is the kind of cooking that makes me happy. It's easy to serve and that way I get to spend time with the people I invited over for dinner! But I do go nuts over quirky ceramics. My Snowden Flood collection is growing rapidly! And who wouldn't want a welovekaoru breakfast set?

Failing that, my lap is a pretty amazing dinner table for fish 'n' chips if I'm sat on a beach somewhere. Chippy tea does away with any need for a table.

Laura V: For me, it's all about the balance between a pretty table and a comfy guest - so I don't do anything too fancy, not least because I'd rather spend the money on good food! I like a basket full of bread to nibble on, and a nice water jug packed full of ice and lemon, and I've had my eye on a Sagaform jug - it's plastic so it doesn't matter if we get tipsy and knock it over. I also love these doodle placemats for silly scribbling, and I'll generally cook something massive that everyone can help themselves to - Sian's tartiflette is a who-gives-a-toss-about-calories favourite. Then it's just silly details that don't cost the earth - things like this owl salt and pepper shaker set from Rigby and Mac, which is a cheap addition to my Christmas list at £5.95, and the cow butter curler from Graham & Green (£10.95) is so much prettier than a knife.

Caleigh: My perfect dining table is quite informal, lots of dishes in the middle with everyone serving themselves and each other. Something like Sian's chilli is brilliant with rice, tortilla chips, salsa, sour cream and lots of wine. I'd be equally happy with a Moroccan style stew served in a tagine, accompanied by a big quinoa salad and preserved lemons.

Laura B: I like my home to look a bit batty. My dream dining table would be cluttered with a mismatched array of crockery, including some sweary plates and ALL of Seletti's Hybrid range. And I'll definitely be needing gold-dipped cutlery for a touch of extravagance.

I've had my eye on Marcel Wanders' squirrel cruet set for a while, even though a) my shelves are overflowing with cruet sets, and b) I only ever use freshly-ground pepper at the table. Minor obstacles. Finally, no table is complete without a bottle of Hazel's smoky chilli sauce - it's delicious and peps up more than a few meals in my house.

Sara: Lazy Domestic Slut alarm: my perfect winter dinner table is a sofa, a Slanket, a cute animal cushion on my lap (and maybe even a cute animal pestering me), an enormous slab of tiger bread precariously balanced on top, and maybe a mug of Sexy Bovril to wash it down with.

Kat: I am a charity shop fiend, so pretty much everything that makes my dining table a happy place to be has come from the excellent Sue Ryder in Petersfield. I love a bit of history around the table, I'm not remotely into minimalist or shiny new. Even my table belonged to my dad when he was a bachelor. He managed to enjoy it for a whopping four months before getting engaged to my mum - excellent bachelorising there, father! I also love these Ella Doran table mats; essential for not burning the hell out of your table. Then I've got to have candles burning everywhere; long red dinner ones for the mantelpiece, and a few big old pillars on the side. I once set fire to my napkin when it fell off my full skirt onto a candle during my excitement at being allowed to put Phantom of the Opera on the stereo - God how embarrassing.

Hazel: Like Kat I'm a charity shop and car boot sale girl. I have a huge dining table surrounded by mismatched chairs and a park bench that's covered in patchwork blankets to make sure that my guests are all comfy (no want wants "bench bum"). I don't have a cutlery drawer, instead I use an Ikea flowerpot/cutlery holder that I plonk in the centre of the table and just let everyone dig in. Likewise when it comes to food it's just piled high on vintage platters for people to help themselves and fight over the last roast potato. Wine is very important on my table and the only things that actually match are my glasses. I'm really fussy about wine glasses, they need to be elegant and beautiful like these gorgeous champagne saucers from LSA. I tend to buy my wine glasses from T.K Maxx as there are almost always some beautiful booze carriers on their shelves.

Elizabeth: For me, the perfect dining table is a balance of interesting crockery (mine are from the charity shop) and picky food. When entertaining I like to perch a wooden board loaded with bread on the corner of the table surrounded with small dishes filled with delicious oils, salt, balsamic vinegar or dips. If I can squeeze a candle in the middle, I am keen for some mood lighting. And to top it off I like to serve dinner from an array of serving dishes so everyone can dig in for seconds and thirds. Messy dining is fun dining.

UPDATE! We have a winner! It's Charlotte! Here's what Charlotte's dream table looks like:

My perfect dinner table would be a solid rustic oak table with mismatched seats and plenty of tealights (making sure no one set themselves on fire...) and low-level flowers down the centre. There would be a huge pork belly roast and plenty of potatoes roasted to pure crispyness and an array of delicious veg for everyone to just help themselves. Oh and lots of wine (obvs) with a pavlova for pudding, and then a ton of different cheeses and sloe gin for afters....
Now hungry to eat exactly this for lunch.....!

Congratulations, Charlotte! Email us your details and we'll get your prize to you!

This awesome competition was sponsored by the nice folk at Bertolli to mark the launch of Bertolli Gold, a spread that strikes a balance between a low fat spread and butter. Made with the finest olive oil, it has 40% less saturated fat than spreadable butter blends, yet maintains a rich, buttery taste. Visit the Bertolli website for more information and a downloadable coupon for Bertolli Gold.

Some very important terms and conditions that you should absolutely read.
  • The competition ends at 1pm on November 20th and is only available to readers in the UK.
  • Do make sure you're not anon when you enter (or at least tell us how to contact you). Otherwise your entry won't count.
  • Don't enter more than once, we can tell and we'll discount your entries. Serial offenders will be disqualified from further competitions. 
  • Domestic Sluttery is responsible for the competition and our decision is final, Bertolli has provided a prize only.
  • You don't really have to invite us for tea, but if you do, we like fish finger sandwiches.

224 comments:

  1. I like a natural wood table, no tablecloth, a jar of cutlery and a stack of napkins to help yourself. Food would be something DIY maybe homemade veggie burgers with lots of little jars and bowls of goodies and sauces. Mismatched glasses and fairy lights too!

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  2. My perfect dinner table would have to be inspired by my Mother's Christmas Dinner. Every year she uses the special Christmas China designed plates- that have little Robins on them, and of course she has the good cutlery out. Candles are lit and there's holly and crackers on the table- specially made crackers with little gifts selected for each guest, and a whole host of Christmas food. It's all rather traditional and splendid with copious amounts of wine and good cheer!

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  4. My perfect dinner table would be comfortable, large enough for the whole family (about 15 of us!) yet would still have an intimate feel to it. Plenty of earthy natural textures; solid wood and serving boards. Vintage serving cutlery of various shapes and sizes to serve a feast of dishes. For that many people it would probably be loads of mezze dishes and a big steaming pot of something warming and aromatic. There would be candlelight and maybe something sparkly hanging over the top to make us look pretty and cosy all at the same time.

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  5. The coolest my table has ever looked was when I had an 80s dinner party last year. I bought old school tableware from a charity shop, it's dark olive green. Also got old 80s records, I used the sleeves as placemats and served the starter on the records. We ate some modernised prawn cocktail with a shot of gazpacho followed by lamb stuffed with pancetta with a parmesan crust, it is one of my favourites, really rich and yummy. Can't remember what dessert was, think we all got a bit squiffy on the Blue Nun to be honest.

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  6. Oh, sadly my little kitchen is too small to have lots of people round, so the last good group feast we had was like an indoor picnic.. we shoved all the furniture to the side in the lounge, threw down all the pillows, throws and rugs that we owned, and put big bowls of share-y type food goods in the centre, and then we all dived in. Lots of candles, good wine and a decent spotify playlist made it lovely.. and lots of good people there made it perfect. Thats now my favourite way to lay a table.. no table at all!

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  7. I would have a huge hard wood table in something impossible like cherry. I'd invite as many friends as I could fit into my place and have them all bring a dish. The table would be littered with condiments and dips and as many different teas as you can think of. Cucumber sandwiches would be my offering, along with something eggy. Seating would be difficult I imagine, so every one would have to pile on the sofa or the big window seat I have.

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  8. Any old table will do, covered with one of my Granny's old table cloths and sat in the middle of any garden, park or beach with unmatching crockery, cutlery and glasses. Yummy food to share with a few close friends sat around and plenty of liquid to wash it down with.

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  9. A field surrounded by wild flowers joined by my family, lots of finger food and smiling faces. A different dish provided my each family member all of them bringing their own specialty to the 'table' my aunties cheese scones, uncles potato salad and nans sausage plait. Just a day to make memories.

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  10. OOoooo good question. Mine would be a big table surrounded by old school friends and the girls I lived with at uni. It would be the kind of dinner where all the dishes are in the middle and people can help themselves throughout the night. What we call a 'picky dinner' in my house.
    And of course there would be wine. Plenty of it.
    Nothing fancy decoration wise - that would just get in the way of the wine bottles, wouldn't it?

