Set the table correctly for any occasion

Set the table correctly for any occasion
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Cutlery, glassware and crockery – when you’re setting a table for a special occasion, it can seem daunting. Where do the glasses go? Should the salad fork go on the same side as the dinner fork? And what about the place card? If you weren’t one of those kids who was taught about table settings for any occasion, fear not! With our table setting tips, you’ll be sure to be the perfect host and impress all your guests.  

Setting the table for a formal occasion

If you’re hosting a special event like Christmas dinner, chances are you’re preparing an elegant dinner with more than one course. Traditional formal dinners will have at least three courses – a starter, a main meal, and a dessert. You’ll want to make sure that your guests can enjoy the evening without having to reuse their plates or cutlery.

 

You’ll need:

  • A fabric table cloth
  • Large plates
  • Soup plates
  • Bread plate
  • Napkins
  • Dinner forks
  • Salad forks
  • Dinner knifes
  • Butter knifes
  • Soup spoons
  • Dessert spoons
  • Red and/or white wine glasses
  • Water glasses
  • Place cards
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How to set a formal dinner table:

  1. Begin by laying out the fabric table cloth and smoothing it across the table. Then sit the main dinner plates (also called chargers) on the table in front of each chair.
  2. You can put the place cards a few inches above the chargers, but leave enough room for the dessert spoon and butter knife as these will go between them.
  3. Place a napkin to the left of each charger.
  4. The forks should be placed left of the dinner plates on top of the napkin, with the salad fork on the outside and the dinner fork on the inside.
  5. Put the soup bowl on top of the charger.
  6. The bread plate goes to the left above the charger.
  7. The dinner knife is positioned to the right of the charger.
  8. The soup spoon is placed to the right of the dinner knife.
  9. The butter knife goes below the bread plate and below the dessert spoon.
  10. Now all that’s missing are the glasses. These go to the top right of the chargers with the water glass closes to the plate.

Setting the table properly for a casual occasion

If you’re hosting a nice lunch with friends or family, you’ll still want your table setting to accommodate multiple courses. It’s easy to set the table for a casual event, especially once you know how to set the formal table. All you need to do is omit a few items.

Here’s what you need:

  • A fabric table cloth
  • Large plates
  • Soup plates
  • Napkins
  • Dinner forks
  • Dinner knifes
  • Soup spoons
  • Wine glasses
  • Water glasses
 

Just arrange them in the same way as described above, leaving out a few of the items. Bon appetite! Those are some great ways to set the table on typical occasions but be sure to check our guide for setting the table for Christmas to have a perfect festive meal!