Tuesday, August 7, 2012

How many of you know how to set a proper table?

Real easy to remember, the etiquette experts tell us. The general rule with utensils is to start from the outside of your place setting, and work your way toward the service plate (the main meal plate): soup spoon first, then fish knife and fork, then service knife and fork. Proper arranging dining room sets with chairs at the end of the table for the host and hostess is another aspect.
When to start eating:
Despite what mother told you, culinary experts say you do not always have to wait for everyone to begin – start eating hot food when it is served. For cold foods or buffets, wait for the host to announce dinner and wait until the head guest starts dishing.
The correct table settings
Proper table setting
Serviette (napkin)Service plateSoup bowl on plateBread & butter plate
with butter knife
Water glass
White wineRed wineFish forkDinner ForkSalad fork
Service knifeFish knifeSoup spoonDessert spoon and cake fork
Note that it often is recommended that the salad fork (J) is placed to the left of the dinner fork (I). However, in this formal setting the dinner fork is placed to be used before the salad fork because it is suggested that the guest awaits the main meal before helping him/herself to the salad.
Foods you can get by hand:
1. Bread: break slices of bread, rolls and muffins in half or into small pieces by hand before buttering.
2. Bacon: if there’s fat on it, eat it with a knife and fork. If it is crisp, crumble it with a fork and eat with your fingers.
3. Finger meals: follow the cue of your host. If finger meals are offered on a platter, place them on your plate before putting them into your mouth.
4. Foods meant to be eaten by hand: corn on the cob, spareribs, lobster, clams and oysters on the half shell, chicken wings and bones (in informal situations), sandwiches, certain fruits, olives, celery, dry cakes and cookies.
Removing inedible items from your mouth:
1. Olive pits: drop delicately into your palm before putting them onto your plate.
2. Chicken bone: use your fork to return it to the plate.
3. Fish bones: remove with your fingers.
4. Bigger pieces: bigger bones or food you don’t appreciate you should surreptitiously spit into your serviette (napkin), so that you can keep it out of sight.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! It'll sound silly but I've always been nervous about eating in front of people because I don't know the "proper" way to. Haha! Guess I dont have to worry about that anymore :)


  2. I love this... I dont eat anything with bones in front of people lol!

  3. once place settings get this big it is so intimidating!

  4. I love setting my table with my good china... still don't have a fish service but I can do just about everything else