We've curated some of our favorite fine dishes and table linens — from classic and elegant to modern and rustic — that you can pull out for special occasions. There's a time and place for the good stuff, whether it's a winter holiday or a random weekend when you entertain guests and want to make it special. That time is coming.
Some of these ideas are (sorta) practical. When you're hosting a nice dinner, you often need a cake stand, a gravy boat, serving platters, and coffee accompaniments. Or this might be the time to take out the fine china or holiday-themed tablecloth. Dishes and linens reserved for rare events make everything feel more festive.
SERVING BOWLS AND PLATTERS
Geometric Serving Bowl | Buy Now
We've yet to lay eyes on a cooler bowl. Kelly Lamb, a Los Angeles-based ceramicist, hits it out of the park with this one. Lamb's creation is stunning for salad or as a standout fruit bowl on your table (so you can ogle over it all the time). Buy it here.
Porcelain Swoop Bowl | Buy Now
Simple and stylish, the white swoop bowl is a versatile staple that's down-to-earth and modern — not a common combination. This bowl is available in two sizes. Buy it here.
Gold Lipped Platter | Buy Now
This Up In the Air Somewhere ceramic gold-lipped platter, 11-inch inches in diameter, will class up your table. Even pancakes on this gorgeous platter will seem fancy. Buy it here.
Pearl Stoneware Serve Platter | Buy Now
Featuring a raised-dot border and gently distressed edges, Pearl dinnerware can add a touch of vintage-inspired elegance to your special occasion. To make this pretty collection even more practical, this line has been upgraded to durable, chip-resistant stoneware that’s dishwasher and microwave safe. Buy it here.
Deshoulières Arcade Gris Dinnerware Collection | Buy Now
These plates are the epitome of elegance. They look almost Art Deco. Inspired by Florentine architecture, colonnades of dove-gray glaze and hand-decorated fillets of gold ring this dinnerware with exquisite detail. Master artisans handcraft the collection at the French workshops of Deshoulières, makers of fine dinnerware since 1826. The plates are made of high-fired Limoges porcelain and are dishwasher safe. Buy it here.
Fortessa Taura Platinum Bone China Plate | Buy Now
Versatile and timeless, this bone china is a translucent white that complements a wide variety of décor styles. The luminous silver border adds a polished touch. This dinnerware is resistant to chipping and staining, and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. It's available in two sizes. Buy it here.
Gold Fluted Chargers | Buy Now
Set the stage for an impressive meal with these stylish accents for entertaining. The lacquer chargers with a gleaming gold finish are popular for a range of party themes, from anniversaries to New Year's Eve. They're also generously sized and easy to clean. Buy it here.
Rattan Chargers | Buy Now
Have a taste for tropical texture at the table? Present your dinnerware set against the natural background of handcrafted, plantation-style, woven rattan chargers. It comes in a set of four. Buy it here.
Gold Two-Tiered Stand | Buy Now
This festive and functional stand has a metallic finish and lattice design. Featuring mirrors and elegant metalwork around each tier, it's a gorgeous table accessory for displaying your holiday desserts. Buy it here.
Slate Cake Stand | Buy Now
This rustic slate cake stand with a wood post is a unique way to display your homemade creations. The natural variations in the materials means no two stands are exactly alike. Buy it here.
Ivory Amelie Cake Stand | Buy Now
Put your best baked goods on display with a cute cake stand. With a subtle retro vibe, this simple and stylish pedestal is for setting out cakes, pastries, pies, or whatever. It's available in three sizes. (It's not three-tiered.) Buy it here.
CREAM AND SUGAR
Villeroy & Boch New Wave Lidded Sugar Dish & Creamer Set | Buy Now
The aptly named New Wave line of dinnerware made of bone porcelain includes this three-piece sugar dish and creamer set. After dinner, when you're craving a coffee, bring a modern accent to your table with this set's smooth, undulating lines. The set includes a 8.75-ounce lidded sugar dish and a 6.75-ounce creamer. It's dishwasher safe. Buy it here.
