Amongst the many things the global pandemic deprived us of, dining together was certainly one of the most missed. For artist, culinary doyenne and passionate hostess Laila Gohar, not being able to entertain proved to be more challenging than for most people. Revered for her artistic and immersive dining experiences, New York-based Gohar has funnelled her longing to gather with others into creating a namesake brand of tableware.

Gohar World tableware by Laila Gohar and Nadia Gohar

Designed in partnership with Laila’s sister Nadia Gohar, also an artist, the family-owned Gohar World celebrates time, tradition, humour and craft with a beautifully conceived collection of table accessories and objects that together bring elements of drama and fantasy to the dining table. 

‘For a big chunk of time, we weren’t entertaining or having people over and that was really difficult for me. I think that in times of adversity is when we most need to lean on each other, and so one of the biggest struggles during this pandemic was that we had to avoid each other,’ says Laila. ‘I spent the time daydreaming and looking forward to when we could get together with the people we love again. And actually, in part, Gohar World is inspired by that, because we started coming up with the designs at a time when we weren’t able to use them together. It was kind of a fantasy.’

Surrealist table linen and table accessories by Nadia Gohar and Laila Gohar

She continues, ‘When people say that entertaining should be effortless, I don’t agree. I think that you should put an effort into entertaining and that you should consider all elements. Not only the food, but also the decor of the room, the lighting, the music. There’s nothing more beautiful than putting in an effort to show your friends and family that you love them.’

Love is certainly a grounding element of the brand. Designed in New York City and made by family-run ateliers around the world, each object is a tribute to craftsmanship and tradition. In fact, many of the fabric items, such as table coverings and napkins, are made at the Gohar family’s atelier in Egypt using fine Egyptian cotton and linen. 

Table linen and bibs by Laila Gohar and Nadia Gohar

Gohar World also echoes the sisters’ sentiments that dressing the table should be akin to dressing oneself. From the shirt-like striped tablecloths to ivory linen bibs – each trimmed in navy stitching and finished with a satin ribbon – and black satin baguette bags, festooned with bows made by the sisters’ grandmother, these charming creations toe the line between form and function. Other flourishes include perfectly folded paper chicken slippers, exquisite lace bonnets for fruits and vegetables and a wrought iron egg chandelier – an ideal centrepiece.

‘I find that people often think they need to follow the formula of a charger, a dinner plate, a napkin on a certain side, flowers in the centre, but I don’t really think of the table in that way,’ Laila reveals. ‘I think of the table more as a plane. A field that you can populate in the way that you want. I like to understand what the classical approaches are, but then deviate away from them.’

Table linen and accessories by Gohar sisters

The covetable collection also includes the duo’s interpretations of table essentials, such as coasters (lace and pearl-trimmed), silver dessert dishes (stemmed, like petite pedestals), and low champagne coupes (made from Lobmeyer crystal).

Exquisitely made and sumptuous to the touch, Gohar World’s dreamy tableware and accessories will transport guests far and away. §