Setting the table for a large family

One can image that dinner time in a large family would be the busiest time of the day. Setting the table is a big task and sometimes difficult.  Little ones love to help, but dishes can be heavy, glasses can be dropped and tablecloths dragged along the ground.
Recently a friend of mine put me onto an idea; here is an easy and efficient way of setting and clearing a table in a busy household.
The old fashioned “tea trolley”.



My friend had one similar to the one on the left above.  She attached a curtain around the bottom section; underneath the curtain she kept babies bibs, face washers, babies cups and plates (things she wanted to be out of site but easy access) the top was used to and from the table.

So after seeing hers, I searched second hand stores, antique shops and even eBay. The cheap ones were falling to pieces and the expensive ones were ‘really’ antique and cost over $500.
So instead, I got a carpenter friend of mine to whip one up for me.  I sent him some google images and told him I wanted a ledge (so nothing slides off), and a drawer for cutlery.  I gave him no measurements at all.  He then emailed me a pencil drawing and made it within a week.
Here is it below, it also needs to be stained and lacquered (I am waiting for hubby to get onto this job though).

My trolley fits nice and snug in the corner of my kitchen .


I put in a cutlery tray inside the drawer and this set inside is my good entertaining one.  I also keep my salt and pepper shakers for the table inside the drawer too.

When getting ready to set the table, we wheel the trolley to our individual drawers and cupboards (rather than carrying items across the room).

Here are is the regular every day cutlery drawer, ready to pile them onto the trolley.

Underneath I found a basket that fits perfectly.  For the table cloth, place mats etc for also taking to the table.

And here is a bonus; as I mentioned the carpenter did not take measurements and look at this, it lines up perfectly flush with the bench top.  After dinner, the dishes are piled back onto the tolley and wheeled over to the sink.

So not only have I used my trolley for setting the table, it has also come in handy for movie nights, wine and cheese in front of the TV or a chit chat and nibbles with friends around the lounge.

So, how is this for an idea huh!  Fantastic if you ask me!

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