A PERFECT TABLE - how to create a stunning table setting for your guests

Updated: Nov 10, 2020

The art of table setting has always been an important part of our world. Many of our modern-day table setting traditions can be traced to 17th- and 18th-century European protocol influenced by French and English aristocracy.

Knowing how to set a table correctly isn't difficult; the utensils, if properly placed, will tell you how to use them.

Informal Table Setting

1. Forks are placed on the left of the dinner plate, knives and spoons go on the right. REMEMBER: Fork and Left  = 4 Letters ; Knife, Spoon and Right = 5 Letters.

2. Silverware is placed in the order it will be used. For example, the salad fork (small fork) is on the left and the dinner fork (big fork) is directly to its right. The knife is to the left of the spoon.

3. The knife blade always faces the plate.

4. Utensils should be lined up evenly with the bottom of the plate.

5. The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate.

Formal Table Setting

1. Follows the informal table setting rules but also consists of salad, bread, soup, additional beverages, and dessert and coffee following the main course.

2. Dessert flateware can be placed at the table setting or brought out later just before dessert arrives. The dessert fork and spoon should be centred above and parallel to the dinner plate. If needed you can add dessert knife, before the fork and spoon.

3. Water glass should be placed above the dinner knife, with other drinking glasses arranged neatly nearby the water glass and to the right.

Your quick guide

Dinner Plate

Place the largest plate with or without a charger.

Salad Plate

Place the salad plate directly on top of the dinner plate. This plate is removed after the salad course if finished.

Soup Bowl

If you are serving soup, it would be placed right on top of the salad plate.

Bread Plate

This small plate is placed above and to the left of the dinner plate. It will be directly above the forks.

Dinner Fork

The dinner fork is larger than the salad fork. Place it next to the dinner plate on the left side.

Salad Fork

The Salad Fork is smaller. It is placed next to the dinner fork on the left.

Dinner Knife

Place the dinner knife directly to the right, next to the dinner plate.

Soup Spoon

If you’re having soup, this larger spoon would be placed next to the teaspoon on the right.


There are so many choices on how to present your dinner napkin. If you’re not sure what to do, you’d be safe placing it off to the left.

Water Glass

The water goblet is placed right above the dinner knife. It is best if you fill them before guests arrive.

Wine Glasses

If you’re celebrating, you’d probably have 2 wine glasses for white and red, plus champagne flute. These go to the right of the water glass.

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