Embarrassed while dining with your seniors on a formal dinner table? Is it because you accidentally drank water from the glass of another guest? Was it because you didn’t know which side of the table had your glass? Well, this happens when you are not familiar with the table setting etiquette. And if you are keen to learn the table setting etiquette then you have stumbled upon the right page. It is obviously not rocket science to learn the technique of table setting. The first, and the foremost, rule is to start from the outside in—this means set the cutlery first and then the plates and glasses. A table that is organized well enhances the experience of dining. Even the diners are sure to be impressed by a classy and sensible organisation of utensils on their dinner table. Read through the following to make your meal-setting as unforgettable an experience as the meal itself. So let’s get into action and start arranging the table to prepare the visual treat that awaits your guests along with the gastronomical delights you’ve been slaving over.
Setting Dinner Table
Table Setting For Formal Purposes
- The service plate is set with the salad plate placed on top of it.
- The fork that is used for the salad is set on to the left side of the plate. This is done with the assumption that the salad is served either before or after the starters. The salad knife is found on the right side of the plate.
- To the left of the salad fork, the meat fork is set and the fish fork is set to the left of the meat fork.
- Wine glasses are placed perpendicular to the plate, arranged according to their size.
- The butter plate has to be kept towards the left of the salad plate, with the butter fork right next to a pat of butter on the plate.
- At the top of the butter plate is the butter knife that is placed diagonally.
- Fruit spoon and the soup spoon should be set outside the knives.
- Dessert spoon and the cake spoon are placed outside the service plate on top.
- If you are serving shellfish, place the oyster fork beyond the spoons; this makes it the only fork to be placed on the right.
- Do not forget the napkin which has to be neatly folded and kept nicely on the left side of your service plate.
- Finger bowls must be provided at the end of the meal; providing them with warm water is a basic courtesy extended to all.
Informal Plate Setting Etiquette
- The napkin is placed on the plate nicely folded in halves.
- To the left of the plate are the forks, arranged in descending order, beginning with the dinner fork and then the salad fork.
- To the right of the plate is the dinner knife, a teaspoon and a soup spoon placed in the said order.
- A glass for water and a wine glass are placed diagonal to the plate.
Types Of Glasses For Drinks
- Water: For serving water, a full body glass, with a short stem to hold, is required.
- White wine: A comparatively smaller glass with a wide bowl to conquer the fragrance.
- Champagne: A glass that’s fluted narrowly; it reduces the surface area and keeps the bubbles intact.
- Red wine: These glasses have a much wider globe that you can cup using the palm of your hand.
Basic Rules In Proper Table Setting
- When consuming drinks in glasses, always start from the left and then turn towards the right.
- Initially when you are about to have your meal, the table will be set properly and the napkin will be on your plate. As soon as you settle down, unfold the napkin and place it across your lap.
- Work on your silverware gently and eat gracefully. It is better to chew slowly and eat patiently.
- You are basically providing the diner all the required utensils in a convenient place so follow the table setting etiquette closely.
- Side plates should always be placed to the left of the base plate or the service plate.
- If the meal is formal, place the napkin at the center of the plate or else place it to the left of the plate. It’s a common error to place the forks on the napkin.
- The cutlery generally consists of a fork, spoon and a knife which is to be placed from the outside in. This means that the first utensils to be used are placed on the outside such as soup spoons and salad forks.
- The forks must be kept at the left side of the plate whereas the spoons and the knives should be kept at the right side.
- Finally, the table must be set with equal spacing between the cutlery, glasses and the plates. The table should be evenly balanced to make the meal more appealing and convenient.
It is indeed a quality to organize a meal table effectively. The proper table setting etiquette draws attention not only to the delicious food that you serve, but also to your tasteful organisation skills. And what’s more, it isn’t even hard to imbibe. So go on, dazzle your guests with your style and present them with a table worth praising. The food shall be delicious!