How To Set A Table

I've never been much for following the "rules" of domesticity, but it's always good to know some of the old tricks. I picked this one up working at a fancy-schmancy restaurant in college.
How To Set A Table

1. Begin by placing the dinner plate directly in front of the seat. If using a placemat, position it squarely and place the plate on top, directly in the center.

2. Fold the napkin and lay it, with the folded edge to the left, on the left side of the dinner plate. If using a napkin ring, always keep it on the outside of the silverware.

3. Place the bread plate to the above left of the dinner plate, with top right edge of the plate around 11:00.

4. Next, set the silverware. Place the [larger] dinner fork on the right side of the napkin, and the [smaller] salad fork on the outside. Lay the knife, with the blade facing in, on the immediate right on the plate, and the spoon to its right. The theory here is that you work your way from the outside-in. You begin with soup (spoon), then salad (salad fork), etc. Lastly, lay the butter knife at a 45-degree angle atop the bread plate, with the blade facing down and the ends resting on the edges of the plate.  

5.  Set the wineglass above and to the right of the plate, directly above the tip of the knife. Place the water glass above and a bit to the left of the wineglass.

6. Lastly, if serving family style, place the salad plate on top on the dinner plate. Then, place your dessert fork horizontally and directly above the plate, with the tines facing to the right. Place the dessert or coffee spoon above the dessert fork, pointing left.

7. Now relax, don’t obsess, and enjoy your guests.

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Patti Davis on Aug 23, 2011:

I wouldn't put the forks on top of the napkin. By removing the utensils, you have disrupted the placesetting. I would place the napkin on top of the plate or to the left of the forks. But the rest looks perfect!

Pamela on Aug 21, 2011:

That was very helpful.

pao on Apr 15, 2011:

You're so helpfull.

Thank you.

jasimar on May 27, 2007:

You're so neat.  I dig.

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