Why an Extendable Dining Table is Perfect for Entertaining
By Nicky Rampley-Clarke
While there’s certainly a time and a place for dining out – when you’re tired after a long week or simply can’t be bothered – throwing open the doors to entertain at home is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Not only can you show off your culinary skills, but you can exhibit the space you’ve been painstakingly styling over the years, while nothing makes it feel more like home than filling it with friends and family.
But aside from having tried-and-trusted recipes in your repertoire and a plentiful supply of wine decanted – plus, a plate or two of canapés circulating as guests step through the door – what else do you need to make sure your gathering is one to remember? A dining table that’s both chic and comfortable, that’s what. As the platform for displaying covetable tableware and serving delicious food, as well as a centrepiece around which life-affirming conversations will undoubtedly unfold until the small hours, it’s worth investing in the right one.
Better still, an extendable table means that everyone’s always invited. Much like sofa beds, they’ve been elevated in terms of design over the years, and the best now blend inspiring form with innovative function. Offering superior flexibility, they’re spot-on for hard-working spaces, offering a compact footprint when not in use, while extending to accommodate everyone around the table when there’s an event. As you’d expect, Case offers a sophisticated curation of styles from some of the best designers in the business, completely flipping the notion of adaptable furniture on its head.
Case in point – excuse the pun – is the collection of extendable tables by award-winning British designer Matthew Hilton. From the Bridge and the Dulwich to the Marlow and the Cross, there’s a table for every space and taste. But how to pick the right one for you? Arguably, the Cross Extending Table is his most famous as the winner of the prestigious Design Guild Mark in 2008 – awarded by the Furniture Makers Company to recognise only the highest standards of design in furnishings. Seating up to 14, it’s characterised by a distinctive cross-shaped base, which doesn’t only make for a conversation-starter among friends, but allows for ample room. Meanwhile, the tabletop expands with a smooth and simple pull to allow for the addition of two extra leaves – which are secreted away in a hush-hush compartment when they’re not required – meaning you can invite those extra couple of friends you just know will bring something to the party. Whether you choose a solid oak or walnut frame, the table is always finished with a clear lacquer that means it stays looking good for longer, giving you the confidence that it can withstand those hot plates and wet glasses.
Elsewhere, the Dulwich Extending Table is a fine example of the same designer’s passion for creating beautiful products that imbue practicality, featuring slender legs that draw away from the corners to maximise leg room. Once again, two leaves can be revealed from concealed storage beneath the tabletop when they’re needed, accommodating up to 12 people for occasions like birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries or just because. Choose from walnut, black stain or oak to suit your scheme – or, indeed, the round version that seats up to six – and enjoy an enduring piece you’ll be gathering around for years to come.
Also crafted by the talented hands of Hilton is the Bridge Extension Table – available in two widths, no less – featuring a contemporary frame in oak or walnut that also carries a style of leg that enables plenty of room beneath the tabletop. Impressively, the 1.6m table extends to 2.6m when required to seat up to 10 of your nearest and dearest.
Lastly, the Marlow Drop Leaf Table – also by Matthew Hilton – compromises on neither style not smarts by combining clean lines with clever craftsmanship to accommodate up to eight. The drop-leaf top easily folds down on both sides while the legs slide in and lock in place to free up space when functioning as a small table. Genius, right?
Offering the best of both worlds – whether a dinner-date, just you two, or a decadent party for the whole neighbourhood – an extendable dining table is the secret weapon in your entertaining arsenal.
Peruse and choose from our full collection of dining tables or pair yours with just the right dining chair to complete the look. For those finishing touches, browse and buy from our range of dining accessories, whether candlesticks, serving boards, bottle openers or more.