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  11. Everyone I know thinks I'm a bit eccentric. I don't mean to be, it's just who I am. I blame it on being the black sheep (or should that be bull?) Taurus in a family of Geminis. My perfect table would reflect this - mis-matched, but reliable and steady. I'm not rich and I'm not elegant, but for me the dinner table isn't about those things. It's about sharing food, time and affection with the people you care about. I'd have a big old-fashioned wooden farmhouse table (ideally the one my Dad made as a woodwork teacher back in the day!), mis-matched plates and cutlery (charity shop hunting is my favourite sport!), and up-cycled napkins. The dinner table isn't just for dinner, and my favourite use has to be when friends and family pile around for tea and cake. My spotty teapot, complete with homemade tea cosy, has pride of place. Everyone has their favourite mug, none of which match, and a dish of sugar cubes is a must. Cakes and biscuits are laid out on my favourite rose-patterned plates and cake stand for people to help themselves. There are no pretensions: elbows are allowed on the table, spillages are to be expected and squabbling over the last homemade custard cream is guaranteed. That's my perfect dinner table :)

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  12. My perfect dinner is at home on my beaten up but beautiful old wooden table. It clashes wonderfully with my metal Tolix chairs. Crockery is a mixture of hand me down heirlooms, Habitat and junk shop finds, and as it's Saturday tea we are going all casual and the cutlery is stashed in a tall glass from where eveyone can help themselves. Here my kids (and a few friends) are sat, discussing the best and worst bits of the day... Food is a relaxed affair; pasta and breads, carribean chicken and rice or a good old chicken dinner with loads of roast potatoes so nobody fights over who has the last one! It's our family time and it is usually rounded off with cuddles and kisses, and (for the adults) more wine...

    ...or who am I kidding? the best dinner table is one without any washing up afterwards! Let's go out for dinner!

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  13. The perfect table would have candles burning and amazing food! Marie Antoinette inspired theme probably. Surrounded by my family and cats. Lots of drinks as well. Once finished we would probably play some board games. And hit the port and cakes. nomnom

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  14. For me it's all about feeding loved ones, and enjoying their company. So the table is nothing posh - a huge wooden table covered with an Anorak Kissing Stags oilcloth, always ready for a pile of mismatched dishes filled with comfort foods such as a slow cooked chunky chilli, or a simple but hearty spag bol. Served on plain white china, to laughing, gossiping friends and family. Maybe a few bottles of red to help the conversation flow...

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  15. I'm flung back to age 6, visiting my grandma for dinner. the table cloth was just a plain cream one over a dark polished table with a very 70's feel. wicker woven place mats with oval bird patterned plates filled with beef and all the trimmings. always a jug of orange squash on the table with again very 70's salt and pepper holders, tiny steel ones with a black base. there's an array of condiments in white pirex dishes. we're all talking about something rather loudly and then grandpa starts on the small organ they have in the dinning room. i jump up to his lap after i've finished my parsnips and we all start singing. i've not got a dinning table yet, but when i do, i hope my grankids feel as warm and fuzzy about it as i do mine.

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  16. My perfect table would have lots of little twinkly candles, in cute holders mixed in amongst lots of plates of tasty picky-choosy nibbles (this is officially a term used for dinner in my mum's house) and lots of sauces to smother them in. We wouldn't have a tablecloth, because as the evening goes on, and people start to get a bit jolly inevitably someone will start playing with the candles and nothing ruins a nice likes a fire! x

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  17. I already have the perfect table - a huge pine bench monstrocity rescued from a skip after a night out. It needs big benches to pop on either side, a hand crocheted tablecloth and a myriad of jars housing all of the cutlery. I then want huge loaves of bread and delicious dippy things and bottles of pink wine and bowls of sweet and cruchy things... and all my friends.

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  18. For me the perfect dinner table is summed up by this picture from Xmas last year: http://i.imgur.com/Nhsff.jpg - empty wine glasses, a mismatch of cutlery and crockery (we're students, it was BYOP (Bring Your Own Plate!)), pretty sure a few of us sat on beanbags. The thing that makes this table perfect? The people sat around it (and slightly less important, but still important nonetheless; the food we all had spent the last few hours labouring over!).

    I was pretty happy with my center piece as well... if there hadn't been as much alcohol involved then I definitely would've wanted more candles.

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  19. I keep it simple, with plain white crockery, and keep the table simple too, maybe with a candle in the middle. That way there's room on the table for more dishes (I.e. more food!) and that way everyone can serve themselves, having as much as they like. I like to serve a variety of dishes, whatever time of year it is, in summer opting for salads, with different accompaniments, oils, dressings, breads, and in the winter something like Beouf Bourguignon, with seasonal veg, breads and a comforting pud and cheese board. Comfy, well fed guests are, in my opinion, happy guests!

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  20. We live in a teeny tiny little house so our table is a little 1970s lift the flap Formica jobbie.

    It's at it's most brilliant when all the other furniture is shoved back against the wall and the table sits in the middle of the room struggling to take the weight of a giant stew pot, piles of mix and match plates and bowls (a couple from my uni days) and a pot of cutlery where you'd be lucky to find a knife and fork that matches.

    Food wise I don't go in for anything too fancy. A big bowl of chilli or a casserole with plenty of bread to dip is the way to go. Admittedly no dinner party is complete without a cheese board ... we only have this because we are a house of cheese addicts.

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  21. Ideal dinner party - big table in a big kitchen so I can cook and chat at the same time. A few friends, with something light to start, something italian and something disgustingly sweet and chocolaty to finish (those chocolate sex pots from a few months back!) Lots of low lighting, wine, cheese and with such good friends who needs to care about what matches what. Keep the food flowing and the drink topped up and you're bound to have a great night - At least with my friends you are

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  22. I have all my Grandma's Sunday best victorian crockery and silverware, also some table linen she always used for best.
    Setting a table with these always brings back happy memories of family Sunday lunches with us all sitting round the table passing the gravy and pickles and it doesn't get much nicer than that. It's the way Gran would like to be remembered. She made a real fuss of meals and it makes me do the same. :)

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  23. All my mismatched blue and white crockery on my old oilcloth, a big pan of pasta in the middle, and my daughter dribbling olive oil from a shared central dish all the way over to her mouth, courtesy of numerous hunks of warm ciabatta. I tell her off for making a mess sometimes, but really I love how she relishes it!

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  24. One that's not covered in clutter would be nice! Ooh maybe a retro kids theme, twister tablecloth, Mr men placemats, Moomins crockery and treats such as party rings, cheese and pineapple on sticks and jelly.

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  25. All in matching crockery. Everybody with a goodie bag of classy treats. Crystal glasses with lovely Rose wine.To eat we would have a traditional roast with all the trimmings and Italian Ice Cream for desert.

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  26. Keira Knightley. Cream cheese.

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  27. ideally would seat 6-8 and made of solid wood with 2 carver chairs lovingly adorned with an expensive cutlery set,and matching crockery, reality its a 4 seat round table in pine. with a salt n pepper set on just waiting as i ofter eat off my knew.

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  28. My dream dinner table would be quite simple yet sophisticated to welcome guests but ensure that they feel cosy and at home. My table decorations would match the season and the food being served. So for this time of year a simple burlap runner on a big oak table, plenty of small cream candles dotted along the middle of the table in pretty glass holders, autumnal flowers in rustic colours of orange and brown with simple white china plates with mismatched vintage wine glasses. The food would be a wholesome home-cooked stew with crispy potatoes and roasted veg. But most importantly plenty of friends and family around the table to enjoy, good food, good wine and good company, perfect!

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  29. oh vintage all the way, its so so pretty with red rose prints on the china, real bone china, dainty plates fit for a queen (or at least a lady). Pretty hand embroidered table cloth, grand cake stands upon which you can put anything that tickles your fancy. Shiny silver cutlery and gorgeous teapots that I would secretly fill with something sparkling! A table like this provides, thoughts, conversation, pleasure to the eye and above all lots of fun for all ages.

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  30. My perfect table is a bit like any lunchtime at my mum's when I was growing up - too many people, lots of elbows clashing, convivial debate, a mish-mash of foodstuffs (though the cheese plate remains a constant) and several hours of grazing. Endless cups of tea and something sweet to finish it off. Marvellous.

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  31. Brigitte Leprince13 November 2012 at 15:28

    My perfect Dinner table would be laden with fresh flowers and fruit cascading from a fruit stand. The napkins would be made into water lillies and placed on the side plates. I would have water glasses aswell as wine glasses. All the crockery/dinner plates would match and be elegant by design and the cutlery would be the finest silver corresponding to the menu or courses. There would be butter dishes and baskets with mixed bread rolls which have been home baked. Maybe a couple of sleek glass candle holders too! Everything would be polished including cruets and spotlessly clean,I wouldn't expect anyone to eat using anything I wouldn't use for example because it was dirty.

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  32. My perfect dinner tablle would have all the trimmings - folded napkins, motre cutlery than you can shake a stick at, name tags for each person, at least one wine glass each, an array of bread rolls, dips and canapes to start. Lovely.

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  33. Nice wine, good company some nice music on in the background. Steaks for mains and chocolate for pudding!
    Oh and someone else to do the dishes!

