Browsing Tag

mingling plate


Outstanding Mingling Plates: Puzzleboard by Oooms and Out of Work

puzzleboard by oooms let you mingle, drink and eat tapas with one free hand

puzzleboard by oooms let you mingle, drink and eat tapas with one free hand

You know my fascination with mingling plates. I am always on the lookout for more. I spotted the Puzzleboard by Oooms earlier. It was always depicted as a service tray or an interlocked cutting board. I thought it was a fun design. Now, I think that the Puzzleboard is brilliant! I discovered that each jigsaw puzzle piece  is also a mingling plate. The multi-purpose characteristic makes it a good buy. Oooms ships worldwide for a flat fee of  7.50 euro per order.

Most mingling plates are built to support a wine glass. I mentioned before the Social plates, which fit different glass types and a soda can. But the bare essential look of the Social Plates is not suitable for a hip cocktail party.

What if you prefer a glass of beer

out of work :: outside of work mingling plate for beer drinkers

I discovered on Design-Milk two Spanish designers who found a stylish solution for a beer and tapas night. Giovanna de Ávila and Joan Sunyol collaborated to create  Out of Work (also named Outside of work), a mingling plate that comes with a handmade blown glass beer glass. O.O.W.’s hand made ceramic plate is stackable.

O.O.W. was exhibited for the first time at Designboom’s Mart 2010 at Stockholm’s Furniture Fair. As far as I know, it is not available in stores, at least for the moment. I suggest that you contact Giovanna de Ávila, if you are interested by these artisan mingling plates.

+ Puzzleboard by Oooms 19.50 euro / $27.15 USD
+ Out of Work on Giovanna de Ávila‘s Web site
+ O.O.W. photos: News about Giovanna de Ávilas


Sebastian Conran’s Festa Collection Cheers Up Outdoor Entertaining

festa party dish designed by sebastian conran for guzzini

Festa caught my eyes with its sunny summer tones and a comprehensive line. At last, a melamine collection that proposes a mingle plate. Party Dish is practical and beautiful. It is well-thought with a whole to hold solidly the plate, a wine holder and a recessed plate to make sure nothing falls when you walk and socialize.

guzzini festa collection by sebastian conran

Eight elements compose Festa. It includes a dining plate, a fruit/dessert plate, a sectional barbecue plate, a social plate (party dish), serving bowls, cups/soup bowls and utensils. Festa is white inside to highlight food. The exterior is available in 4 colors: yellow, orange, red and green.

Sebastian Conran is the son of Sir Terence Conran and the brother of Sophie Conran, the baker and designer of tableware for Portmeirion that I owned.

+ Festa Collection by Guzzini $9.99 – $19.99 CAD at Cuisine Gourmet


Bio Aperitif Set Brings Green to The Cocktail Party | Eco-Friendly Tuesday

disposable tableware by pandora design

Over the years, I introduced pretty cool social plates. Mingle plates are a must for the stylish hostess. They make you look resourceful. My latest mingle plate discovery comes with everything you need to sip and taste hors d’oeuvres and canapes.

This is the brainchild of Pandora Design, a Milan-based company known for their amazing disposable tableware. Pandora used to be a cater company but they saw a market in modern design disposable dinnerware. Pandora Design went green with their latest project for YOOXYGEN. YOOXYGEN is an eco-friendly initiative of YOOX just launched to celebrate Earth Day (April 22, 2009).

bio aperitif setting by pandora design for yooxygen

Bio Aperitif is the ultimate disposable tableware alternative for an eco-chic cocktail party. The handmade set shows imperfections. This is the new trend to infuse an authentic look. More importantly, it is more ecological since you do not throw away lots of rejects.

Bio Aperitif is made from Mater-Bi, a 100% biodegradable corn compound. Some components of the Bio Aperitif set were adapted from the existing product range of Pandora design. The only drawback is that is it not cheap; I assume they are for single usage.  A set for 4 guests costs $38 USD. Each set contains:

  • 4 Sunglass glasses
  • 4 Tapas plates
  • 4 2Spin toothpicks and
  • 4 Moscardino sporks.

