Setting a table 101

Not sure where to place your dessert spoon? You aren't alone! We have turned to the experts at Good House Keeping to make sure you always have your table set correctly for the appropriate occasion.

 

How to Set Table

 

Set a Formal Table

To set a formal table, you'll need a table cloth, charger, dinner plates, soup bowls, salad plates, bread plates, napkins, salad forks, dinner forks, knives, soup spoons, butter knives, dessert spoons, water glasses, red wine glasses, and white wine glasses.

  1. Cover the table with a tablecloth or placemat (tablecloth is preferred).
  2. Set a charger at each seat. Place a salad plate and soup bowl in the center of each setting.
  3. Place the bread plate to the left of the charger. Stick the butter knife on the plate with the handle facing right for easy reach.
  4. Place a cloth napkin to the right of charger.
  5. On the left of the charger, place the salad fork and dinner fork, from left to right.
  6. On the right of the charger, place the dinner knife, salad knife, and soup spoon, from left to right.
  7. Place water glass above the knives. Wine is set from right to the left in the order used. White wine is for the first course on the outside, the red wine is next for your entrée.
  8. Stick dessert utensils above the charger — fork handle to the left and spoon handle to the right.
  9. When the main course is served, the charger (a.k.a. server plate) should be traded out for the dinner plate.

Set a Casual Table

To set a casual table, you'll need a place mat, dinner plates, soup bowls, salad plates, napkins, dinner forks, knives, soup spoons, water glasses, and wine glasses.

  1. Put the placemat on the table.
  2. Place the dinner plate in the middle of the placement. Put the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.
  3. If you're having soup, place the soup bowl on top of the salad plate.
  4. Place a napkin to the left of the setting.
  5. On the left of the plate, place the dinner fork on the napkin.
  6. On the right of the plate, place the dinner knife and soup spoon, from left to right.
  7. Place the water glass directly above the knife. To the right of the water glass, place the wine glass.