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  34. I really love the Scandi look with warm reds and white. There would be a white tablecloth with red runner, white gold rimmed crockery and a gorgeous centrepiece of fresh foilage and holly with lit red candles. There would be little bowls of morsals such as stuffed olives and bread, and we would have Liz Earle crackers. Chairbacks would be tied with red ribbon and have real roses in the centre of each ribbon :D
    Rachael Simmons, rachsimmons1@hotmail.com

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  35. As I'm currently living the university student life, any dinner table not involving Asda own brand noodles, baked beans and questionable meat based products would be good! As for a dream table it would be an affair similar to the Queen's Jubilee street style parties, with a never ending table train of party revellers dressed up in their finest swanky attire. Crockery and cutlery would be a mishmash of guest donations and the tablecloth a doodle friendly zone to create a cultural masterpiece. Candles, an ambient atmosphere, jovial spirits and a palooza of puddings would complete it.

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  36. my perfect table ! it doesn'really matter as long as i have my family and friends to come and share my famous luxury buffet. to me just seeing everyone tucking in and enjoying themselves makes my christmas

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  37. I love plain wooden tables with slate placemats. I think it looks classy and understated. I like lots of candles too and have wine bottles that i have used for candles so many times they belong in a lady and the tramp style italian restaurant! I love stoneware dishes and big hearty sharing meals. One of my favourites would be lebanese. Big platters of chicken taouk, salad, rice, halloumi, houmus, olives, home made garlic bread, babaganoush, the whole works. That way everyone can pick whilst they chat and drink red wine. perfection!

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  38. I would like to have a dark wood table with all the dishes made by me from creamy porcelain. The dishes would be a simple modern design. As a centre piece I would have a trail of English wild flowers down the middle

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  39. The only table decoration I need is a sea of smiling faces

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  40. I think my ultimate table would be a long old oak trestle table with benches (but a big sofa at either end, one for my Dad!). If anyone remembers the wedding from the film of 'Much Ado About Nothing', it would be in a huge rustic Tuscan villa...(ok I am totally getting carried away here). People would personalized dishes for them....something that represents them. It would be full of family and friends. Everything would be meaningful. Violets, and ivy trailing on thee table (after my grandmothers), good New Zealand wine (for my husband!). Plates would be vintage shop eclectic (but old style). The napkins, always cloth (I was bought to believe cloth napkins are the 'only' option!), would be handmade from old pieces of material which my mum has (ok, so I am now planning a craft project....!). Lots of different shaped decanters, and odd wine glasses. Food wise, a complete fusion, I have Russian, New Zealand, Australia and currently live in Denmark, so it would be something awesome from each. Did I mention the candles? Tea lights, candles, everything looks better in candlelight. I think the ability to look down a table with smiling, laughing faces enjoying the company, good food and wine. Amazing.

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  41. My perfect dinner table is Alfesco style on a summers day in the garden..White crockery so that nothing takes away the joy of colourful summer food.

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  42. My perfect dinner table is one where my entire family sit round (now we're all grown up, we don't even all get together at Christmas) and eat from a picnic of food on the table and drink excellent wine until the late hours of the evening.

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  43. I love the relaxed atmosphere of a big summer family gathering around a table in the garden, but my favourite is with as many people as can squash around our hugely expandable dining table, with a big roast (maybe venison), roast veggies, great wine and something glorious for pudding. The smart table linen and cutlery, and special food doesn't make the company more treasured, but it shows we've made an effort for the people we love.

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  44. I would love to have a big low wooden table with comfy cushions to sit on with a table runner along the center and Japanese place settings. The table would be dotted with sushi and lot's of other delicious Japanese food and decorated with peonies and candles with some incense. A very relaxed feel :) Perfect!

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  45. MY Perfect dinner table is surrounded by friends
    Constant chatter and laughter that never ends
    Our table is never too prim and proper
    What makes it ideal is a good bottle stopper!
    The drinks and food is on free flow
    Our guests don't ever want to go!

    Our table isn't about matching and symmetry
    Nor it is about tiptoeing round timidly
    Grab yourself a chair-from out the garden if need be
    Create yourself a space and enjoy the food spree.
    Dip into every pot and sample the food delights
    Have a whale of a time at Kellie's dinner night : )

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  46. I love plain white crockery so everything matches with no effort. All the food in it's own bowl all spread out over the table so people can help themselves to what they want to eat. nice and informal so everyone can spend a long time at the table talking, eating and relaxing <3

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  47. A winter evening, old pine table, blue Italian china, my grandmother's cutlery (worn thin with much polishing). Candles in glass candlesticks, plain wine glasses and a tumbler at each place, the table decorated with autumn leaves and conkers, apples and pears, and a fragrant beef casserole, platters of good vegetables. Lots of friends and family to share dinner with.

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  48. My perfect dinner table is one that is surrounded by friends and family. A relaxed atmosphere, great food and some background music. Warm cosy colours and warm cosy chairs.

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  49. My perfect dinner table, it would be one that my children have created. whatever they cooked would be a treat and the table laid out with a variety of crockery of their choice.

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  50. My perfect dinner table is the one I have at the moment, its actually a coffee table as our house is so teeny, but its my first dinner table with my boyf in our first house and that's pretty special. It's big enough for a centrepiece of sorts and thats usually either a gorge fish bowl shaped, purple haze, glass mosaic candle holder my bestie got me from Bunka in Balham, or a small vase my grandmother left me that is worth nothing but I love it, filled with any cheap blooms I can find. Food served would be comforting and wholesome nothing beats a good old beef and ale stew (try the Hairy Bikers diet one, it is an actual revelation, although I did add suet dumplings does that still count?)Oh and a massive glass of Red Wine.

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  51. My perfect dinner table would be one that has a lot of history to it and is surrounded by lots of laughter whenever we sit round to eat at it.

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  52. My perfect dinner table would be big chunky and wooden, with stains and scratches, that remind me of the memories made and shared around it. There would be big plates of bread, bowls of salad, olives and other antipasti with a slow cooked joint as the centre piece. Ihere would also be bottles of wine to help the conversation along. i don't care if the cutlery and plates are mis-matched, i would just like to be with good friends.

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  53. My perfect dinner table would be wooden and very large so that I could cover it in lots of little Tapas dishes with plenty of room left for a good supply of wine. I would need some upholstered dining chairs that are very comfy as we would be sat for a long time enjoying our food and chatting. Perfect!

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  54. My perfect dinner table would be rich dark mahogony, six place settings of pure white bone china crockery so the food would look amazing on the plate. I would like to have a deep gold charger beneath each plate. The cutlery would be heavy silverwear with an embossed detailing on the handle. The glasswear would be heavy crystal, deep cut and so clean and sparkley that it would twinkle in the candle light. The candles would be gold in groups of three and the holders would be delicate pure white. The serving dishes would be pure white too. At the end of the meal, I would serve cheeses on a big wooden board. Coffee would be rich and dark served from a pure white bone china coffee set. Sometimes its nice to indulge in complete luxury and good food deserves to be presented well!

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  55. I already have the perfect dinner table. Solid oak with six oak chairs with brown suede cushions. Has already lasted ten years with the kids!

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  56. My perfect dinner table would be a massive round table so friends and I can all chatter at once and no one feels left on the fringes- the food would be piled high, with an overstuffed cupcake (red velvet or black forest) stand and vintage tea set for after supper!

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  57. I would like a huge wooden table - the type that it doesn't matter if you get glass rings on or if it gets bumped or scratched as they are memories of great get togethers. I like rustic cutlery & china a couple of chunky candles & friends & family that I love

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  58. I would like a low table so we can all sit on cushions and eat food to share. I would have lots of candles to make it cosy and i would have party games at the end to add a bit of fun. Me and my friends find it hard to spend time all together so that would be a perfect night for us
    @jen1984j

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  59. id have like a Grecian style banquet all rustic big table everything from chickens to grapes fresh made red wines and flowing bubbles from a big naked male fountain sat right in the middle every1 would have robes just draping over them and it would be a whole load of enjoyable food and fun :)

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  60. My next dinner party will be a posh baby shower so my table will be full of ladies, my closest friends. I'd have a mint, white and silver theme as I don't know the sex of my baby but its also quite Christmassy. I've bought some large sparkly mistletoe ball decorations which will be my centre pieces. To go with the Christmas/ baby theme everyone will be given an advent candle to light at the table, they can blow it out on whatever number they like and enter into the party game of 'how many days early/late will the baby be.' The place mats are silver and I've got mint coloured napkins with silver holders, beautiful wine glasses will each have a silver charm on them so they don't get mixed up - mine is a bootee so everyone knows it contains fruit juice.

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  61. A round table with my favourite people seated at it, with lots of candles and wine. Nothing too formal, everyone helping themselves to delicious food. Relaxed atmosphere, fun times!

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  62. My perfect table would be one covered in candles and flowers. Cocktails would be served, preferably martinis and the food would be comforting like a big roast turkey with all the trimmings or a bit pot of chilli. Food, martinis and good company. Life doesn't get any better.

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  63. I live on the other side of the world from my home, so my perfect dinner table would have my parents and my three younger sisters at it. It would be a rustic hewn wood style, laden with wine and cheese, with bright crockery and tableware adding mismatched splashes of colour.