The design is sure to make a lasting impression on your guests.

+ Bio Aperitif Set by YOOXYGEN $38 USD for 16 pieces
+ Pandora Design
+ Via MoCo Loco

ENTERTAINING KIDS party PARTY ideas + decor

My 2008 Posts in Review: September

I selected those because they bring something different.

chinese birthday party theme :: wine glass clips for cocktail party :: decorating with gray

+ I featured a real-life party with this impressive Chinese theme birthday party for a 8-year old girl. I like the idea of educating kids on another cultures while entertaining them. This unique party was put together by the mother with her daughter.

+ I am a fan of mingling plates. I showed you many models since I started writing this blog. I went to a party before Christmas where my friend had these clips. I think they are the best option since they fit on your salad plates. But there are more, I presented you 7 Plates Designed to Mingle at Cocktails Parties. Note that the Wine and Dine Oblong Appetizer Trays have slightly changed.

+ With photos from my favorite home décor magazine, UK-based Living etc I talked about Decorating with Gray.

A Blog is Born

The attention given to my post on Women Market Statistics on the Web last September led me to start a new blog on Women, Social Media and Technology called On the Web with Kim Vallee. I quietly started the blog in December, a week before Christmas.

If you are thinking about migrating to WordPress, I started a series about why and how to migrate to WordPress. I already published my Must-Have List Before Your Start Your Blog on WordPress. Next, I will write a guide if you are migrating from Blogger.


Seven Plates Designed to Mingle at Cocktails Parties

wine glass plate clip :: wine buffet plate :: wooden wine serving trays :: d\'glas mingle plate :: wine and dine

If you host often cocktail parties, your guests will thank you if you get plates designed to simultaneously hold food and cradle a wine glass. Something called mingle plates (or mingling plates), they are certainly the best invention for cocktail parties.

I presented you several models in the past. It seems reasonable to see if there were more options on the market.

My New Finds

The Wine Glass Plate Clip is probably more versatile because it works with our own china. These wine glass holders are made of brushed stainless steel with rubber inner surfaces to grip plates without scratching.

The clear plastic 8-inch square Wine Buffet Plate comes with a built-in stemmed glass holder. They are dishwasher safe when put on the top rack. They also sell for less the Wine ‘n Dine that I found in the past at Wrapables.

I found three wood tray models. The two rectangular models are quite similar except that one is made of cherry and the other of maple.

My Past Favorites

I presented it before but I still like the Wine ‘n Dine set. The assorted color touches let your guests quickly identify their plates and their wine glasses. This clear acrylic set is dishwasher safe.

The d’glas Mingle Plate works with wine glasses and non-stem glassware. It is more versatile this way. It is really done for tapas.

+ Stainless Steel Wine Glass Plate Clips – price: $19.99 for 6 clips
+ Clear Plastic Wine Buffet Plates – price: $36 for 18 plates
+ Wine and Dine Oblong Appetizer Trays – price: $25 for 4 plates
+ J.K. Adams WD-RECT Wine and Dine Cherry Wood Appetizer Plate – price: $30 for 4
+ Wine ‘n Dine plates with wine glasses – price: Sale $18.75 for 6
+ d’glas mingle plates – price: $23.90 for 6
+ Wine and Dine at Crate and Barrel – price: $8.95
+ on AHWKV: Wooden and Porcelain Wine and Dine plates


Stylish and Unique Tableware for Entertaining

appetizer wood plates and trays :: plint gourmet :: bamboo mingle plates ::

From a plantation-grown acacia wood appetizer set to a gourmet set that emerged from a Scandinavian egg holder, you get a diversity of styles in serving ware.

These plates, bowls and platters create an instant atmosphere. Serving ware are your best helpers for easy stylish entertaining.

