In my Fab Friday Finds this week I talked a little about using a charger for setting your Thanksgiving table and gave some inexpensive options for such a great addition to your tablescape. A charger is a large, decorative plate that you lay under other dinnerware. It is larger than the dinnerware itself and not actually meant to be eaten off of and used strictly for decorative purposes. Chargers are used in formal occasions such as weddings and upscale parties. Sometimes you see them in restaurants and I like to use them during the holidays. Also known as service plates, under plates, or chop plates, charger plates are merely decorative and have been in use since the 19th century.
Charger plates provide an elegant way to serve multiple course meals. Each course is served in its own separate bowl or plate and placed on top of the charger with each change. The dinner starts with the soup or salad and the chargers are typically removed before dessert. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors, materials and textures. I have seen them in so many materials like wood slabs and marble. They don’t have to be round or any specific size but are larger than the dinnerware itself. They can be casual and simple or they can be very intricately designed.
I love to use them on special occasions and have a set of silver and a set of gold. I cook and we eat dinner together almost every night so I don’t use the chargers then. When the chargers come out the family knows that a holiday is near. I like to set the table in a special way even if it is just for our immediate family and not a huge gathering. It separates the holiday dinner from all of the other dinners. We dress up and attend dinner just as if it were a big party.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a huge budget when it comes to decorating a table for a special dinner. You can usually get four for less than $10 like this champagne colored one below. You can find chargers in Michaels, Kohl’s and Pier1, as well as Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel and others at a variety of costs. Click on this below to find! Happy table setting!