Kate Spade New York Jemma Street Creamer | Buy Now
This 12-ounce bone china creamer features a stand-out pop of red, burnished with gold dots. The design is sophisticated yet festive, and perfect for special occasions. It's dishwasher safe but not microwave safe. Made in the U.S. Buy it here.
Kate Spade New York Jemma Street Sugar Bowl with Lid | Buy Now
This 3.8-inch bone china sugar bowl is part of the same Jemma Street collection, completing the pair for your after-dinner coffee service. Buy it here.
Waterford Serveware, Lismore Sugar & Creamer | Buy Now
Inspired by the Lismore Castle in Ireland, the pattern is crafted in thick, premium-quality-cut clear crystal. With sparkling sophistication, this sugar bowl and creamer is for entertaining at your finest tea (and coffee) times. The sugar bowl is 4 inches and creamer 4.5. Buy it here.
Porcelain Gravy Boat with Saucier | Buy Now
When you're entertaining, you're often creating meals that require gravy or sauces. You'll need a classic gravy boat. This modern, not-too-flashy one, however, is better than others because it comes with an oval saucier to catch stray drips and keep the table clean. Buy it here.
Rounded Brass Servers | Buy Now
Use these beauties to serve your salads or any dish while you have company over for dinner. The two brass servers with rounded handles are sleek and classic, yet modern. You get a set of two serving spoons. Buy it here.
TABLE RUNNERS AND CLOTH
Red and White Diamond Table Runner | Buy Now
Woven of 100-percent cotton, this runner brightens your table with a classic red and white diamond design with green trim and chunky tassels. Buy it here.
Linen Table Runner | Buy Now
The 108-inch-by-16-inch linen runners are an elegantly simple way to dress up any table for your next holiday feast. Stylish and functional, each runner is pre-shrunk and enzyme washed for a relaxed drape and a texture that becomes softer with each washing. The colors come in chocolate, cranberry, ivory, pumpkin, honey, fuchsia, and wheat (pictured). Buy it here.
Blue Diamond Mendong Fiber Table Runner | Buy Now
Woven in Indonesia of mendong fiber and printed with a geometric diamond design in indigo blue, this table runner adds a fresh, natural look to your table. Use it for Hanukkah or for any special occasion. Or really, a Tuesday. Buy it here.
Snowflake Jacquard Tablecloth | Buy Now
Tasteful yet seasonal, this tablecloth captures nature's remarkable patterns in a still-life moment. Jacquard woven by a venerable Russian mill, the luxuriously soft linen-cotton fabric is framed with a finely tailored hem. Naturally weighty and subtly lustrous, the fabric will become even richer with time and use. It's made of 48-percent linen and 52-percent cotton and finished with mitered corners. Machine-wash. Buy it here.
Embroidered Paisley Napkins | Buy Now
Elevate any occasion with these pretty cotton napkins. Machine washable for easy cleaning, they’re a stylish addition to any table. The set includes four napkins. Buy it here.
Nutcracker Embroidered Napkins | Buy Now
Just cute and Christmassy enough without being tacky, the soft, 100-percent cotton napkins are embroidered with richly colored nutcracker designs on an elegant ivory background. The napkins are bundled and tied for easy gifting and traditionally festive, iconic appeal. Buy it here.
Stitched Edge Napkins | Buy Now
Cloth napkins are an elegant way to dress the table for your next holiday dinner. This set of four napkins features a rustic, yet pretty scalloped stitched edge and is machine-washable for easy cleaning. It's available in cranberry, natural, and persimmon. Buy it here.
— Header Image: Pippa Jameson Interiors
Amy Sowder is a NYC-based food and fitness writer as well as the assistant editor for Chowhound. She loves cheesy things, especially toasties and puns. She's trying to like mushrooms. Her running habit is the excuse for her never-ending ice cream pursuits. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and her blog, What Do I Eat Now. Learn more at AmySowder.com.