The delight of a wonderful meal in the comfort of one's home is not simply dependent on the flavours of the food and the conversation with our guests. Although most of us are likely unaware of the importance of our surroundings to enhance the experience, we add to the enjoyment of the evening by paying careful attention to the planning of the tabletop - including flowers, dishes, linen and, of course, the cutlery.
Although we initially have a visual connection with the service, our visual response is replaced with a tactile reaction when we lift the knife and fork and feel the smoothness or texture of the handle, sensing the weight of the piece in our hand. Before we have a chance to taste the food, we have already developed an expectation of what is to follow, based on our interaction with the individual utensils.
With my personal style leaning towards a modern aesthetic, one of my favourite producers of tableware is Robbe and Berking, a German company that has been producing silver and stainless steel flatware since 1874. It has introduced two wonderfully simplistic and modern patterns, Riva, in 925 sterling silver, and Topos, a Bauhaus-inspired design, in stainless steel.
Beautifully formed and meticulously finished, each pattern is perfectly shaped and weighted to fit comfortably in one's hand. Both are available as open-stock items, in place settings of four or five pieces, plus an extensive array of complementary pieces.
Robbe and Berking silverware, TableArt, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai; 04 341 3663