Proper Table Setting
A festive dinner table exudes refined elegance and appreciation for the guests. In this section, you will learn how to arrange plates, cutlery, glasses and decorations correctly. Generally speaking, setting the table is a matter of following a few simple steps. All the elements are arranged such that they can be used as comfortably as possible.
First of all, a festive table is usually dressed in a classic white tablecloth. If the occasion is more casual, you can also opt for a table runner or beautiful placemats.
The plate is the center of every place setting. You can set an underplate on which you will later place the plates with the food, or if the food is to be served at the table, you can already set the main course, appetizer and soup plates. If there is a bread plate, it will be on the far left, next to the cutlery.
Laying out the cutlery often raises the most questions. Cutlery is set and used in the order of the menu, from the outside to the inside. Forks are placed to the left, knives and soup spoons to the right of the plate - always as a right-handed person would use them. The cutting edge of the knife faces the plate.
Dessert cutlery is placed above the plate, the dessert fork with the handle to the left, the dessert spoon with the handle to the right. If necessary, the bread knife is placed on the bread plate as the very last item on the left-hand side.
If special cutlery is to be used, it is also placed in such a way that it can be easily picked up with the proper hand.
Once the cutlery is set, the glasses need to be placed. The "main course glass" - e.g. a red wine glass - is placed a few centimeters above the knife. A water glass is placed to the right of it, and a white wine glass, for example, to the left. Depending on taste or available space, the glasses can be placed in a (slanted) line or in a triangle.
Napkins & Decoration
Napkins made of fabric or paper are a must and should be placed - nicely folded and with a matching napkin ring - on top of the place setting or the top plate. If the first course is already served, the napkin is placed to the left of the left row of cutlery or on top of the bread plate.
At last, there are the decorations. There are no limits to your creativity here: flowers, candles, or table decorations and accessories that match your theme - everything is allowed, as long as it fits the occasion and is not too opulent to obstruct your guests' view. By the way, salt and pepper shakers should also be on the table for seasoning.