I hope you all had a very enjoyable 4th of July weekend. I, personally, was surrounded by dozens of family and friends! Although it was lovely to see everyone, when it came to dinner everything became chaotic. People are running into one another in the kitchen, someone cut their finger while chopping something, my father almost burned dinner on the grill, and when it came to setting the table, as we say in our family “forgettaboutit” (one word). However, after the chaos was over my nuclear family has a rule that we must set the table every night before we eat dinner. I have always grown up knowing how to set a table informally, however I was curious to know how to set formal table. I will be depicting a basic dinner plate setting, which will come in handy for any small gatherings or dinner parties. At the bottom, I have posted a diagram with more table setting options. Let’s get started!
1. First, start with a clean table (clean as in clean surface, no crumbs, spills etc.) and drape a table cloth of your choosing, (white is the best and most formal, however it is personal preference) it is best to also press the table cloth with an iron before hand for a smoother and cleaner look.
2. Next smooth over the table cloth with your hands making sure there are no bumps, folds, or any other imperfections.
3. Then make sure the table cloth is even on all sides of the table, you do not want one side of the table cloth to be hanging further down than the other. When you are finished with the table cloth, be sure to count seats, organize seating placements, determine where the plate setting will be for each personal and make sure it will be evenly spaced.
4. Then start with the dinner plate (or charger, if you prefer, and then place the dinner plate on top) in front of the seat, place the plate in the middle.
5. Next, take a cloth napkin and fold until it becomes a small square, then fold it in half (either longways to make a small rectangle or you can reorient the small square on the table to look like a diamond, fold in half to make a sideways triangle, again this is personal preference) and then place the napkin on the left side next to the plate.
6. On top of the napkin place the dinner fork and the salad fork onto the napkin, the dinner fork (the larger of the two) will lay in between the salad fork and the dinner plate, or the right side of the napkin and the salad fork on the left, the outermost side.
7. Next place a dinner knife on the right side of the plate, blade turned toward the plate and right next to the knife place a spoon.
8. Then take a wine glass and a water glass, place the wine glass directly about the knife and the water glass directly above the spoon.
9. Then take a smaller salad plate, place it directly above the forks and if desired place a butter (smaller) knife horizontally on the top portion of the plate.
It may seem like a lot to do, but it’s actually quite simple! With each occasion, the table setting may vary, but now you have basic knowledge of a general, more formal table setting, rather than just throwing plates on the table with a knife, fork, and spoon somewhere nearby (like this weekend was for my family and I).
Hope to hear from you soon, stay tuned for my throwback this week!