How to Properly Set Up A Dinner Table

Ever wondered what the bajillion different utensils sitting on your table in front of you are? Yeah, we did too. Now, while some people may have had the chance to taken etiquette lessons while they were younger (lucky bastards – just kidding, we’re happy that we didn’t have to do that nonsense), we didn’t. So we have no idea which fork is used for what and how many times are we supposed to use it before it gets taken away. Luckily for us, there exists something called the internet where you can free education as opposed to paying for it.

How to Properly Set Up A Dinner Table

Formal Dinner

The rule of thumb here is to eat from the outside in. Always start with the utensils that are the farthest away from the plate. From the left side, if you have 3 forks, the order that they are used in go like this: salad, fish, dinner. From the right side, going inwards, the order that you use your cutlery is like this: soup spoon, salad knife, fish knife, dinner knife. Any cutlery that is left at the top is to strictly only be used for dessert. In regards to your stemware, the taller glass is typically for wines, while the wider and shorter one is for water. You will also have a small plate with a butter knife at your top left for any bread that you decide to eat.

Informal Dinner

You still want to work from the outside in, but you might just have a little bit less cutlery to eat with. On the left, you’ll probably have a salad fork and a dinner fork. On the right side, you’ll have a soup spoon, teaspoon and a dinner knife. In terms of stemware, there will still be a glass for water and a glass for wine, however there won’t be any bread plates. Informal dinners don’t usually serve bread with them.

How to Properly Set Up A Dinner Table


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