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  64. My perfect table will have a table runner, red and gold coloured napkins and candles surrounded by my family

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  65. my perfect table would consist of a lovely oval glass topped table, big enough to sit 6 people round . I wouldnt have a table cloth, but would have some gorgeous china (my mother-in-law has a gorgeous set with pink flowers very pretty but far too expensive for the likes of me lol )
    theni would like some gorgeous matching placemats and the finest silver cutlery money could buy! ............i can dream!!
    food wise i would love one of my mums christmas dinners .... she makes the best roast dinners EVER!!!
    @chanson2010 on twitter

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  66. My perfect table would be exactly as I remember my late mum's gorgeous Christmas table but she would have to be sat opposite my dad who was always head of the table. It would have a crisp white table cloth, colourful japanese style runner with matching napkins, golden crackers, matching white crockery and classic bead pattern cutlery. A beautiful sparkly floral centre piece, pretty frosted crystal wine glasses and tall crystal candle holders.

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  67. My perfect table has got candles all over it, several open bottles of wine, a delicious feast and 10 friends gathered around. It may also have jigsaws on it at times.

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  68. My perfect table is in the grounds of my imaginary summer home, either in Sardinia or Malta. Shaded by orange and lemon trees, the table is a rustic wooden number and is heaving with food and drink, and surrounded by friends and family. No china, no table runners or place mats, just a few candles to keep the party going after sunset.

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  69. My perfect table is Chinese-style, round, lots of food, and lots of friends or family. Decorations to a minimum, but perhaps a really nice tablecloth, and a glass lazy susan to protect it from the inevitable spillage that happens when my siblings attack their food...

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  70. I really love my Portmeirion plates etc. I have been collecting it for a long time. My perfect dinner table would be one set for my family with my favourite crockert, crystal glasses and crisp Irish linen.

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  71. I really love my Portmeirion plates etc. I have been collecting it for a long time. My perfect dinner table would be one set for my family with my favourite crockert, crystal glasses and crisp Irish linen.

    sheilasloan@btinternet.com

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  72. My perfect dinner table would be in a huge, old fashioned farm house with picturesque scenery on a huge old vintage oak table. I'd have a gorgeous, pretty floral quilted table runner down the middle like this one - http://3.bp.blogspot.com/__A1V8kztPXs/S_Vik2N7oXI/AAAAAAAABqk/_7GENGG22yE/s640/tablerunner3.jpg.

    The plates, cups, bowls and cutlery would be very minimalistic http://www.amazon.com/Corelle-Impressions-16-Piece-Dinnerware-Service/dp/B002GOHVU0 with splashes of colour from Joseph Joseph http://www.selfridges.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?storeId=10052&catalogId=12151&langId=-1&freeText=JOSEPH+JOSEPH&x=0&y=0.

    They'd be this crystal decanter in the middle for chilled, New Zealand Sauvignon http://www.cabbagesandroses.com/homeware/accessories/crystal-decanter.

    The table would be surrounded with my best friend's, eating home made breads, olive oil dip, a selection of flavoured hummus, avocados, fresh home grown salad, prosciutto, home made vanilla cheese cake and red velvet cupcakes!

    The table would end up a mish mash of old, vintage and modern.

    lauzc87 [at] gmail [dot] com

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  73. A table simply laid with a white sheet, scented candles, low lights and romantic music. A wonderful selection of cheeses, wine and grapes as a centre piece. Nibbles of champagne sticks. All followed by rich chocolate mousse. (Im going I feel hungry!)

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  74. Firstly I prefer a round table so that nobody is stuck on the ends, I always think that a round table is better for conversation. Nothing too tall in the way of decorations, there's nothing worse than having to lean over and peer around something in the centre of the table. I like plain white crockery and use napkins to add colour to the table. No candles on the table, I have a bit of a phobia about candles so I only burn them in tall glass holders where the flames are enclosed, I have 4 of those around the room. Lastly good company makes any table seem 10 times better.

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  75. As a total Scandiphile, I would decorate my table in Nordic style: simple, but with splashes of bright colour, and with lots of tea lights and candles in tin houses. There would be the iconic red Dala horses, colourful Marimekko glasses and napkins, white tableware, and wreaths made with lots of fresh pine and holly. There would also be lots of food: a mix of English, Polish, Scandinavian and Italian dishes.

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  76. I'd start with a round table full of my friends and family, outside on a terrace in spring. The table would have a white cloth and a huge bunch of daffodils in the centre. Vintage plates, champagne glasses, wine glasses and thick water glass tumblers with Sheffield knives and forks. And we'd eat...spring vegetable risotto, drink white wine with lunch and have Eton mess for dessert. Perfect!

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  77. It would be mismatched, but no one would mind as long as all the family could fit round the table

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  78. Oh god, where to begin.... Never mind the cutlery, i'm a seafood lover. Big wooden chopping board slabs covered with Lobsters, King Prawns, breads, melted butter, olive oil with garlic, lemon wedges and a little garnish (but only for the eye, i'm not eating that when there's seafood calling me)! As for guests...... woah... it's seafood, it's mine! I'm kidding!! Maybe.....

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  79. Table covered with burgundy cloth. Cream christmas themed runner.
    White matching crockery. Contemporary design candle holders surrounded by some seasonal foiliage.
    Christmas cracker for everyone.
    Then surround the table with laughing happy family.

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  80. I think maybe only once or twice a year now I do I get to lay a 'proper' grown-up table - so that's what I'd like for my ideal dinner party: white damasked linen cloth, lots of place-mats down the middle to put hot dishes on, bring out the cut-crystal wine-glasses - the ones that have to be washed by hand - coloured napkins neatly folded, candles lit, silver cutlery polished (hopefully by eager helpers), some small seasonal decorations (flowers in summer, baubles in winter) and salt in the open pot that looks like a swan...
    But the ideal food... lots of choice but... either soup, or something cold plated-up beforehand, so as to give me time with the guests, a roast meal with lots of side dishes and a pud that's fun and can be dished up at table, then cheese and nibbles with the brandy & coffee that somebody else can go and make, because I'm talking to best friends and family.

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  81. A blanket on grass in the sunshine. I don't mind what we eat out of or with but I just love eating picnic style :) @pipersky1

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  82. I am a spiller. If there's wine glass to be knocked over, I will, if there's a plate to knock off the table with my elbow, I will. So my ideal table would be uncluttered and spacious. There would only be six of us at a table big enough for 10. The table would be circular so that we can all talk to each other and I can pour wine without spilling it into someone's soup. I need a posh tablecloth as (this sounds ridiculous but it's true), I prefer the acoustics of a table with a tablecloth so I can put my glass down without it making a loud noise. There would be no flowers. I'd just knock them over. There would be a big old space in the middle for the dishes and there would be proper napkins. My mother used to keep the best napkins for best, but when's the Queen coming round? No candles as I always stick my sleeve in the flame or play with the wax. In fact, I'm not allowed to after I nearly burnt down an Indian restaurant. And no cutlery - let's eat with our hands! And since there's nothing to knock over or spill, I'm going to invite my 1 year old son to the table so he doesn't feel left out. Bon appetit!

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  83. The wine would be flowing,
    no guests would be going,
    they would all be staying the night.
    The candles all glowing,
    the talk to and fro-ing
    And the atmosphere just right.

    There's no airs and graces,
    just smiles and happy faces,
    and food that is simple and plenty.
    Just tear up the bread,
    as they do in the med
    Full tummies and plates that are empty.

    Who cares about the mess?
    Just have fun with the guests
    And clean it all up in the morning.
    A good time's had by all,
    they've all had a ball,
    Time just flies, a new day is dawning!

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  84. My dream dinner table would be fit for the Queen,red and gold dinner set, silver cutelry,crystal galsses and napkins folded into exotic shapes.The chairs would have matching soft cushions as they will be sat there a while working their way through five courses.To finish off the table I would have an ice sculpture in the center.

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  85. I love a comfy environment where people don't have to worry about spills and slurps, plenty of good food served on huge plates with good wine and conversation. Fish and chips from the paper is good if the company is good enough, oh and if the company is Jonny Depp Who cares about the food!

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  86. Oooh the perfect dinner table would be on a dark winter's night, roaring fire and surrounded by friends and family (it's a very big table). Most important on it would be quite simply a massive array of cheese, bread and chutneys and bottles of red. Yummy.

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  87. The only accessory my perfect dinner table would need would be the feet of my family under it.

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  88. I love the clean minimal look, white crockery and white linen, a few natural coloured candles and grey slate place-mats with matching slate cheeseboard

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  89. My perfect table would have a crisp white table cloth on, all the people I love sat around, bone white china, white napkins with a coloured trim and shiny silver cutlery, gleaming wine glasses and candles to create a good lighting effect. Everything would be in bowls to pass round - lasagna, tear and share bread, salad, etc. Wine would be would be open on the table for people to help themselves. The conversation would be light-hearted and flow freely, with lots of laughter - perfect!

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  90. Our perfect table would be a magic one that expands to fit in more of the family! It would be great to have everyone who lives far away all together, so we would need loads of chairs and i would like in the middle a rectangular conveyor belt like they have for soushi but bigger and it would be full of lots of different dishes and sides so everyone could eat what they wanted, also i would still like to use my own mis-matched plates as everyone has their favourite 'one' they like to eat off, but for christmas i would like a complete matching set - I know all these posh tables are pretty but we just like to have a good time chatting and laughing! If we are going for anything we can have - then i would love a kind of magic hole in the middle all the dirty plates are thrown in and they magically fly out to be caught and are squeeky clean to go back in the cupboards! Oh and i nearly forgot we would also like a new big shiney teapot in some funky colour to cheer the place up! x

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  91. A lazy brunch on the patio with a flowering plant on the table suits me fine. Shame we can't have the weather for it more often.

