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Hosting a Finnish-style Dinner Party: Tips and Ideas for Setting Up the Perfect Dinner Table

December 15, 2022

The thought of hosting a dinner party can be daunting, but hosting a Finnish-style dinner party can be even more intimidating. With its unique atmosphere and unique decor, a Finnish dinner party must be planned and executed with precision. From setting up the perfect dining room to choosing the right menu and drinks, there is much to consider.

If you’re setting up a dining table in Finland for a dinner party, then there are more than designing things to consider in this context. From pre-party to post-party, everything is set amazingly to give classic vibes to the visitors. Following are the ideas for setting up the perfect dining table in Finnish style.


A Finnish variation is to not toast the host or hostess. You begin the meal by toasting an honoured guest or the entire table, but do not withdraw. However, you cannot toast with others at the table. A common Finnish toast is ‘Kippis’ which means ‘Cheers’. When socializing with Swedes in Finland, toast to the Swedish word “skull”.

Finns rarely speak during meals, but they do on formal occasions. In such cases, speeches are given between classes. During the meal, the host can toast each guest or the guests can congratulate each other by raising their glasses and making eye contact. After you finish drinking your toast, you should make eye contact again as you set your glass down on the table.

Table Mannerisms

Manners when starting a meal. Finnish people do not start eating until the host of the party tells them to. At a dinner party, the host determines the seating order if necessary. The guest of honour is seated to the right of the hostess (or the host, if it is a men-only dinner). 

The table itself is usually placed in the middle of the room, with enough free space around it. Like any dining table, it can be decorated with flower arrangements or garlands, fruit bowls, candles, and more, as long as there is enough room on the tabletop.

Finnish Food

Finnish cuisine includes elements from Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Russia. Dinner is usually served around 17:00-18:00. The Finns are certainly known for being passionate about food and they are very loyal to their culinary roots. Finns tend to incorporate fish in their meals often. 

Post-meal gestures

Finns normally conclude their meals with a drink, or coffee immediately after. This is true if the host allows smoking. Naturally, the moment you bring out your cigars and cigarettes. The host has previously allowed or suggested this. Departure at the table, guests should briefly thank the host. 

With the right tips and ideas, however, you can create a memorable and inviting Finnish-style dinner party. Whether you are looking for a cosy, intimate dinner with close friends or a larger, more formal event, the following tips and ideas for setting up the perfect Finnish dinner party will help you create an unforgettable evening.

Hosting a Finnish-style Dinner Party: Tips and Ideas for Setting Up the Perfect Dinner Table was last modified: by

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