The Well-Dressed Table

Formal Place Setting at Bering's

A place for everything and everything in its place. That’s the etiquette you must follow when creating a formal table setting. This illustration shows you just where and how to place each piece of flatware, china and crystal on your table.

First select your table linens. Formal tables are often set with linen, cotton, damask or lace cloths, and matching napkins.

Next, center a dinner plate at each place setting and set either a salad plate or soup bowl (depending on course served) upon it. Place the bread and butter plate (with the spreader placed horizontally across it) to the left and slightly above the dinner plate.

Knives, forks and spoons frame the dinner plate. Place them in order of use from the outside in. Napkins should be folded and placed either to the left of the forks or in the center of the dinner plate. Dessert utensils can be placed horizontally above the dinner plate.

Cups, saucers, dessert plates and teaspoons are brought to the table at the completion of the meal.

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