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How to set cutlery

How to set cutlery

Whether you’ve got a big, fancy dinner party planned, or simply want an uplifted dinner date at home, knowing how to set cutlery makes any dining experience seem a bit more sophisticated. You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s day to have a cute dinner date – anytime’s fine! It can seem intimidating to have to know what order and on what side your cutlery should go on, but the cutlery order does have a logic to it! Here’s everything you need to know about the order of cutlery to set the table.

Formal Dinners: Cutlery Order

If you’re wondering how to set cutlery for a formal dinner, there are a few things to keep in mind for the cutlery order. You’ve preheated the oven, your food is ready to be cooked, but you’re still wondering where the knives and forks go? We’ve been there – and have mixed up our left and right sides often enough. Here’s the right cutlery order! You can also consider the other elements of setting the table for a truly elegant affair.

  1. If you are using placemats, put them down where you want the centre of your table setting to go for each person.
  2. Put the main dinner plate on the placemat in the middle.
  3. The knives and spoons go on the right of your plate, and the forks go on the left.
  4. If you are using more than one fork, knife, and spoon, your cutlery should be placed so that your diners can work their way from the outside to the inside. The first knife and fork used should therefore be on the outside.
  5. Knife blades should face towards the main dinner plate.
  6. Dessert gets a special treatment – dessert knives and spoons get put above the plate. The fork points to the right, and the spoon points towards the left, as if the two are in a top-tail sleeping position. The fork sits below the spoon.
  7. Side plates for salad or bread get put to the left of your main plate, often above the placemat
  8. Finally, for drinks, put a water and a wine glass to the right of the setting.

Casual Dining: Cutlery Order

If you’re looking for a slightly more low-key set up, there are fewer steps you can take, but still have a properly set table that is uplifted and classy.

  1. The same first steps as above still apply – placemat first, then plate in the middle.
  2. Put the cutlery you want on either side of the plate, with the forks on the left side of the plate, and the knives on the right side of the plate.
  3. If you’re using any soup spoons, these belong on the right of the knives.
  4. Dessert cutlery still sits above the plate as above.
  5. Water and wine glasses are kept on the right. Add coasters for a touch of class.
  6. Add a few candles on your table, and you’re golden!

That’s it! If you’re keen to get the house looking spick and span before the guests arrive, you might find our other articles helpful, which include tips on dusting, how to clean the windows, and how to get rid of pet hair.