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  92. I'm not one for posh dinner parties and am happiest with all my friends round a large table sharing a Chinese takeaway. It would be great to have a big lazy Susan in the middle and for dessert I'd serve my home-made Key Lime Pie :)

    @BoostieBoo

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  93. My perfect dinner table is one with my little family consisting of OH, 3 year old & 2 dogs (little furry friends have to be included) I'd have a couple of those Ikea lanterns filled with little fairy lights & use my vintage nursery ware and mismatched china. We'd eat Italian food,pretty decorated biscuits and drink ginger beer whilst listening to Peter & the Wolf. @happyhomebird

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  94. My perfect dinner table would be set up like an Italian restaurant..red and white checked tablecloth and in the middle wine bottles with candles inside and crisp white linen napkins.I would get my family around and we would eat antipasti,bowls of spaghetti and plenty of good red wine! Plenty of food to pass around and share and some andrea bocelli in the background xo

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  95. Good food, loads to drink, sunshine and friends!

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  96. My perfect dinner table would be Mediterranean style. A huge rustic table flowing with wine, delicious food and great conversation. It would be simple but have quality cutlery, crockware and glassware simply decorated with candle votives.

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  97. A table surrounded by homemade food and family. Thats all you need to have a great time!

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  98. A big oak table, lots of family, a big roast dinner and lots of wine

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  99. For a neatly decorated table, etiquette and formality we go to a restaurant. At home it's all about feeling relaxed, the food and the company. We have mismatched cutlery, china, chairs and a decor-less wooden table. What's important for us is the table must be large, full of good food and surrounded by family & friends. When I say a full table it is more often than not overflowing with food as we do not want anyone to feel the need to hold back! Surplus food is taken away in doggy bags or kept for lunch the next day. We love dinners where food is shared and passed around the table like roasts, indian, med or tapas. Sometimes the food is cooked on the table too, for example, Korean barbecues and Asian hot pots are some of our favourites were everyone can get involved. 'Help yourself' is our dining motto.

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  100. A large old style solid wood table with a red and gold runner down the middle. A few white candles and some holly round the candles in the middle of the table. Cutlery and glasses laid out neatly with a cracker on the side plate. A red napkin on a gold charger.

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  101. I'd have a duckegg blue tablecloth and white lace napkins and white bone china crockery, fine sterling silver cutlery, crystal stemmed champagne glasses. The Centre piece Lillies and ivy.

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  102. It would be very modern and romantic with my husbands favourite food so that we could have a nice romantic night in.

    (christine mutter)
    (c.mutter@sky.com)

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  103. Shabby Chic, nothing matching!! Even knifes and forks different. Big and small plates cups etc

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  104. My perfect table would be the one I'm having right now in my dining room: a dark wooden table, large enough to sit 8 fantastic guests, a dark red runner in the middle where all the wine glasses are standing (waiting for the next refill ...) , fabulous stoneware crockery and wooden/metal cutlery, with amazing food and wine :) but most of all great company!

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  105. My table would be very much "Jamie Oliver Stylee" Foods laid out on wooden chopping boards with mismatched jugs containing dressings and rustic breads.

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  106. My perfect table would be large enough to seat 10 people comfortably. It would be wooden and there would be no tablecloth and it would not be cluttered. The crockery would match, but would be fairly plain, as would the cutlery. I would be seated there with my husband and 8 friends; we would have a pre-prepared (by me) starter, followed by a slow-cooked main course, such as coq au vin or beef stroganoff, and then there would be a choice of 3 desserts, all cooked/baked with me. Cheese & biscuits would follow and we would finish up with coffee and chocolates, with a choice of liqueurs. The meal would be complimented by good wine and other drinks and the atmosphere would be lively and relaxed.

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  107. I love the idea of getting my friends round for dinner, but we only seem to manage it about once a year. Nowadays I'm more likely to be catering for my daughter and her friends, so what pleases 8 year olds most is a cupcake stand filled with the most garish cupcakes we can bake and a big red velvet cake, plus some tiny hot dogs with a ketchup dip as a nod to the savoury department. All this is served on a table with a pvc cloth and paper plates and napkins and is accompanied by strawberry Ribena in a big plastic jug. The kids seem to love it and it's fabulous fun to listen to them giggling away. I'm glad my girl is learning the pleasures of having friends laughing around a table. It's probably my favourite sound in the world.
    I'd like to be able to have a proper Sunday lunch for my friends though - nothing difficult, just a roast ham, roast potatoes and a bunch of veggies, followed by a crumble or a trifle and served with lots of good wine. I'd like to have an excuse to use the dinner service that my ex and I were given as our wedding presents from our friends and family. I don't think there's any point in having nice things and just keeping them in a cupboard. Maybe I'll round up the troops soon. I reckon we're overdue.

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  108. My perfect dinner tale is plain wood with a red runner down the middle and large white candles. But the most important thing is lots of large plates of food that everone can tuck into, lots of bottles of good wine and comfy chairs around so that people linger for hours

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  109. My perfect table is made up with a plain table cloth and teh expensice crockery, cutlery and glasses we were given as wedding gift. they are only used once a year!

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  110. I love a rustic Mediterranean feel, a large solid oak table with shabby chic placemats and crockery. I'd have large chunky wine glasses to serve a lightly chilled rosé wine to my family and friends, outdoors (on a sunny day of course!)for a relaxed and sociable vibe. The music would just be the sounds of nature, birdsong and chirping crickets. The food would be simple but the best quality, crusty French baguettes with salted butter, salad and a selection of cheeses, with olives and sun-dried tomatoes.
    The meal and chatter would last all afternoon.
    dchalliwell@hotmail.com

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  111. I'm loving reading about everyones dream dining tables! For me it would be a large table in a rich dark wood, with plenty of room for friends and family. It would be decorated in opulent purple and silver tablewear. It would be lit by candlelight and filled with an amazing assortment of delectable delights!
    In reality my dining table is small (to fit in our pokey flat) and the varnish is peeling off and we only have two chairs! A girl can dream...

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  112. Mine would be quite an eccentric table, a bit like the mad hatters tea party, weird and wonderful, bizzare and breath taking, a birdcage with a gold crow as a centre piece, bright coloured odd sized china scattered all over, a fruitbowl containing cakes of all descriptions, the must have polka dot teapot! all on a dark oak table where each chair is a throne.

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  113. my perfect table is all my family round it together!!

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  114. I love matching accessories and candles, cute and quirky.

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  115. My perfect dinner party would be informal and relaxed, with everything Italian on the menu in huge serving dishes.. and of course plenty of wine and laughter.

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  116. There’s nothing like a centerpiece of fresh flowers! It’s fun to get fancy, but sometimes the simplest of ideas has the grandest of effects. A clear vase of tall calla lilies is just what this modern dining set needs to set the tone for a delicious meal.

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  117. Mine would be a huge wooden farmhouse table with benches and mis-matched cushions, friends, wine, and lots and lots of crusty bread with cheese. Also there would have to be pudding or it doesn't count as a meal.

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  118. Mine would be a sleek black glass table, with silver cutlery and wine coolers and black and crystal place mats. The chairs would be black leather.

    The meal would be huge and totally vegetarian, and all my family would be there. Plus three puddings

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  119. Mine would be a ruby red table cloth with silver cutlery, crystal mats, red napkins in silver rings, crystal glasses and red roses as a centre peice. The plates would be white china and it would be a simple three couse dinner @ali991

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  120. Friends and family would be crammed around the table. Which would be outside, set in an orchard and be filled with lovely fresh salads and BBQ food. Rustic vintage furniture - so when Auntie Megan has a little too much wine she wobbles off her chair!!

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  121. I don't think it matters what the table looks like, or even what food that is served, it is the people seated around it that are important.

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  122. Awwww dinner parties, how I love them. I am all about vintage so I would love a huge rugged well worn wooden dining table with chairs that are all the same height but mismatched. I would leave the table exposed so no table cloth. I love candles but with so many people leaning left, right and centre and a close friend fonly named Domino Dave (think about it) it would be safer to have the candles covered so I would have lanterns instead.

    I have a thing about cutlery that it has to match, knives that are too thin or forks that only have 3 spikes instead of 4 make me cringe so no cutlery envy at my table. I am a fan of napkins so a few bright colours will add to the warm feel. The glasses will all be hand decorated with glass paint and jewels. Plates and dishes will all be different colours and types.

    As there are so many friend's I would have nibbles to start (olives/humous and pitta etc) and then a few grand dishes (stew/lasagne/chili/curry) that everyone an tuck into - something for everyone's taste but still feeling relaxed.

    Aaah I want that dinner party now!

    p.s. Homemade fish finger sandwiches on thik crusty brown bed and relish is the one!

