Eating together has always been a symbol of camaraderie and trust throughout history. It’s the perfect way to gather those closest to you to enjoy each other's company while you fill each other in about the latest developments in your lives. But the perfect dinner party requires more than just good food - it also needs the right atmosphere and a fitting table setting.
The practice of arranging tableware varies across cultures and throughout history, but one thing remains true: table setting dictates the mood of the meal. It helps to set your table according to the atmosphere you are going for. There are three main table settings to consider: basic, formal and informal.
If you want to know how to set a table according to the occasion, you've come to the right place. This blog has the best tips for arranging your table like an expert so you can stress less about your dinner plans and focus more on your family and friends.
Basic Table Setting
If you are planning a relaxed get-together, you can't go wrong with a basic table setting. For this, you'll need a placemat, dinner plate, water glass, cutlery (fork, knife and spoon) and a napkin.
- Start by laying out a placemat on the table.
- Place the dinner plate in the center of the mat.
- Lay the napkin on the left side of the dinner plate.
- Place the fork on top of the napkin.
- Position the knife on the right side of the dinner plate with the blade facing in.
- Place the spoon approximately one inch to the right of the knife.
- Make sure that the bottoms of all utensils are all level.
- Finally, set down the water glass above the knife.
The basic table setting might be simple, but you can easily jazz up your setup with attractive dining table decor. Add interest to your setting by using gold utensils that immediately elevate the look. Plus, there’s gold plastic silverware from Perfect Settings Tableware and Party Decorations which you can dispose of after the party.
Informal Table Setting
The informal table setting is nearly identical to the basic setup except for adding a soup bowl, salad plate and wine glass. As a general rule, set your table with wares you and your guests will use. For example, if you are not serving salad, you can exclude it from your setting. Similarly, you can skip the bowl if you don't plan on serving a soup course. Here's how to set a table in a casual setting:
- Lay out a placemat on the table.
- Place the dinner plate in the center of the placemat.
- Place the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.
- Place the soup on top of the salad plate.
- Lay the napkin on the left side of the plate stack.
- Set the fork on top of the napkin.
- Place the knife closest to the plates and bowl on the right side with the blade facing in.
- Position the soup spoon approximately one inch to the right of the knife.
- Place the water glass directly above the knife.
- Finally, place the wine glass above the water glass, positioning it slightly to the right.
Like the basic setting, your casual table setup will significantly benefit from table decor. For example, you can make a table runner to add a homely charm to your setting. In addition, gold disposable silverware is also an option if you want to add a bit of elegance to your dining atmosphere.
Formal Table Setting
A formal dinner has more courses. Therefore, your setup will require more pieces. Your table setting should give your dinner guests everything they need to enjoy their meal to the fullest. Your setup will most likely include the following: tablecloth, dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowls, bread plate, dessert plate, dinner forks, salad forks, knife, butter knife, soup spoon, dessert spoon, water glass, red wine glass and white wine glass. You can also add dining table decor or make a table runner to upgrade your setup's aesthetic appeal. Utilizing gold utensils is also a good idea for an added luxurious feel.
The list may be extensive, but all these components are essential to give your guests a formal dining experience:
- Begin by laying out a tablecloth, then place the dinner plate in the middle of the setting.
- Place the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.
- Place the bread plate above and slightly to the left of the dinner and salad plates.
- Set the butter knife horizontally on the bread plate.
- Position the dinner fork on the left side of the dinner plate. Then, place the salad fork at the left of the dinner fork.
- Position the knife to the right of the dinner plate, then place the spoon to the right of the knife.
- The water, red wine and white wine glasses are placed in the upper right corner of the setting, with the water glass closest to the guest.
- Fold and lay the napkin on top of the salad plate.
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