How To Set Silverware On A Table? – 4 Rules To Keep In Mind
Learning how to set silverware on a table is easier than it seems. You may start with learning the silverware needed for certain dishes and then knowing the basic rules of table setting.
The Silverware You Need
In learning how to set silverware on a table, it is important to first identify the silverware needed. This depends largely on the courses you are serving and the type of event you are having. Here are some important silverware to keep in mind:
- soup spoon for a soup course
- salad fork and salad knife for a salad course
- dinner fork and dinner knife for the main course
- dessert spoon for desserts like ice cream
- dessert fork for desserts like cake
Four Rules To Remember When You Place Silverware On The Table
Different ways of table setting are built on the same basic rules of how do you properly set a table with silverware. First and foremost among these rules is to place only the silverware that will be used. If you are not serving soup, do not place a soup spoon.
Second, arrange the silverware in the order that they will be used. The silverware for the first course is placed farthest from the plate, while the silverware for the last course is put closest to the plate. The intent is that as the diners move through the courses, they also move through the silverware from the outside going in.
Another rule in how to set silverware on a table is placing silverware on the same side as the hand that will be handling those. This means placing forks to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons to the right of the plate, with the handles facing the diner.
It is also customary to place the knife in such a way that the blade faces the plate, away from other guests. This custom originates from the times where dinner knives were quite sharp and people were expected to point sharp knives away from other guests as a sign of politeness and non-aggression.
How Do You Place The Silverware On A Table
The casual table setting is the best place to start in learning how to set silverware on a table. For the most basic of meals, simply place the fork to the left of the dinner plate, then place the knife to the right of the dinner plate. If you are having soup, place the soup spoon to the right of the knife. Another variation of the casual table setting is to place both the fork and the knife to the left of the plate, atop a napkin.
To set the table for more formal events, simply follow the steps below, starting right next to the plate and working your way outwards.
- Place dinner fork on the left and dinner knife on the right of the plate, with the knife facing the plate.
- Place salad fork to the left and salad knife to the right.
- Place soup spoon to the right.
- Place dessert fork or spoon above the plate. The fork’s handle should face left, the spoon’s handle should face right. This is to make it easy for the diner to slide the silverware to the appropriate side of the plate when it is time for dessert. If using both dessert spoon and fork, place the spoon above the dessert fork.
These steps are for a meal with salad, soup, main course, and dessert. If you are having more courses and using more silverware, place them following the rule about order of use.
Lastly, as long as you have a firm grasp of the reasons behind the rules, do not be afraid to get creative! Remember, knowing how to set silverware on a table means knowing how to best let your guests enjoy the food that you are serving.