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  123. Our best meals are more about the company rather then a grand presentation. I bring out the large table cloth, we use white plates always and the canteen of cutlery - thats where the formality ends, large tureens of vegetables/rice/pasta come to the table. My husband carves the meat in the kitchen - purely as space is an issue in our dining room especially if its full of people and brings that to the table. Then it is help yourself to as much as you like and then a little more!!

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  124. My perfect table would be vintage oak, with benches and two head chairs. On it I would place a white table runner with a gold one on top of that, and red serving platters for each guest. A few crackers would be dotted about and little gold pots of sweets. I'd serve a gammon joint cooked slowly with mustard and honey and a wide selection of roast and boiled vegetables with a variety of potatoes. Extra large wine glasses would also adorn the table. And this would be followed by a homemade vanilla cheesecake.

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  125. A beautiful oak table and chairs. Dressed with crisp white linen, beautiful glassware, and fresh flowers. Most importantly it would have all the people I love seated around it. My favourite meal to share is a Greek meze.

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  126. Maria Jane Knight19 November 2012 at 19:45

    A rustic wooden table set in a large farmhouse kitchen, with 10 chairs. Dinner would be a traditional sunday roast chicken, with everything in served in beautiful orange Le Creuset pans and roasters. The whole family would be present, including mums and dads from both sides. Centre peice of the table would be two large clear glass vases full of sunflowers, napkins would be displayed in my nannas old napkin rings and the plates would be perfect white.

    @mariajkknight

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  127. A buffet style table would be my favourite one, a plain white cloth, white plates, and then all the colour comes from the richness of the food. So the buffet would have to have an amazing cheeseboard with a generous selection of cheeses; brie, stilton, mature cheddar, smoked cheese, grapes, celery and a selection of crackers. Then pate with warm crusty bread, a selection of meats; salamis, parma ham, olives, and some leafy salad. Eat as much or as little as you like! All washed down with some pinot grigio. Oh wow am I hungry now!! lol

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  128. I'd like lots and lots and lots of different dishes in the centre of the table so that everyone can help themselves to whatever they like best. It would have to be a much bigger dining table than we have now, oh and a bigger room to put it in would be handy too. I've always scoffed at people who spend a fortune on posh Christmas china, but maybe secretly I'm just jealous...so to find out if that would be good I'd like some giant Christmas place mats and some gorgeous personalised Christmas crockery too. Red wine would be served in bulbous crystal glasses and the kids would have orange juice in proper glasses (because in my fantasy they wouldn't be numpty's and spill it everywhere prior to smashing the glass). Lovely. I am Wendy Shippam on FB or @WShippam on Twitter.

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  129. I would love to do a funky table. I would have an ancient theme from Egypt. So a low table and huge coloured cushions to sit on. I would then have a bright table cloth with handmade woven table mats. I would then have a meze style food. Lots of small ceramic dishes with all different types of food. Then gold goblets for wine and water. I would also play some belly dancing music in the background!

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  130. My perfect dining table is made up with every piece of my wedding crockery and our best cutlery. It's white with red accents. I would pop lots of candles about. Then invite some lovely friends for a nice three/four course meal.I love cooking so spending the day in the kitchen getting everything just so is right up my street!

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  131. My perfect dinner table is a relaxed one, with my family all around a huge table-mismatched crockery because we have used up all of the best set with people sitting on odd chairs and benches. A big hearty meal with plenty of wine, everyone helping themselves, all talking at once and laughter filling the air.

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  132. My perfect table will be full of gorgeous food with plenty of drinks, a few baubles and crackers, and some festive placemats.

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  133. I like to keep it simple - matching crockery & food served into the middle for everyone to help themselves. Of course, to be absolutely perfect it would all be cooked & served by someone else!

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  134. Well, firstly, my favourite table is for afternoon tea, so not dinner at all! Lots of pretty china - not bothered whether it matches or not. Proper cake forks are imperative :-) and good linen napkins. The important thing, though, is an abundance of gorgeous home-made cake as this will guarantee the presence of smiling faces all around the table.

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  135. A long, wooden table - big enough for the whole (extended) family - matching plates and serving dishs (something nice and simple), a fab home-made Christmas dinner (where all the family have chipped in!) and, of course, crackers and party poppers!

    (@charlotte_jones on twitter)

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  136. I would love a round table, with distressed chairs, a red polka dot table cloth with red and white crockery and mason jar glasses with a centrepiece made of gerberas, big red ribbon bows and something white, possibly fluffy, which I can't quite imagine right now, but it's bound to come to me as soon as I press publish!
    @Morrighani

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  137. A big old whitewashed slatted wood table, set in the garden on a sunny warm summer's eve. Vintage floral table cover thrown over the centre of the table, holding a spotted glass jug of iced water with limes. Rounded chunky matching glasses to drink from. Bone-handled cutlery (love it) and mismatched spotty and floral crockery and napkins - just has to be brightly coloured. Citronella candles in different holders dotted around garden, and some lovely bunting hanging around. BBQ fired up, fresh seafood and meat, salads, freshly baked breads. Eton mess & pastries and coffee for dessert. Not complete without the lights of my life, my four children, two grandbabies and 2 sons-in-law. The perfect day :)

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  138. Everything matching, but no tablecloth

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  139. MY perfect dinner table is table which is large enough for 12 people, with white tablecloth, sparkling glasses,shining forks and knifes, I love cloth napkins and adore vase with flowers on dinning table. Perfect dinner table is table with family and close friends, some wine and lot of laugh and talk.Good and tasty food is most important thing and I always try to cook more because it feels safer to have leftovers than run out of food.

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  140. My table this year is going to be very special - I was lucky enough to win a very expensive Vileroy & Bosh white "New wave" dinner service earlier this year. I'm so nervous about using it ! but it will look great on the table on Christmas day with a new table cloth and Christmas runner down the middle. We will start with my parents favourite - prawn cocktail, then move onto a traditional dinner with turkey crown, sprouts, roast potatoes and mash, carrots with yorkshire pudding andf gravey. We always plan a nice "afters" but all always end up slumpted in the chair groaning and saying how stuffed we are and I can't wait to do all again...:o)

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  141. At the moment my dream table would have no plastic cutlery or crockery in sight. I have three children, aged 6,4 and 2, and I have just banished the last of the plastic crockery to the picnic box, so this Christmas is all about the chinaware (Boston Blue Denby, c.1999). Now I just need to train them all to keep all their food on their plates and not on the tabletop and I can indulge in pretty table linens.

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  142. i'd go posh
    large table ,a couple of posh candlebras silver cutlery posh plates and glasses the works. meals are often a rush so it would be lovely to sit and enjoy even if you didn't know what order to use knives and forks.

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  143. Something nice and rustic, big bowls of bread and food that the kids can get involved with and as little washing up as possible!

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  144. If I'm making am effort to cook for people, I like it all to be about luxury and indulgance. I have matching tableware, from plates to serving dishes, real silver serving spoons, handmade napkins and exquisite crystal glasses. I like to use floating (unscented) candles as a table decoration too. Of course, the food must be lovely too!

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  145. My 'perfect' dinner table has the original barley twist legs, but you don't see them- hidden by a very large cloth in soft red with gold threads and muted green plaid . The plates are a mix of my new(ish) Denby Imperials and a few blue-and-white Midwinter Roselle - the pattern my grandma had. I might have rolls on a Pomona White Currant to show off. Must have mixed rolls to soften the wine while we are waiting for the food (as we always do at DDs)

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  146. my perfect table would be a colour themed setting - black , purple, gold, with my vintage black and gold royal worcester crockery,fine crystal goblets, a candle chandelier with dripping gold candles, deep purple tablecloth with black and gold runner, sparkling black and gold table confetti , my finest eronomic cutlery and a single soft mauve rose at each setting - with chill out music playing in the background to set the mood!

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    Replies
    1. contact details missed above mysticwen3@aol.com thanks

      Delete
  147. Although nothing will quite compare to being the eldest grandchild allowed to stay up and dine at my grandparents' table - classic formal elegance (complete with the grandmother clock ticking in the background), I'm now fond of something a little more simple. Wooden table, place mats and tea lights (nothing strongly scented), with a big 'help yourself' dish in the centre. And linen napkins; you can't have stew without napkins.

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  148. my dinner table would be white and silver with a huge centrepiece of holly and candles , napkins in silver holders posh cutlery and plain white crockery nothing to distract from the amazing xmas dinner

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  149. Nothing better than a beautiful Christmas table and wonderful friends

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  150. A lovely dinner, that's really delicious, looks impressive, but is also easy to make. Nice china, vintage or white, lovely glasses, mismatched is best (I have broken that many!), and massive white napkins.

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  151. Just a great big table with loads of finger food on it and all my lovely family and friends all round, starting at lunch time going on until bed time - perfect day.

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  152. Just a great big table with loads of finger food on it and all my lovely family and friends all round, starting at lunch time going on until bed time - perfect day.

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  153. My perfect dinner table would be well dressed, with a country chic type feel. I'd go for huge candles for the centre of the table, scented with vanilla. I'd choose red wine glasses, napkins and place mats, to go with the pine table and white plates. I'd lay the food out on the table on some beautiful statement serving dishes for everyone to help themselves and feel right at home. Ensuring everyone's glasses are always full, i'd ensure everyone is catered for and having a perfect time. perfect dinner with a mixture of close friends and family!

