Eating out in high class restaurants can be an excellent experience but they can also break the bank if you are taking all of your family, but here at BigHomeShop we have a few tips for you to bring that fine dining experience in to your home.
The first thing you will often notice upon entering a fine dining establishment is the atmosphere that they have created. The simplest way to begin creating a sense of atmosphere in your dining room is with clever lighting. A mixture of natural light and created light is optimal, at breakfast time a lot of bright light is essential, so that you can wake up ready for the day ahead and enough light to be able to sit and read your morning papers while enjoying your breakfast and a coffee. A moderate level of light is required at lunchtime but in this article we are going to be talking predominantly about your evening meal. In the evening a low intensity light is best as this creates a relaxing, intimate and leisurely atmosphere. This can be achieved by using several different sources of low intensity light, such as corner lamps, up-lighters and candles in combination with any natural light that is still coming in from outside.
If the lighting is too bright, after a long day at work, maybe looking at a computer screen all day, the eyes become tired as makes for a restless evening, but also bright light can play games with your food and will make meat look a hint of grey and vegetables can look almost blue.
Another trick restaurants use is to make sure that every diner is looking at something interesting, so you may want to consider moving some furniture or pictures to allow this. Then come the table and chairs, chairs should be comfortable but generally while eating you shouldn't be lounging, you should be sat up straight, this will create a more positive atmosphere and will also aid digestion. Music is one subject that is hotly disputed by many restaurant goers, but what is clear is that the music (if any) should be slightly mellow and the type of music that can fade in to the background during conversation, nothing too heavy or with a strong beat.
The tables in any fine dining restaurant will always be laid before you sit at it, and this should be done at home too, white linen cloths and napkins make for a smarter dining experience and white table cloths and napkins can be picked up from most furniture shops and don't need to cost a fortune. The cutlery and glasses should be laid out on the table, if you are having more than one course you can lay all the cutlery out before your meal, and if having wine with your meal you should always have a water glass too. If there are only 2 people eating, don't sit at opposite ends of the table, arrange your seating so that you are closer together or next to each other at a corner for a more intimate meal. You also need to be careful about having large plants or candles in the middle of the table, while they create a nice talking point, they can act to obstruct your view of the person you are sharing a meal with, and hinder conversation.
Now down to the main part... your food! Remember that often more is less, giving someone a smaller portion will make them feel more comfortable and won't over face them, and if they want more of that delicious food you have been preparing all evening, you can always have a second helping! Fine dining restaurants tend to serve their food on square oversized plates, but don't forget to warm your plates in the oven for your main course and to cool the plates in the fridge for serving a cold desert.
Now that you are ready to recreate that intimate fine dining experience at home, now all you need to do is to find someone to eat with, and pop down to the shops for some good quality ingredients, Bon Appetit!