Plint and Plint Gourmet

Designed by Bent Krebs for Skagerak Denmark, Plint is a range of multi-purpose square pots while Plint Gourmet hosts one or two round bowls in a wood stand. I would like to get Plint even if it is only to recycle the way fresh vegetables are served with Plint.

Bamboo Mingle Plates

What I like the most about the bamboo Wine & Hors d’oeuvres round trays is the edge which keep the food inside even when you mingle around the room.

Tonfisk MAKU collection

MAKU by Tonfisk is a range of wooden serving plates and ceramic dishes available in three sizes. The modular design means that you can mix the arrangement of the ceramic dishes. Save space on your cupboards and on the buffet table by stacking the unused dishes. I introduced Tonfisk earlier. They are the maker of the Newton sugar and milk set.

+ Acacia Platter/Appetizer Plate at Crate and Barrel – price: $4.95 – $14.95 USD
+ Skagerak of Denmark Plint Gourmet Set at nestliving– price: $29 USD small, $39 large
+ Skagerak of Denmark Plint 3 container set at nestliving – price: $69 USD
+ Wine & Hors D’oeuvres Trays at Viva Terra – price: $85 USD for a set of 4
+ Tonfisk MAKU Serving Gift Set at nestliving – price: $109 USD medium set, $189 larget set


Autumn 2008 Entertaining Products from Fred

fingerfood :: peace of cake :: toothpick :: gin and titonic by fred autumn 2008

We can always find unexpected creative products from the design team at Fred. This time, they outshine themselves with their latest collection.

My favorite new products from the Autumn 2008 collection are:

FINGERFOOD is an imaginative concept. The charming little plates with rings fit right on your finger to let you carry around hors d’oeuvres.

Fred is contributing a portion of the proceeds from the PEACE of CAKE mould to organizations dedicated to peaceful resolution of conflict, justice for all, and respect for human rights.

This little truck made from satiny porcelain rolls on real rubber wheels. I love the slogan for TOOTHPICKUP: it’s where to park your picks.

Your martini will never look the same with a GIN & TITONIC ice sculpture inside your glass. You can create 4 ocean liners and 4 icebergs each time from this silicone ice cube maker.

At this point, no clues on price. But we all know that Fred’s products are a very affordable indulgence.

>>> Sourcing:
Learn more: News products from Fred


A social plate fitted for wine stemware, soda cans and glasses

social plates for stemware, soda, coffee, beer glass

I shown you several mingle plates in the past. The one by Superior Devices is quite different than the others for two reasons.

Not just for Wine stemware

First, the plate is not just designed to hold wine glasses. If children are invited, if you are hosting a breakfast event at a seminar for examples, you will probably serve something else than wine.

Due to its unique form – a patent is pending – the plate can be used for all types of drinks. You can deposit your soda can or a usual plastic beer glass on a dedicated compartment. As suggested on a TV show by HGTV, your coffee cup can sit on your plate while you are mingling.

I do not recommend that you walk with a soda can or a non-stemmed glass on the plate. This feature is for when you are socializing.

The plate works best with tapas, snack foods and hors d’oeuvres. The food neatly fit into four compartments. A stemware glass slides into the central opening. A side opening enables you to hold the plate securely.

Recyclable disposable party dinnerware

I received some samples from Social Plates. Their sturdy construction can withstand in my view one or two of hand washes. If you only serve snacks and finger foods, you can probably extend the life of most of them. When you are finished with it, the plate can go in the recycle bin.

From a visual standpoint, the plate by Social Plate is only pleasing especially when you compare it to other non paper disposable dinnerware. Basically, they look like polystyrene plates.

If you are looking for a casual looking disposable plate for a family event like a birthday, a baby shower or a children’s Christmas party, these are a recyclable option. They are sold in pack of 12 ($12.95 USD) and in pack of 60 plates ($49.95) at Ace Mart, a restaurant supply store that accept orders from consumers.

