Dept. of Odd Ideas. We were given a black linen tablecloth by a certain friend a number of years ago and have found it an absolutely indespensible item for entertaining. Black not only hides stains, it kicks a party into high gear the way a tuxedo does. Also, white plates and shiny silver look even better against black than white.
Two weeks ago, we went to this same certain friend's house for her birthday party and was able to photograph her own black tablecloth party in action. Not a great pic, but that's because of the crazy fun happening all around, not the camera. Best way to find this item is to buy black linen and get it hemmed yourself. Two good sources: Joe's Fabric Warehouse and Harry Zarin. MGR