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  154. My perfect dinner table would be a solid rustic oak table with mismatched seats and plenty of tealights (making sure no one set themselves on fire...) and low-level flowers down the centre. There would be a huge pork belly roast and plenty of potatoes roasted to pure crispyness and an array of delicious veg for everyone to just help themselves. Oh and lots of wine (obvs) with a pavlova for pudding, and then a ton of different cheeses and sloe gin for afters....
    Now hungry to eat exactly this for lunch.....!

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  155. I love it when our huge dining table that we bought in New Zealand is covered with a huge green table cloth, and surrounded by chairs seating our lovely friends and family - I love serving up a huge roast dinner and every spare cm of the table is covered with plates, serving dishes, jars of sauces/condiments, wine glasses, kids beakers, gravy boats - I am sitting here now imagining the laughter and clinking of wine glasses, and the smell of roast pork, and now I'm HUNGRY!!!

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  156. My ideal dinner table would be in a farmhouse kitchen, with family & friends. We would have mismatched china & glasses, candles, a bowl of fruit & all of our favourite foods. There would be a big jug of Pimms for the adults & a kid friendly version for the children. Our golden retriever would be lying under the table, sneaking bits of food off the gullible. Conversation would be funny & everyone would be happy & laughing :)

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  157. My ideal dinner table would be in a farmhouse kitchen, with family & friends. We would have mismatched china & glasses, candles, a bowl of fruit & all of our favourite foods. There would be a big jug of Pimms for the adults & a kid friendly version for the children. Our golden retriever would be lying under the table, sneaking bits of food off the gullible. Conversation would be funny & everyone would be happy & laughing :)

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  158. My perfect dinner table would be laid out with Royal Copenhagen crockery on a plain white tablecloth, and a huge fondue (or several smaller ones depending on the number of guests). A meal where the good red wine and conversation flows and everyone just gets stuck in and enjoys themselves!

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  159. My perfect dinner table would simply be laden with delicious food which has been cooked BY SOMEONE ELSE!!! I'm fed up of slaving over a hot stove for my husband and 6 kids - though it goes without saying that they would be sat around my perfect dinner table sharing the delights with me.
    The wine would be ALL MINE though ;)

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  160. Oooh I would love a big long chunky rustic table with long benches rather than chairs, and a roaring fire close-by. I'd fill the table with my friends and family, and there would be beer, wine and hot chocolate (probably with baileys) flowing - There would also be tea for my mum. Food would have to include meats and chutneys, and cheese and crackers, and maybe some roast potatoes and yorkshire puds. A real mash–up of winter comfort foods. Then for afters, a selection of hot puddings... crumbles and steams puds and tarts, all served with delicious vanilla heavy custard... :)

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  161. Roof terrace, deck chair, woodburner, bottles of Clicquot, friends and carol sing-a-longs.

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  162. it dosent even have to be a dining table just eating hotdogs with my family and friends round a coffee table and some drinks watching a good film

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  163. My perfect dinner table is the one in our little flat, we would have too many friends round to fit round it and so we would all be eating off our laps and on the floor. It would include our best friends as well as all our family members (The flat might have to be a bit like the tardis)
    We would be drinking lovely red and white wine and eating a delicious roast (as only my Dad can make) and having a relaxed yet fun time, with moments of silence and hysterical laughter that you can only have with friends and family.

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  164. My perfect dinner table is inspired by one of my favourite novels (so thanks Melanie Rawn), even though the original was created by the villain. (Bad guys have all the style, right?)

    A long table, draped in a pristine crisp white table cloth, with matching snowy porcelain (round plates please for this classic look), perfectly polished silver cutlery in classic 3 course formal setting.

    But on this blank canvas we need some splashes of colour, so green napkins with a soft, charcoal coloured, tie, and ribbons of the same colours trailing languidly across the table from the bases of the candlesticks (each holding a single white taper candle) Finally, hopefully, crystal glassware place to catch the light from those candles and cast rainbows across the whole scene.

    Of course, in the real world, a perfect table is just one with good company and tasty food... but that's much less dramatic to write about!
    @cymruangel

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  165. My perfect dining table is one that is laden with everyone's favourite meal, whatever that might be and has my family happily sat around it. That's it, nothing fancy, just food and happiness all round!

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  166. My table would be seating all of my girly friends, random jam jars of garden roses dotted down the centre with cocktails in ornate teapots, gorgeous silver ware and white linen napkins. There will be an eclectic choice of food (me and the girls are all huge foodies) Im talking- warm crusty bread, a big selection of meats, dips, quiches, an array of olives, sundried tomatos, savory goats cheese and sunblushed tomato muffins...and cake lots of cake! Add a sprinkling of raucous laughter and girly chit chat...there you have my perfect dinner table :)

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  167. My perfect dinner table would be surrounded by my best friends! Free flowing food, cocktails and giggles. Perfect.

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  168. My dinner table would be made perfect by having my 10 year old daughter, my husband, mum, sisters and my nan who passed away 11 years ago. It would be amazing for her to see how we are all doing and to meet my daughter who I know she would love. She would obviously have to cook the meal too as she was the most amazing cook, the meal would have to be pie mash and liquor followed by her famous rice pudding. The table would be simply dressed, so there would be enough space for all of the photographs we would want to show her.

    I would do anything for that meal.

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  169. My deal table would be a revolving procession of crockery, cutlery and glasses with an open-door policy. Where friends who are on their own at Yuletide can join whenever they like and be welcomed with open arms. The food will be hot, the choice of goodies would be varied and all would be invited so no one would ever have to spend the day alone if they don't want to.

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  170. A red and white check table cloth is thrown over a cardboard box... A white church candle sits between two people staring into each others eyes whilst enjoying spagetti and meatballs. Bella Notte plays from a mysterious source in the background....

    C'est parfait!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApsR4pDI5tk

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  171. As for my perfect dinner table - I don't think the setting matters so much compared to the people around it - so, so long as it's a big enough table with lots of comfy chairs; instead of my usual hotch potch of computer desk chair, camping chairs etc to accommodate everyone, I'd be pretty happy :).

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  172. My perfect dinner table would be of sun-bleached wood, under the shade of an olive tree overlooking the Mediterranean. There would be an antique white linen table runner up the middle of the table, and we would dine off vintage mis-matched china, with vintage silver cutlery and drink from sparkling mis matched crystal glasses. The meal would be relaxed and informal, with bowls of olives, bread, cold meats and cheeses to help yourself to, washed down with sparkling water for the children and a light, chilled Mediterranean rose for the grown ups. And the guests? My family of course, because for me the perfect dinner table is a summer one, al fresce en familia.

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  173. I may be old-fashioned, but I love all the pomp and circumstance that goes along with fine dining, and I love reproducing this on my formal dining table.
    Linen table cloth, with appropriate decoration dependent on the menu.
    The best cutlery from the canteen we were given for our wedding.
    The cream stone place mats, with matching coasters.
    Crystal glasses, one for red, one for white, one for water.
    The statement piece in the centre (usually a candlestick of some sort).
    Napkins matching the table cloth, rolled in a napkin ring.
    All in the setting of a warm, inviting dining room.
    Meals take a day or so to prepare (that's half the fun!), and laying an appropriate table only reflects the effort that has gone into the food. Then guests can relax, and enjoy a lush meal in lovely surroundings. Understated, luxurious elegance - perfect!

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  174. While part of me wants to go for the enormous table surrounded by my closest friends and family, I'm actually going to have to say that my perfect dinner table would be an intimate setting for two. My husband was on a business trip in Aman for our anniversary in September and we were so busy moving back to the UK afterwards that we never got round to celebrating it! So, my perfect dinner table would be a small round table with two chairs facing each other. An ice bucket with a bottle of champagne on the side and the champagne flutes we were given on our wedding day to toast with. The table would be lit with the glow of a candle and the tableware would be colourful and bright because we love a bit of colour in our lives! As for the food, I'd serve up beef wellington - the main course on our wedding day - and homemade margarita ice cream as it's a favourite of mine!

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  175. My table is traditonal, warm wood, mismatched crockery collected over the years or rescued from my nans cupboard purge. For the food, something really simple but filling, my influences come from all over so it would be gazpacho to start, frozen homemade with the last of the summer tomotoes from the greenhouse. Then my Hotpot (every true Lancashire lass should be able to make one) with red cabbage on the side. Then to finish steamed chocolate pudding with a rich chocolate sauce, and a mini trifle for my Mum who can't eat chocolate.

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  176. Give me a table surrounded by laughter, friendship, silliness, chatter, discussion, food for thought and calls to action topped off with love. The food could be home grown, home cooked, locally sourced or a whopping great takeaway but when loving friends, family get together it doesn’t matter Whether it’s our old camping table in a field with my 70s floral teacloth covering, my ikea dining room table with our traditional Christmas Eve BBQ buffet on it or the dream of a beautifully laid and crafted oak table with eclectic crockery and handmade linens I don’t care, I want the love and laughter of my mates around it. Oh, and cheese. Friends and Wensleydale gets my perfect table vote.

