How many of us really know what a proper table setting looks like? It seems that for many that type of social etiquette has gone by the wayside with the advent of fast food eating and so many families being rushed at dinner time - who has time to set the table properly?
Even when the holidays roll around it's hard to remember what a proper table setting really consists of. But if you want to have an elegant dinner party and really impress your quests, here's a refresher on what kinds of tableware you need and where to place it!
A proper table setting consists of many different pieces. Of course, the dinner plate is one, but you will also need a soup bowl on it's own plate and a bread and butter plate. For glassware, be prepared to pull out all the stops as a properly set table calls for 3 different pieces of stemware at each setting. The water glass is a large bowl and short stem, the red wine has a rounded bowl and the white wine glass is smaller and thinner than the red wine but not as thin as a champagne flute. And of course, don't forget to include a napkin!
The setting of the flatware is a whole mystery in itself. There are 9 pieces of flatware in a proper table setting! You have the butter knife which is place on the butter plate at an angle parallel to the seating. Then the dessert spoon and cake fork are placed above the main plate. The forks are on the left of the plate and are placed from left to right like this - fish fork, dinner fork, salad fork. To the right of the plate are the service knife, fish knife and soup spoon in that order from left to right (or inside to outside). The key to placing the flatware is to remember to place them in the order you would use them starting closest to the plate and working your way out.
Now if you really can't seem to remember where to place things and you want to be quite proper, just have a buffet and leave the flatware out by the food!