It is not easy to set a table properly because you have to know exactly the position of each piece and things you need to have on the table for each course. In this article, I will show you the way to set a table for a meal inlcluding a soup course, salad course, entrée and dessert.
Start with the dinner plate. This is the largest piece of the table setting and the one around which everything will revolve. You may place the napkin in a ring on top of the plate.
Next, place the silverware. Forks are always placed to the left of the plate. They are placed in an outside-in pattern based on the order in which they will be used. The first used, in this case, a small salad fork, will be placed on the outside. The dinner knife is set closest to the plate on the right side. Ensure that the cutting edge faced inward. It is appropriate to use a steak knife if the entrée is meat. Next, place the spoons. These are placed in the same pattern as the forks, from the outside in. In our example, the soup spoon would go on the outside and the dessert spoon, which would be used last, would be placed between the soup spoon and dinner knife.
Drinking glasses of any kind are placed above and to the right of the dinner plate.
These are the basics of setting a table. However, you may also wish to include a salad plate, bread plate and butter knife, dessert spoon and fork or a cup and saucer.
A salad plate is placed to the left of the forks. The bread plate is placed above the forks. The butter knife should be placed diagonally across the edge of the bread plate and the handle should be closest to the dinner plate. You may place a dessert spoon and fork above the dinner plate or beside the plate, following the rules stated above for the placement of spoons and forks. Dessert spoons and forks, therefore, would be found closest to the dinner plate, as they will be used last. Finally, a coffee cup and saucer would be placed above and to the right of the knife and spoons.
You have now placed every piece of dinnerware, cutlery and glasses you could need for an informal dinner experience. Now you can sit back and enjoy the food and the impeccable table you have set. Enjoy!
Before you purchase your dinnerware, check out the Dinnerware Guide for tips and advice on how to choose the right dinnerware for you.