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  177. I love to collect interesting and unique crockery and am constantly rummaging through charity shops to find unusual pieces. Then when I have a dinner party, whether it's for two or twenty, I bring everything out and arrange the food to look as pretty and appetising as possible. One of my friends gave me a great compliment - she said I have the knack of making the simplest food feel like a feast.

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  178. Perfect dinner table would be a simple big pine kitchen table in a big country kitchen surrounded by friends and family. Simple decoration and flowers! With lots of 'self serve' dishes down the middle and lots of bottles of nice wine! As long as there are friends, family, food and good wine I am happy!

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  179. I'd love a table that was larger than mine and all perfectly laid out with crisp napkins perfectly matching the colour accent table runner and candle light glistening off perfectly polished crystal glasses and designer cutlery, a big dish full of something unctuous and tasty in the centre ready for everyone to tuck in while having a good old natter and a catch up - but in reality, with 2 under 6's at the table, I generally just hope that not too much gets spilt and everyone actually eats at least something! :)

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  180. My perfect dinner table needs to be some sort of physics-defying miracle really. Small enough to be cosy, big enough for a feast. Small enough to allow intimate coversation, big enough for drunken gesturing once the wine is flowing! My perfect table this Christmas would be one where my brother is - he's gallavanting across the Atlantic at the moment and this year won't be the same without him!

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  181. Claire (@lovelyclaire)20 November 2012 at 12:32

    My "table" would be my knee, topped with a paper parcel of hot fish and chips, smothered in salt and vinegar and eaten with fingers! Best enjoyed on a sunny but cold day (wrapped up in a big scarf and warmed by the chip-filled wrapper perched on my thighs) with my boyfriend, a bottle of beer and a view of the sea where the fish was caught. Ace!

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  182. One made out of cheese and biscuit that you can devour afterwards!

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  183. Perfect Dinner Table

    Ingredients:
    4 best friends
    1 white tablecloth
    1 set of white china & vintage cutlery
    Endless pizza, homemade and cooked on a stone
    Free pour red wine
    Music – spotify radio, start with Buena Vista Social Club and enjoy..
    Candles, candles and more candles.

    Method:
    1. Prepare food ahead of guest’s arrival
    2. Set table, light candles
    3. Pour ahead, one glass of wine for the hostess
    4. Hostess – put your hair up, lipstick and heels on

    Serve:
    With confidence and a smile.

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  184. My perfect dinner table would be a picnic blanket laid out in the evening summer sun with lots of nice fresh bread, cheese, fruit, dips and copious amounts of red wine. Oh, when will this winter end!?

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  185. my perfect dinner table could be anywhere or anything at all, as long as it had those i love around it to share with me, no phones, tv or distractions, just quality time and quality food! x

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  186. My ideal dinner table would actually be less dinner and more a glorified afternoon tea! The most important part wouldn't be the table decor (although I will get on to that in a moment) but my five best friends from university as we only get to see each other en masse about once every couple of years as we are spread across the country from Birmingham to Glasgow and co-ordinating six diaries is a mission that is best left to someone with the organisational skills of Miss Moneypenny.
    I would have dinner around a rectangular coffee table with sofas on each long side and a comfy chair at each end, reminiscent of our uni days where the friendship was cemented in a local coffee shop over endless cups of tea. The table itself would be rustic and wooden, nothing fancy or even particularly elegant. Most of them at our favourite haunt wobbled due to a slightly uneven flooring but I think we can skip that!!
    As for table decor, it would be very simple. Some tea lights and maybe flowers in low bowls but nothing extravagnt. Small plates of tapas style food spread along the table so we can nibble as much as we like but nothing that requires masses of concentration as the dream dinner party is less about the setting and more about the people you're with. Dessert might be a tad more formal but in my dream, there is an endless supply of every pudding you could ever wish for.
    Basically, my dream dinner party setting involves the people I consider among my closest friends, being able to catch up in comfort, not worrying about standing on ceremony or being afraid to relax for fear you might spill something and stain the tablecoth. It's not even really about the food. The best dinner parties, and certainly my dream dinner party, is all about the conversation and connecting with people.
    And cake. There must always be cake!!

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  187. 4/5 of my besties, a dinner I've made (because I love feeding people) and some wine brought by someone else (so I know it'll be good). The food will be communal (think Nigella style with platters of meat and veg to pass around), and nothing will match. Lots of chatter.

    Then after dinner we clear the table and play scrabble!

    x

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  188. Anonymous20 November 2012 12:31

    I love to collect interesting and unique crockery and am constantly rummaging through charity shops to find unusual pieces. Then when I have a dinner party, whether it's for two or twenty, I bring everything out and arrange the food to look as pretty and appetising as possible. One of my friends gave me a great compliment - she said I have the knack of making the simplest food feel like a feast.
    (I posted as anonymous because I couldn't figure out how to make a profile, but my email address is janice.brett@btopenworld.com.)

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  189. I love to create an experience when entertaining or throwing a party. From the table decoration down to the music I like to theme everything so it all ties in together. I can't relax until I know that my guests have a drink and are happy and relaxed themselves. I work alone in the kitchen whilst my husband flits about generally being annoying and checking the potatoes aren't burning (it happened once!). I love it when you all talk together but when you also branch off into little chats with the person sitting next to or opposite you.

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  190. A big, rustic Italian table with friends crowded round on benches and lots of laughter and chatter. There would be big plates of antipasti, bowls of pasta, olives, homemade bread and cheeses with gallons of red wine flowing into the wee hours. Add some sunshine and it would be the perfect table.

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  191. my perfect dinner table would be, very co-ordinated with my christmas theme down to the last glass mtching table cloth, mathing table runner, themed plates glasses cutlery, chair covers and table decoration, i love love love going over the top after all, christmas has to be special, its only one day a year, but the most important of all the food, giant turkey with secret recipe glaze the childrens favourite mape roast parsnips, home made apple sauce cranberry sauce and stuffing with creamy mask, pig's in blackets for the other half, followed by death by chocolate christams cake, salavating at the thought ummmmm yummy x

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  192. My ideal dinner table isn't a table at all but a picnic blanket under the shade of the tree on the edge of a field where kids can play and with lots of friends and lots of organised chaos on the food front (though lots of cheeses and fresh fruit are a must in the mix!)

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  193. The roof of our narrowboat is the best dinner table on a warm summers evening. A checked tablecloth spread out and cushions to sit on, friends sit/laying drinking red wine out of clay cups. Crusty bread, butter, cheeses - everyone brings an edible offering resulting in a mishmash supper of different courses, all infused with love. Cutlery sacrificed (unavoidably) to the Regent's Canal... Beautiful memories :)

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  194. My Big Bro lives in Australia.. my perfect table is one where he's back here with us. And when that's not always possible (which is most of the time), we set up Skype, and he has dinner with us, while we have lunch. A virtual digital table of family eating together.

    Also, we should start with dessert.

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  195. My ideal dinner table would be introducing some of my closest friends to my Mum's Iraqi cooking. Evening falls, the table is extended and lit simply with candles in jars (without which, I will play with the wax). We'd eat dolmada (stuffed vine leaves and other stuffed vegetables) and kubbeh (little rice and meat parcels stuffed with...more meat). It's special without being too dainty, filling and hearty. No-one leaves the table for hours, drinking, nibbling Ferrero Rocher (ambassador fare) and generally enjoying time.

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  196. This is probably really lazy but my table would be set with good quality but disposable plates and cutlery so tidy up would be minimal! However the cloth would be new white and the table covered in flowers and candles and the atmosphere relaxed along with a huge cooked ham with lots of fresh bread to tear and home made chutneys to feast on and as many people as I could cram round the table!!

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  197. First of all I would like a table that isn't covered in my kids 'CREATIVITY' Then I'd like to see my husband actually have a good reason to sit at said table instead of WORKING and commuting all the hours of the day. Anything after that would be LOVELY. Anything beyond that would be a DREAM come true. Would love to treat them all to a POSH meal handcooked from one of my many dust covered cookbooks. Eating with matching cutlery and plates. Something I have wanted for the longest time. AMANDA LANG x

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  198. My perfect dinner table would be under a wisterian covered loggia. It would be a very large rustic table covered in a vintage tablecloth. It would be covered in bowls of salad, plates of meats and cheeses and bottles of wine and fresh fruit juices. With barely room for cutlery we would sit, eat, talk and laugh and then when we were almost full we would eat our dessert relaxing on cushion and lounger away from the table. Wadya think?

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  199. My perfect table would be pretty similar to the one I had at my birthday brunch last weekend. Wild flowers in a fish vase (http://homedesignlover.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/10-fish-vase.jpg) which makes me laugh just to look at; jugs of insanely spicy Bloody Mary; all my mis-matched crockery because I woke up with a hangover and realised there were 25 people coming and nowhere near enough matching plates; banana muffins in (homemade!) parchment cases piled high on a wooden chopping board; a couple of beautiful blue and white serving dishes from Utility in Brighton; a winter fruit salad in a cut glass trifle dish, jewelled with pomegranate seeds; steaming teapots and cafetieres with milk in a measuring jug (told you I was hungover); all the people I love the most, seated on sofas and benches and perched on windowseats; cheesy scones.

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