The UK has always been a reference point for restaurant table linen and settings as traditional fine dining really had its roots in London. For example, the oldest restaurant, Rules, in Maiden Lane just off The Strand in London’s West End, is the oldest restaurant in the capital, founded in 1798, and continues to present traditional British fare on tables dressed in high quality crisp while linen. Many other restaurants still follow this model, but, according to Raj Ruia, managing director of Richard Haworth elsewhere things are changing, albeit with quality still very much top of the agenda.

Richard Haworth was established in 1876 – roughly 100 years after Mr Rules served his first oysters and roast beef – to suoply hospitality businesses with the finest quality linen. Since then Richard Haworth products have been specified and used by restaurants, hotels, event organisers and, in later years, by cruise ships and airlines. The company continues to manufacture and distribute textiles out of Kearsley Mill in Greater Manchester.

“Our napkin and table linen range has expanded to reflect today’s hospitality marketplace,” says Ruia. “We have seen a shift in restaurants upgrading their napkins as some move to opting not to use tablecloths at all to dress their tables.

“Responding to this trend, we have introduced a variety of new napkin options to our range to meet customer requirements, including 100% linen hem stich, ‘Partridge Eye’ and 100% cotton and 50/50 cotton mix Bianco Satin Band. We have also introduced more colours to our best-selling Amalfi table linen range, currently running at 27 colours.

“Right now, we are servicing a number of Michelin star restaurants in the London market where the requirement is for an unfussy heavier napkin. Our 100% linen Portofino napkins are handcrafted in Italy, offering the ultimate finishing touch to a well-dressed table and can be found in Gordon Ramsey restaurants. .

“In addition to a move to more premium linen some food and beverage managers prefer a more relaxed napkin, so our bistro napkins are perfect for casual dining. Stylish yet durable with a cotton soft feel,” says Ruia.

With the festive season on the horizon it is a good time for linen rental businesses to review linen stocks. Richard Haworth is well stocked for Christmas with a wide range of quality, on-trend products available. Richard Haworth can supply a dozen napkins for the local restaurant or luxury linens to international five-star chains. And its linen can be found in hotel establishments ranging from prestigious luxury London hotels through small country hotels to the economy sector.

“All products are designed, quality assured and cared for by our in-house team. This gives us two significant advantages – the opportunity to impose the highest levels of quality control at all levels of production plus the ability to respond quickly to the needs of our customers.”