- Posted February 6, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Who taught you to love food?
Romantic Napkin Folding
How can you tell that some romantic goings on have gotten onto a napkin? If you’re not a restaurateur, kiss marks with red lipstick would be a logical thought. However if you happen to operate a dining establishment, that would result in major complaints of poor sanitation and not washing table linens well.
With romantic napkin folding, techniques shaping them into hearts and flowers are popular though somewhat common and expected. Red as a color scheme is also not unusual especially for Valentine’s Day.
Even for a casual dining restaurant which does not use cloth napkins in its daily operations, red paper napkins are bought and used together with bud vases and roses which has the tendency to be quite tacky.
This is is done though to market the casual eatery as an option for a date place and capitalise on the 14th of February drastic surge of business when dating and married couples go out to splurge on a Valentine date.
Modern, one-of-a-kind restaurants with more progressive chefs and owners which do not want to be compared with the rest will go to great lengths to differentiate themselves from others. Forward thinking entrepreneurs consider competition so great that every opportunity to be new, current and different makes for a market advantage. For romantic dinners, some would serve up molecular gastronomic creations which make one think of chemistry experiments than a meal.
Serving one-of-a-kind creations during a dinner date makes for a memorable meal and is also an opportunity to shape napkins into unique shapes such as a cradle for a test tube containing an enticing cocktail or a nest housing a bowl of aphrodisiac soup. For more mainstream restaurants who want to be unique with their romantic concept, they can use a different color scheme accentuated with crystals, metallic or ceramic pieces. Silver and midnight blue was a popular combination during the 2000 millennium celebrations.
Nowadays, any color combination if properly executed can evoke romance – off white and beige, pink and magenta or even black and white.
The table linen, centrepieces, china, flatware, glassware and other secondary elements to a meal should go together and not appear like a hodgepodge of dining implements put together without cohesion.
There is something to be said for “shabby chic”, a concept popularized by British-born author, designer and entrepreneur Rachel Ashwell whose successful business empire capitalized on the charm and beauty of imperfections combined with comfort and simplicity.
There are some extra efforts to be undertaken to successfully translate this concept into a romantic table setting and not look cheap. Using dainty vintage cotton or linen napkins (as long as they’re intact and not falling apart) rather than store bought polyester blends may in itself already evoke some element of class and romance especially if the theme is carried throughout the china, glassware and of course the food served.