+ Social Plate Disposable Cocktail Plate at Ace Mart – price: $49.95 for a pack of 60, $12.95 for a pack of 12
+ Social Plate Disposable Cocktail Plate, Case of 60 at – price: $49.95 for a pack of 60, $12.95 for a pack of 12
+ Web site of Social Plate by Superior Devices
+ Bottom Left Photo credit: review of International Home & Housewares Show 2006 taken from a HGTV Special presentation segment

+ Highs and lows of eco-friendly disposable dinnerware
+ Glass tapas plates called d’glas
+ Wooden and Porcelain Wine and Dine plates


Johan Sandström designed a mingle plate named d’glas for d’dimension

d\'glas mingleplate for d\'dimension

In response to a reader who was looking for a mingle plate made of glass, I went scouring the Web.

So far I found one glass tapas plates designed for d’dimension from Sweden.

Johan Sandström designed a plate suitable for both sweet treats and tapas, the salty small dishes. We can read about this young designer on d’dimension Web site:

Johan provides solutions to our everyday problems in a Scandinavian steadfast manner. The outcome is an innovative design combining style and functionality.

Something called social plates, mingling plates are a must because having a free hand while you are socializing at a cocktail event is a necessity.

As you can see from the picture, d’glas fits on top of almost every shape of bar glasses. And when comes the time for bite-sized desserts, I am guessing that d’glas can stand on top of a regular teacup with saucer.

d’glas mingle plate for d’dimension at Scandinavian Design Center – price: $33.95 for 10 plates
+ Products of d’dimension

+ Wooden and Porcelain Wine and Dine plates
+ A Handful of plate by Alissia Melka Teichroew


Curve appeal with a Handful of Plates by Alissia Melka Teichroew

handful of plates by Alissia Melka Teichroew AMT

Almost two weeks ago, I introduced the wine and dine plates which enable you to carry with your wine glass inside your plate. I found something more fun and exclusive.

I spoke about the importance of having a decent plate rim. Dutch-born designer Alissia Melka Teichroew (AMT) came up with a neat solution with her Handful of Plates. Alissia explained her concept in these words:

Ever been in the middle of a great conversation at a party when you suddenly realize that your canapés have rolled off the flimsy paper plate you’re holding? AMT has a solution: pre-folded, natural-colored ceramic plates that are easy to hold and keep food and utensils in place.

Handful of plates is a trio of plates each with its own level of curved sides. The two higher Taco shell folds were designed for eating. The lesser curved plate can be used for serving food and eating.

Useful tips to set a buffet table

Serving snacks and sweets is quick and easy with the flatter plates. The shown buffet table looks better than a simple buffet but it lacks some eye-catching elements. When you plan a party, I suggest you set aside some time to be more creative with the food presentation and the basic layout.

Try to create zones on a long table. One decorative trick is to highlight the repetitive elements. Before you position the plates, scan your plates and food. Then, imagine a scheme under the theme of repetitions. Remember that things do not have to be identical to be repetitive; they need to share a common element. Shapes, colors, textures, patterns, sizes are the obvious choices.

The grouping technique is more effective when done in clearly defined zones. Your area can be defined by putting them at different heights; 5 to 8 inches is often enough to get noticed.

Elegance dictates that you should never overcrowd the buffet table with food. It is easier to keep the serving plates this way. Plan two services if you have too much.

Tips to save money

The flatter plate is more curved up than the rim on typical mingle plates. To be kinder to your wallet, let your guests enjoy the 3 plates. Use the serving dishes you already own to layout the snacks and sweets.

We have all seen people reproducing this technique with cheap paper plates. Let me reassured you that it looks lots more sophisticated with these ceramic plates. Since a set of three plates costs $110 at GreenerGreenDesign; no one will think you are cheap if Handful of Plates become your mingle plates.

You can stop by Spring in Brooklyn to take a peek at Handful of plates before you buy it. Otherwise, GreenerGreenDesign sells it online for $10 less.

