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This year, we have a lot to be thankful for -- tops on our list are the ability to gather safely with friends and family and a plethora of DTC brands holding our hands as we wade back into society. If you’re anything like us, you’re eagerly anticipating that roasty, toasty warmth of an afternoon shared with friends and family...and slightly intimidated at the thought of orchestrating it.
While we technically only missed one “normal” Thanksgiving, it feels like a lifetime since we curated a true dining experience -- the kind designed around a seasonal tablescape and devoid of a single Trader-Joe’s-frozen-section-lifesaver. Thankfully, these DTC brands are here to guide us back to our roots. Endless thanks to them and you for inspiring us this season -- happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
Cookware For A Joyful Meal Prep
Caraway’s Cookware Set is a TQE favorite for a number of reasons: its beautiful design, non-toxic materials, and thoughtful storage solution. The $395 set comes with a 10.5-inch Fry Pan, 4.5-quart Saute Pan, 3-quart Sauce Pan, and 6.5-quart Dutch Oven to cover your family’s favorite recipes.
Our Place’s Home Cook Duo ($250) is another fan-favorite. The brand’s Always Pan and Perfect Pot are meant to replace a 16-piece cookware set. Our Place is constantly dropping new colorways -- and they’re constantly selling out -- so check out the Perfect Pot in Blanch, Sage, and Lavender before it’s gone.
Good knives are imperative for flawless meal-prep, and Material Kitchen certainly delivers. The brand’s “The Iconics” set ($275), which includes one 8”, one Serrated 6”, and the Almost 4 knife slice just about everything like butter. Yes please!
And, if you’re grilling out, consider Benchmade’s Table Knife Set. It’s great to use in the kitchen, and the sleek look means it’ll also fit right in at your dinner party. At $600 per set these are more of an investment, but they are incredibly well-made and come with a lifetime guarantee.
A Table Designed For You: Single-Use And Rental Tableware
Sitdown’s Half Moons Tablescape is a done-for-you, single-use kit. For just $58, it includes a table runner, two kinds of candles, name cards, and placemats with a color-coordinated theme for eight guests. (If your guests aren’t too messy, you can reuse and extend the life of these items, too!).
Coterie is another option that allows you to select from curated paper dinnerware collections (around $50 for a table of 10). If you don’t need much, you don’t have to go for a full set, either—order some a la carte items and you’re good to go.
If you’re not a fan of paper products, consider Casamia, which offers a complete themed tablescape kit that features, well, just about everything—dinner plates, small bowls, dinner napkins, glass mason jars, table accessories, and a vase. Currently, the brand offers six fantastic kits to choose from, averaging about $170 for a table of eight.
If renting items sounds like a better option for you, Social Studies has a wide selection of themed table settings available for rent (with plates, flatware, bowls, napkins, candles, and glassware) averaging around $50/guest. No post-event storage required.
Dinnerware To Keep For Thanksgiving And Beyond
Fable’s complete dinnerware set hits top marks for quality and function at just $235. The hand-finished ceramics are organically shaped for a one-of-a-kind look and come in various colors including a speckled white, blush pink, dove gray, and midnight blue.
Rigby is another great choice. The brand makes classic plates with a practical design. For example: the brand’s minimalist stoneware dinner plates ($64 for a set of four) have raised edges to help prevent spills.
Year & Day’s flatware is a nice addition to any dinner table, too. It’s high-quality stainless steel and comes in four different colors: polished steel, matte steel, matte gold, and matte black. Our editor Scott won’t stop raving about them, and honestly, we see why. A four-person setting retails for $280.
Table Decor For That Extra Oomph
Chilewich offers a range of placemats ($16), table runners ($55), and more. Each piece is handwoven, beautiful, practical, and affordable. Their high quality craftsmanship means they’ll last for many Thanksgivings to come.
Bloomist offers an eclectic range of artisanal pieces that can elevate any dining room. The brand works with artisan partners around the world to incorporate natural pieces into your home design.
Cultiver offers a variety of timeless linen tablecloths (starting at $145) to pair with matching linen napkins. Each napkin is made with 100% Flax Linen, pre-washed for softness, and comes in a pack of 4 ($45). Offered in over 15 colors, there’s definitely a style for any table theme, but some of our favorites include fawn and cedar.
Minna’s Panalito table runner and placemats in sage ($78) are ethically made and layer beautifully, adding a subtle pop of color to your table setting.
Longaberger’s candlestick holders ($24/per) are made of cast iron and add a nice dash of romance as candle wax drips down them over time. The brand also offers great bud vases you can use as centerpieces.
And, Beautiful Glassware To Match
The amount of drooling we’ve collectively done over Estelle Colored Glass is certainly unhealthy, but what can we say? Conceptualized in South Carolina, and hand-blown in Poland, Estelle Colored Glass offers gorgeous, delicate glasses in stunning colors inspired by vintage finds. Your tablescape will certainly be leveled-up with a set (6 for $175) of these beauties.
For a more scaled back, everyday glassware solution, consider Italic’s White Wine Glasses and Champagne Glasses (both $25 for 4) . Italic offers price comparisons to Crate & Barrel, Williams Sonoma, and Villeroy & Boch, as you’re purchasing from the same manufacturer as those brands without the brand label.
If you’re looking to go the funky-shapes route, consider Dragon Glassware’s classy-yet-intriguing Diamond Wine Glasses ($24.99). The glass is both dishwasher, refrigerator, and freezer friendly (supposedly). Cheers to that!
For more of our glassware favorites, read TQE’s full roundup here.
Drinks To Fill Those Glasses
Part of the sober-curious movement? Consider sampling brands like Amass ($35/bottle), Athletic Brewing Company ($12.99/6 pack), AVEC ($36 per 12-pack), and Gnista ($33). Editor Ryan Willison recently dove deep into some of these new and buzzy brands to hit the market. Check out his favorites here.
If your guests are picky, we can’t suggest Usual Wines enough. The brand offers a simple solution for the red-or-white dilemma: offer single servings of each! It doesn’t hurt that the branding is top-notch, too.
A Winc subscription will also set you up with a bevvy of interesting bottles to choose from -- and it’s great for beginners and wine snobs alike. Order a case for Thanksgiving, then enjoy a recurring delivery each month.
And Flowers To Finish Things Off
Bloomist, mentioned above for its table decor offerings, also ships a wide selection of botanicals (from $18) straight to your door. Whether you’re looking for something holiday-inspired, dried, live, or bundled the brand likely has it.
Bouqs delivers beautiful and sustainable flower arrangements (from $40) straight to your door. A beautiful centerpiece for a table surrounded by loved ones? We’ll drink to that.
A stress-free dining experience means more time reconnecting with loved ones -- and, isn’t that what this season is all about? Cheers to a holiday spent together. We’re really grateful to be back.