Setting A Table: Learning 5 Tips for Table etiquette

Setting A Table: Learning 5 Tips for Table etiquette

As a kid, my mom would always delegate tasks, and I would wash the dishes while my brother would set the table. But, as I grew up, I understood that setting the table was not just placing cutlery ad plates on a table. There is a lot of thought that goes behind this, and it is an art. There are etiquettes on how to set the table.

Whether you’re hosting a Christmas, New Year’s, Easter, wedding, or a simple dinner party with friends, set and decorate the table properly to make a good impression on guests. Find out how to set a table properly in this article.

Laying the tablecloth


Before you start setting the table, choose the tablecloth. It should be smooth and wrinkle-free. Since it should fall about 30 cm around the table, its length should be at least 60 cm longer than the width of the table. The tablecloth is one of the decorative elements of the table.

When choosing the tablecloth, consider the colors, patterns, and material. Before putting on the tablecloth, don’t forget to put on a fleece to protect the table, but also to avoid the noise of the cutlery.

After the tablecloth is in place, place the placemats. They should be the same number as the chairs around the table and match the tablecloth.

The arrangement of cutlery, plates, and napkins

The napkin


Place the napkin on the left side of the placemat. Whether it’s paper or cloth, fold it in half or in quarters. If the napkin is made of fabric, make sure it is well ironed. For a special occasion, use cloth napkins that match the tablecloth.

Regarding the place of the napkin, it is possible to put it in the middle of the plate or in the glass, but it depends on the importance of the meal you are organizing. Thus, for formal dinners or special occasions, it is better to respect the code of the place: on the left of the plate.

The plates


Place the plate in the middle of the placemat about 2 cm from the edge of the table. This is the presentation plate. In general, the plates that should be present on an adequately set the table are the presentation plate, the dinner plate, and the soup plate.

You can also add a bread plate to the left, on top of the main plate. It can also be replaced by a breadbasket. If you need more plates, they will be brought in as the meal progresses.



Each place setting is placed in order of use. The first ones used are the furthest from the plate. Put the forks to the left of the plate, except for the oyster and snail forks, which are placed to the right of the knives.

Knives are placed on the right side of the plate with the blade facing the plate. If you must use soup spoons, place them next to the knife. For the teaspoon and dessert fork, you can place them between the glasses and the plate. If your table is narrow, you can bring them with the dessert.

The glasses


There should be at least two glasses on a correctly set the table: a water glass (the largest) and a wine glass. Place them in a row to the right of the plate, slightly above. The order of placement is from left to right, largest to smallest. If you have a champagne flute, place it to the left of the water glass.

If you have other items such as a salt and pepper shaker and a water carafe to place on your table, make sure your table is large enough so that these items do not detract from the decor.

In short, set and decorate the table properly before you host your guests. Also, make sure that the cutlery, dishes, glasses, and any other items on the table are clean.

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