How to: Set a table

As you’re setting your table for your next soiree – don’t lose your marbles over what pieces to display. A proper table setting is the first sign of a well-versed host. Lucky for you, Fancy Jane has hosted more gatherings than she would care to admit.

Here’s a quick guide to setting your table:

Start your setting with the dinner plate in the center. Everything else will find its place around it. Nestle the salad plate on top of the dinner plate.  Adding a paper doily between the plates will help avoid any clinking and clanging.  If soup is on the menu, add the soup bowl on top of the salad plate. Pssst…a charger is a great way to set the tone of your table. Add a charger under the dinner plate to add a little extra charm.

Now for the napkin. There are a few ways to add the napkin to your setting. You can place the napkin under the fork, on top of the salad plate (if there is no soup bowl!) or between the salad plate and the dinner plate.  Add a little special touch by placing a fresh flower on your folded napkin!

To the top left of your setting you’ll find a place for your bread plate. The butter knife should rest across the top rim of the plate with the blade facing towards the chair.

And for the utensils, it’s really quite simple! The salad and dinner fork sit to the left of the dinner plate, with the dinner fork (the larger of the two forks) closest to the plate. Your dessert fork and coffee spoon should be placed above the plate and centered. Let’s move to the right of the plate and work our way out – dinner knife with the blade facing toward the plate, teaspoon and soup spoon. If you’re setting the table Downton Abbey style, you’ll want to add in specialty utensils to greet the occasion!

Now let’s add the glasses that will carry us into the evening. Glasses belong at the top right of your setting. A glass for water is essential. You may also want to have a wine glass (or two, if you are serving both red and white wines). And if you’re offering coffee at end the night, you may either add the cup and saucer just to the right of your glasses, or hold them to be offered later after the meal.

Finally, to add a fun little touch, Fancy Jane loves a nicely printed menu placed on top of each salad plate or cleverly displayed on the table itself.

Setting a proper table can be fun! Think of it like a puzzle and enjoy the experience. If you have daughter (or son!) around have them help. Fancy Jane loves passing traditions on!