How to Set a Table Properly
Throwing a wonderful dinner party for good friends and family is one of life’s greatest joys. There’s something magical about good food and even better company that is bound to put a smile on your face and make you feel all those good feelings. The only thing that can make your dinner party even more sophisticated is a beautifully set table. A stunning table setting can take a lovely meal to a spectacular one, and you’re bound to impress your guests in the process. Here is a basic guide to setting a relaxed family dinner and a more fancy dinner when you want to show those guests that you’re truly the host with the most!
For A More Relaxed Family Dinner
If you’re having some friends over for a relaxed dinner or BBQ, you might not want to go the whole hog. However, there are a few tips you can follow to ensure that your table looks great and your following some conventional dining norms.
- Decide if you want a table cloth. They can be great and add some style to your table, but they aren’t needed for a casual dinner. If not, then pop a placemat down in front of every guests seat at the table.
- Pop your plate in the middle of the place mat (if you will be serving food from the table) and pop the side plate for salad on top of it.
- Put your knife on the right side of the plate and the fork on the left. The spoon can either be on the right hand side of the knife, or at the top of the plate.
- The water or juice should be placed at the top right corner of the setting, just above the knife.
- If your guests will be drinking win you will also want to put a wine glass down. Decide whether they will be drinking red, or white (or opt for both sized glasses) and put it on the right hand side of your water/juice glass.
- You’ll also want to put your napkins down. You can either put them on your plate, under your fork, or fan them in your wine glass for a more interesting display.
For A Fancy Dining Experience
First thing is first, you are going to want to get a gorgeous, crisp table cloth. White is usually a classic color for a fancy dinner party but you can of course mix this up and opt for a different color scheme depending on the theme of your evening. You will also want to invest in some beautiful crockery and cutlery that is free from chips. A fancy dinner needs better quality goods to ensure that it looks classy and elegant.
Fancy dinners might include three different courses, and thus you will want to know where to sit all the crockery and cutlery. A formal table might include an array of serving pieces including soup bowls, side plates, dessert spoons, different glasses, napkins, dinner plates, and more.
- Place a charger or placemat in the centre of every setting and in the middle of it place the soup bowl.
- Then place your bread or salad plate above the charger, to the right and place your butter knife on top.
- Place your napkin on the left of the charger and lay down your salad fork on dinner fork on the napkin. The salad fork should be on the outer left and the dinner fork next door.
- Place your dinner knife on the opposite side of the charger and put the soup spoon next to it.
- The dessert spoon should be at the top of the charger, laying length ways and pointing towards the left.
- Then it comes to the glasses. Pop the water glass directly above the dinner knife and then put the red wine glass slightly above the water glass to the left and the white wine glass below and in-between both glasses. Fun fact: The water glass is kept the closest to the food because people will traditionally drink more water with their meal and thus want it to be closer.
These are the basics of a more fancy table setting, but you can of course go even further and add individual salt and pepper shakers to each setting.
Some Fun And Stylish Things To Add To Your Table
If you want to go the extra mile for your guests you can also add some cute or beautiful gems to your table.
- Fresh flowers and foliage always look beautiful and add elegance and charm to your table. If you don’t want to splurge on expensive flowers, simply pick some greenery from your garden and decorate the table with delicate vases. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune to look beautiful!
- Candles add romance and ambiance to your table and are perfect for evening meals.
- Nametags and a little cute gift (like a chocolate or sweet) will make your guests feel special. They add a cute touch to any dinner setting.
- If you are celebrating a holiday or birthday party opt for some fun treats like Christmas crackers, or party hats.
- Bring some games to your dinner party. This will lighten the mood and get everyone in on all the fun. It’s a great way to break the ice if you are introducing new people as well.
- How to Set a Table: A Guide to Table Setting – Architectural Digest
- How to Set a Table: Basic, Casual, and Formal Table Settings – RealSimple