Impress your guests by taking the extra time to set a proper dining room table (it's not as difficult as it may seem!)
From the basic Tuesday night dinner for two to the special holiday occasion with the entire family, we've detailed information below for the Basic and Formal Table Settings.
The basic table setting is ideal for most occasions and uses the "basics" for each diner. Usually this setting is best when serving a one course informal meal.
The dinner plate is always positioned in the center of the place setting with everything else placed around it. The flatware is arranged around the plate in the order in which it will be used: To the left of the plate is the fork, to the right of the plate is the knife and spoon, a water glass goes above the knife and napkins are placed under the forks or on the plate.
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The formal table setting should be used for a meal at home with three courses or more. Typically this setting is used during a dinner party or holiday meal.
Start with the basic setting and add white and/or red wine glasses alongside the water glass, salad fork and knife are to be placed outside of the dinner fork and knife, soup spoons are placed to the right of the knives and dessert fork and spoon are at the top of the setting. To dress up your table a bit more, try adding a charger under the dinner plate!
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• Knife blades are always placed with the cutting edge toward the plate.
• The placement of utensils is based on the order in which it will be used, working from the outside in.
• The napkin goes to the left of the fork or it can be placed on top of the plate.
• Dessert forks and spoons are usually brought to the table when the dessert course is served.
• Menu and place cards are optional.