Useful ideas

Table setting - theory and practice in 6 steps


Proper serving - it is always a sign of attention to the guests, a way to create a festive atmosphere, as well as an indicator of the artistic taste of the hostess.

  • In this material, we consider the rules of informal serving, that is, those that are appropriate for receiving guests at home in everyday life and on holidays.
  • Serving at home depends on the occasion, time of day, theme and menu, but in all cases the purpose of serving is the same - to lay out the dishes and appliances so that it can be convenient and pleasant to eat.

Based on this goal, table setting rules were invented. In everyday life, all these canons should be observed only in the most solemn cases, but once you have learned their essence, you can set the table with your own hands for any occasion - from a romantic dinner to a family celebration of the New Year.

Before you begin, take a look at two sample table layouts. As you can see, it is much easier for guests to set up a homely holiday table than at an official reception!

So, how to set the table? We compiled a step-by-step instruction in a certain sequence, describing each of the stages. In short, the most convenient procedure is as follows:

  • Tablecloth - Plates - Cutlery - Glasses - Napkins - Decor (vase with flowers, candles, themed decorations).

Keep in mind that a few days before the event, you need to solve all organizational issues and prepare:

  • Decide on the number of people, create a menu, tidy a tablecloth, check the quantity and quality of napkins, dishes, appliances, think over the decor.

On the day you receive guests, wipe all the dishes and appliances clean, and then proceed to setting the table.

Step 1. First we lay the tablecloth.

Here the main thing is to make sure that the overhang of the tablecloth is no more and no less than 20-30 cm. The overhang will look ugly shorter, and longer - inconvenient for those sitting at the table.

But examples of festive tableware at home and without a tablecloth.

Step 2. Fold out the plates.

This part of the "serving" theory will be the most extensive. After all, the composition and combination of plates depends on the planned menu, the number of guests and the scale of the holiday.

According to the classic rules of serving the table for one person can rely several plates:

  • A large dish (serving) substitute - for the day and everyday table it is not necessary; also some styles of serving (for example, rustic) allow its absence. The photo below shows examples of serving with and without a placeholder plate.

You may also need: an average (snack bar), a small (pie or dessert) and a deep plate for soup.

  • According to canon, the type of deep plate depends on the type of soup. For a thick one, choose a wide one (photo on the left), for a light broth or cream soup, choose a bowl with or without handles (photo on the right). But this is exactly the rule that can be completely neglected.

As for the arrangement of the plates, they put snack or deep plates on the substitutions, dessert and / or salad plates are put on the left as shown in the picture on the right. This place can also include a pair of tea, a pie plate, or, for example, an Easter bowl for eggs. The photo below shows the options for a festive serving and composition of the plates.

  • Plates should be placed at a distance of 1.5-2 cm from the edge of the table and at the same distance from each other;
  • To prevent the snack plate from sliding along the support plate, you need to put a paper or textile napkin between them as shown in the photo below.

Step 3. Put the cutlery

Now proceed to the layout of devices. They are placed on the sides according to the number of changes of dishes (with the concave side toward the table):

  • To the right of the plates have knives and spoons;
  • On the left - forks;
  • From above you can put a teaspoon.

Festive table setting at home does not require a large number of special knives, forks and spoons. Most often one knife, one fork and a pair of spoons are enough (for soup and dessert).

But if necessary and desired, you can additionally set the table with special forks, knives and spoons as shown in the following photo selection.

More information about the rules of placement of devices can be found in the next video tutorial.

Step 4. We put glasses, wine glasses, glasses

Next, behind the plates, just to the right, we put the glasses from larger to smaller. Depending on the available drinks and the preferences of the guests, glasses for water, red / white wine, champagne and / or a glass for juice, strong drinks and glasses are set.

Example of the arrangement of glasses for informal serving

Example of the arrangement of glasses for informal serving

Arrangement of glass on the New Year's table

Step 5. Serving napkins

For especially solemn occasions, napkins can be folded beautifully and artistically on a plate. For all other cases, there are no strict rules for serving napkins. They can be put in a glass for water, put a plate under the snack bar, stick it into rings, tie it with a ribbon and decorate it with decor.

In case you set the table not for a holiday, but, for example, for dinner, you can place napkins on the side of the plate under the forks as shown in the photo below.

Step 6. The final touch is the table decor.

Hurray, almost done! It remains only to decorate the festive table with flowers in a vase and themed decorations. On New Year's Eve, it can be cones, rosemary and fir branches, on March 8 - flower buds, and at Easter - hares and willow branches. The theme of the table decor should be paid more attention in a separate article, but for now we offer to look at the photos of beautifully decorated tables in various themes and styles.

Decor and table setting options

Daily serving options

Easter table setting

Rustic table setting

Table setting for a festive dinner

rosemary table setting

And a little about the arrangement of dishes

In addition to serving tableware and utensils, you need to spread out the dishes themselves with food. Here is a small reminder of how this can be done beautifully and correctly.

Well that's all. We wish you successful practice and cheerful, soulful holidays!