The first place to start is the Table Setting. Before calling friends for a proper dinner you will need all the necessary items for each place on your table: place mats, napkins, dishes, glass-ware and utensils or flatware. The type and number of utensils and the way they are laid out also give people clues about which courses will be served and also when they will be served.
A normal family meal which consists of a main course and dessert will need a basic fork, knife and spoon ( we will cover the different types of forks, spoons and knives in a while). But if you are planning a three or four courses you will need a more elaborate set of utensils.
A good piece of advice is to stick to the basics for a start, don’t overdo things and get stressed about the table setting so much that you forget to enjoy the meal or the beautiful company that you have invited. If you are newbie in the table etiquettes world try inviting close friends and family first to try out your new acquired skills of a “table setting wizard”. That will save you any embarrassment and also make you feel confident after a first few tries.
The basic flatware or place setting set consists of five pieces: a large knife and fork for the main course; a large spoon for the soup; a smaller fork for salad or dessert and a smaller spoon for tea/coffee or dessert.
The following are some simple tips for table setting:
- Only place the utensils that are going to be used for the meal (do not crowd the table with extras)
- The utensils should always be placed “outside in” in the order of their use.
- The word “fork” has four letters and so does the word “left”: so the forks are placed on the left.
- Similarly, the word “spoon” has five letters and so does the word “right”: so the knives and spoons are placed on the right.( Much easier to remember, right?)
- The word FOrK can also help you remember the order of a basic table setting : Fork, Ofor plate, Knife and Spoon
- The blade of the knife you place should always be facing the plate.
We just talked about the basic table setting, it can further be divided into formal and informal place settings. For all readers wishing to find out some amazing tips for setting the table and charming your guests please follow our next blog.