Which fork is the salad fork again?

Which fork is the salad fork again?

The holidays are right around the corner, and with all the dinner parties, holiday dinners, and even dinners with your boss you always want to make sure you know exactly where to start when you are seated at the table. A formal table setting can look like a maze and you are left trying figure out what fork or spoon to pick up first. I know some of you might already be very well versed but for those who aren’t this post if for you. I am always better with pictures so look below…

The picture below is a very formal table setting, you might want to use this when hosting Thanksgiving dinner or even Christmas dinner. The main thing to remember if you get a little lost is to always start from the left to right and work from the outside in <–that will save your life always!

Elegant women broke it down even further, this is also an example of a formal table setting that you might encounter going to a dinner party or fancy restaurant. Don’t let the table setting intimidate you its okay just breathe and remember this setup (Again always move from Left to Right)

Next up we have the informal table setting. This table setting is less crowded, maybe for turkey day you decide you don’t want to pull out all the fine china but still want to properly set your table this would be a great choice.

Piciture from http://www.elegantwoman.org/

Picture from Elegant Woman

There are so many conversations that take place at the dinner table, however when you are talking besides clearing your mouth from food the cutlery should resemble that you are engaging in conversation and should look like this….


When you are finished with your meal…


I hope that this post will help you at your next dinner party, below are some quick tips to remember and if all else fails screen shot the table setting and memorize it before an important dinner party.

Some tips:

  1. There are usually only three forks on the table, the only way there will be a fourth fork is if oysters are being served. (And this fork will be the only fork placed to the right)
  2. If fish is being served the fish fork will be positioned left of the meat fork. Because it is used first it will be the farthest (You work from the outside in)
  3. Wine glasses are positioned according for size
  4. Utensils are placed one inch from the edge of the table
  5. The soup spoon and/ or fruit spoon will be placed OUTSIDE the knives
  6. The charger plate is usually removed once the main course is served. (The charger plate is simply for decoration and its the first plate or the biggest plate on the table). It is also standard that the charger plate be removed when dessert is served if not removed before the main course.
  7. Liquids from your waiter are usually served from your right and another waiter usually serves dinner from your left.
  8. Excusing yourself to go to the bathroom can be considered rude. Although you might sound as polite as possible it breaks conversation and causes interruption (it is thought you should go before dinner).
  9. When the waiter is giving you a refill of water DO NOT HOLD YOUR GLASS UP leave it sitting on the table so he can fill it.
  10. If there is a conversation going on at the table it is rude to whisper to the person next to you.
  11. Always break the bread before spreading butter on it (break bread with hands not with a knife)
  12. Don’t add salt and pepper to your food it can come off as insulting to the person who cooked the meal.
  13. You are only required to thank your waiter once (in my opinion you should be allowed to thank the waiter as much as you want but what do I know lol).