Does your dinner-party prep go something like this: You invite a few of your favorite couples to join you for dinner on a Saturday night. You vacuum, shop for food, and chill the wine. Then, with just an hour to spare, you set the table. You discover that somehow, between last Thanksgiving dinner and now, you’ve gone from eight complete, matching place settings to just seven—but you’re making dinner for eight. You have eight sets of silverware (winning!), but three spoons are in the dishwasher. And the linen placemats are so wrinkled, only a trip to the dry-cleaner can help them. You panic, then race to Target in search of suitable stand-ins.
You’re not alone. In fact, your table-setting troubles are so common, they inspired Denver entrepreneur Bridget Rogers to start a company designed to help harried hosts. It’s called Cloth + Gold, and the concept is a lot like Rent the Runway—but for tabletops. Here’s how it works:
1. At least one week before your soirée, you visit clothandgold.com, where you can browse six tablescapes—each expertly crafted by Rogers—that are pretty, polished, and versatile enough for baby and bridal showers, holiday feasts, or an evening with a few good friends. Each place setting (available in increments of four, for as many as 40 guests) includes a charger plate, dinner plate, salad plate, wine glass, formal flatware, and cloth napkin. Each set of four includes a table runner, flower vase, and two candle holders. If you need stylish candles, cake toppers, or sassy cocktail stirrers, you can purchase those, too.
2. The day before your party, your tablescape is delivered to your door (Cloth + Gold currently services the greater Denver and Boulder areas), along with a Spotify playlist, a suggested menu with recipes, ideas for gorgeous florals you can find at the grocery store, entertaining tips, example photos, and a timeline to help everything run smoothly.
3. You set the table, welcome your guests, and enjoy the party, taking full credit for the gorgeous tabletop, and accepting compliments on your amazing eye for design. After everyone leaves, you scrape off the plates, dump the last drops of wine, pop everything back into the box (yes, you pack everything dirty), and leave it on your front step for pickup the next day. That’s it. You’re done.
Rogers’ hope is that by making in-home entertaining less of an ordeal, she’ll help revive what’s becoming a bit of a lost art. “Our goal is to regain the elegance and excitement of the social gathering, without the hassle,” she says. “We want to create beautiful, celebratory experiences, where people are inspired to put down their phones, pick up their forks, and truly connect.” All that and no dishes? That’s our kind of party.
Pricing ranges from $17 to $24 per place setting and includes delivery, pickup, and cleaning. Tablescapes have a three-day rental period and must be ordered with at least seven days’ notice. Cloth + Gold is accepting rental requests now; delivery began October 13.