Table setting etiquette involve proper placement of all eating utensils at the dining table. Though table setting is not a complicated process, it requires a lot of measurements, neatness and perfection. While setting a table, all the pieces should be spaced evenly that calls for equal space between cutleries, the same space between glasses and so forth. A balanced and symmetrical setting enhances the whole appeal of dinner table. The tableware and seating plan can vary depending upon the occasion and the food you are serving. Read through the following lines to know the proper etiquettes for table setting.
Etiquette For Table Setting
- The golden rule of ‘Always work from the outside, in’ applies while setting the cutlery on the table. Place the knife and fork outside for the first course and work inwards for each subsequent course.
- Always place the knives to the right and the forks on the left.
- In case the course includes a soup dish, place the soup spoon on the extreme right if it will be served as a first course. Place the soup spoon second in from the right, in case it will be served as a second course.
- Place the dessert cutlery on the top of the setting. Keep the fork facing right and the spoon positioned on the fork with the bowl facing left.
- All the glasses will be positioned above the knives depending upon the number of drinks to be served.
- The water glass should be placed on the extreme left and work towards the right by placing the wine glasses. For example, water – champagne – white wine – red wine – dessert wine.
Plates & Napkin
- The place plate, or the base plate, is placed in the center of the cutlery setting. The napkin is folded and kept on the plate.
- In case the first course is already served, the napkin should be positioned to the left of the forks.
- The side plate, or butter plate, is placed on the left of the forks with a side knife, or butter knife, laid across it.
- In case the space is limited, the napkin can be placed across the side plate also.
Proper Eating Style
- Eating styles differ from continent to continent and country to country.
- The proper way to cut and eat is to hold the knife and fork in a relaxed, natural manner and not with clenched fists to appear like a hunter.
- The Americans use fork and knife to cut the food as usual and transfer the fork into the right hand to eat the serving.
- In Continental Europe, people transfer the food into their mouth with the fork in left hand with the prongs facing downwards.
- Unfold the napkin and place it across your laps upon sitting.
- In case the course includes bread rolls, use your fingers to break the bread instead of cutting them.
- When having soup, move the soup spoon away from you to the other side of the dish and sip the soup quietly.
- While using a finger bowl, gently clean your fingers in the warm scented water and dry them on your napkin.
- After you have completed your meal, place the fork and knife side by side pointing to the center of the plate.