How to set your table

Confused about what goes where on a table when arranging a place setting? Our ready guide will demystify it for you

An elegantly set table can work wonders for your dining experience. While there are different schools of thought on how to set a table, we show you three essential settings and what you require for each.


What you need: Placemat, dinner fork, dinner/steak knife, dinner spoon, dinner plate, water glass and napkin

Position the dinner plate in the middle of the placemat, about an inch from the bottom. The napkin goes to the left or on top of the plate. Place the fork on the left and knife on the right with the blade facing inward. Place the spoon to the right of the knife. The cutlery should be aligned with the bottom of the plate and be placed approximately one inch apart and half-an-inch from each other. The water glass goes on the top right corner at about one o’ clock.


What you need: All the above, salad plate, soup bowl, salad fork, soup spoon, white and/or red wine glass

This setting depends on what you are serving – soup or salad, red or white wine, etc. Keep the basic setting and add the extra elements. If there is a soup or salad course or both, place the salad plate on the dinner plate and then the soup bowl on top of that. The salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork while the soup spoon goes to the right of the dinner spoon. Place the water glass directly above the knife. The wine glass goes slightly above, to the right of the water glass.


What you need: All the above, service plate, bread plate, butter knife, fish fork and knife, dessert spoon and/or fork

Start with a placemat and then a decorative charger plate. The bread plate goes to the charger plate’s top left at around ten o’clock and the butter knife on top with the blade facing inward and handle pointing toward the right. Place the fish fork between the salad and dinner forks and the fish knife between the steak knife and dinner/soup spoon. The dessert spoon goes on the placemat, directly above the charger plate, with the handle facing right and dessert fork above it facing the opposite direction. Place the water glass directly above the dinner knife. The red wine glass goes to the right along with the white wine glass, which is 3/4th of an inch below.


Written By: Nadezna Siganporia

Contributing Writer

16 January 2018

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