+ Handful of Plates by Alissia Melka Teichroew available at GreenerGreenDesign – price: $110 USD
+ Buy online and at the Brooklyn shop: Handful of Plates by Alissia Melka Teichroew available at Spring – price: $120 USD
Web site of Alissia Melka Teichroew (AMT)
+ Via: Praktiskt böjda tallrikar published on inredningsbloggen


Socialize with ease at cocktail parties with one free hand plates

mingling plates : wine & dine plates : cocktail plates : one free hand

We all experienced the juggling act of holding a plate and a wine glass while trying to interact with others at a party. It can even lead to messy moments.

Some called them mingle plates, cocktail plates, wine & dine plates or one free hand plates; but the name does not really matter. Once you use it, you do not want to go back. This a plate with a slot to hold your wine glass for you to have one free hand.

This gadget makes a difference. If you like hosting cocktail parties, you must stock a dozen or more in your party pantry. But be warned that you may transform you into the hostess queen around your circles of guests.

What to look for in a mingle plate?

The plate must be strong but not heavy. That is why I usually tested plastic or acrylic plates with a good wine glass filled with water before buying. You also want to see how well you can handle the plate.

Plates with a rim help to keep the food in when you circulate. So it is a must-have feature. Finally this is for finger food, so there is no need to go bigger than the size of salad plates (7 to 8 inches maximum).

Selection of wood wine & dine plates

I enjoy the look of exotic wood plates. They are lighter than ceramic and nearly unbreakable. They add a little je ne sais quoi. Wood plates require more care as they must be hand washed.

The Turned Wood Mingling Plates is a new model at Pottery Barn. It is part of a serving ware series with a 3-Tier Stand and a duo of pastry pedestals amongst other pieces.

Crate & Barrel sells a cool looking rectangular cocktail plate. On the plus side is unexpected and has nice rims. I have never tried a rectangular mingling plate so I can say if it is comfortable or not. If some of you have tried a rectangular wine & dine plate before, I will like to hear your comments.

Frontgate sells a set of six Acadia wood Party Plates for $79.50. The plate diameter is 10 inches. As you can see from the marketing picture, the woman used both hands to hold the plate. That defies the intent. So I suggest staying away for this model.

The Tapas plates from Sur La Table are the winner for party goers. It is big enough to hold comfortably a couple of hors d’oeuvres at a time. The etiquette suggests that you serve yourself 2-3 pieces at a time. In a cocktail, you take a few hors d’oeuvres, socialize a little bit before you go back for more pieces. You often do not need more space than these small plates.

With the stemless wine glasses, the tapas plates look sharp. If you cannot afford the O Riedel glasses, remember that Crate & Barrel sells two models at $1.95 USD each. Make sure to select the higher one, the 17 ounces stemless wine glasses.

Color coded mingling plates

After the drink tags, now comes color coded cocktail plate set. I found two models at Wrappables that are perfect for our cocktail parties. The first one is a set of 4 different colors plates. Made in melamine, each set contains a soft blue, a poppy red, a taupe and a soft white plate.

The second model is more subtle; they have a color coded rims. Unfortunately they are 10 inch diameter. The weight is not the issue since they are made of acrylic. My concern is that it takes too much space when you are moving around and socializing. On the other, you will be able to use them at barbecue and picnic. Overall it is a great versatile buy.

+ Turned Wood Mingling Plates at Pottery Barn – price: $10 USD each
Rectangular Wine and Dine plate at Crate & Barrel – price: $7.95 USD each
+ Set of 6 Acadia wood Party Plates at Frontgate -price: $79.50
+ Set of 4 Tapas plates at Sur La Table – price: $19.95 USD
+ Set of 4 melamine Wine and Dine plates at Wrappables – price: $17.95 USD
+ Set of 6 acrylic Wine ‘n Dine plates is at Wrappables – price: $30.95 USD

+ Glass tapas plates called d’glas
+ Handful of plate