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What is Proper Table Setting Etiquette

Updated on February 18, 2016
kmackey32 profile image

Kristie has worked in a nursing home for the last 12 years. She has held titles such a director and assistant director of activities.

Table setting

Table setting etiquette

Setting a table is not as hard as it seems. Setting the table properly is nessesary because if you always know what side of the table your glass is on, you wont be drinking from another guests glass.

When dinning the biggest rule is to always work from the outside, in. Therefore utensils are always placed in the order they are to be used, from the outside in. Another rule is forks go to the left of the plate, placing the edges facing the right side of the plate. Knives and spoons go to the right. The plate is placed directly in front of the chair. Fold a napkin and place it to either the left of the fork or on the plate. Glasses are placed directly above the knife on the right side of the table setting. If you are having wine and water, your wine glass is to the outside and your water glass is always closest to the plate. Bread and butter plates are optional but if you have them, they are placed directly above the fork, on the left side of the table setting.There is only one exception to the fork on left rule. If you are having seafood, place the fork on the far right, after the spoon. If there is soup, the bowl should be set on the dinner plate and then be taken away after the soup is finished.

Finally when everything is set up, make sure everything is spaced the same apart from one another. This enhances the look of the table setting.

Proper Eating Etiquette

When you come to the table to sit down, put your napkin in your lap, without shaking it, after the host or hostess unfolds there's. Keep the napkin in your lap for the entire meal, only raising it to blot your mouth when needed. Begin eating when you are served your hot food. You do not always have to wait for the host. For cold foods wait for the host to announce dinner and also wait for the guest to start eating. When you begin eating there are foods you should use proper etiquette when eating. When it comes to bread, break the bread in half by hand before buttering.When removing inedible items from your mouth such as olive pits, drop them into your hand before placing the pits on your plate. Food that you do not like or tastes bad, secretly place it into your napkin. When eating only load the silverware 3/4 full as to not put too much in your mouth and only cut enough for the next bite. Do not blow on your food if it is too hot, wait for it to cool down. Chew with your mouth closed. Try to finish the meal at the same time as your host or the majority of the group. Remember good table manners makes a lasting impression.

When you are finished, do not push your plate away from you, or place your napkin on the chair, carefully place your napkin to the left of the plate and place your knife and fork on the plate, this signals you are done.

Sterling Silver at Amazon

After learning proper etiquette, its time to buy some fine sterling silver from Amazon. Reed & Barton Spanish Baroque Sterling Silver 46-Piece Flatware Set with Chest, Service for 8 is a great choice at $4,555.55 One day I hope to afford to purchase this item.


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    • Fluffymetal profile image

      Fluffymetal 7 years ago from Texas

      Great hub!

    • cupid51 profile image

      cupid51 8 years ago from INDIA

      Very nice and informative hub. I have learnt several things from this hub. Thanks for sharing.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 8 years ago from Canada

      must relearn all of this after the kids are older. bookmarked for future reference

    • The Rope profile image

      The Rope 8 years ago from SE US

      Hey guys - there is an old "rule" that will help you through setting any dinner table correctly and is easy to teach school age children..."FORK" goes on the "LEFT" notice there are four letters in each word / "KNIFE" or "SPOON" goes on the "RIGHT", notice there are five letters in each. You'll never again forget which side is the proper side! Great hub KM! Well outlined and a great reminder to us all. Unfortunately I'm an elbows person now, pure laziness.

    • profile image

      bloodnlatex 8 years ago

      I have soo much to learn...

    • profile image

      mtsi1098 8 years ago

      looks like I have some habits to correct...I have always put the fork on the left but only because I am left handed:)...I put my wife's and son's fork on the right (since they are right handed)...thanks

    • Helen Cater profile image

      Helen Cater 8 years ago from UK

      Great hub. We should all take a little more time and effort when eating our meals.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 8 years ago from France

      Very good info easily explained. A Table well set can make a big difference to a dinner.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 8 years ago from Canada

      Oh my, this brought back memories of our mother, and both my grannies. They would be disheartened to see how often we eat in front of the TV nowadays. Thanks for a fun and informative Hub.

    • BJC profile image

      BJC 8 years ago from Florida

      Liked this hub - all too often we we on the run, at our desk, or in the living room, anywhere except at the table where it is set nicely. Think about how we feel when we go to a nice restaurant, we enjoy the setting as much as the food and the setting sets the stmosphere.

      Good idea!

    • profile image

      gwennies pen 8 years ago

      Good reminder of table manners and etiquette. We tend to get lazy when we are just around the family table to eat, don't we? Enjoyed your hub...great for eating out manners and impressing new hosts.

    • profile image

      Duchess OBlunt 8 years ago

      Good info! Wish I had this list when I was on my first dinner interview. It would have made things a little less stressful. Thanks

    • profile image

      badcompany99 8 years ago

      I dont bother, tis just me at home !

    • kmackey32 profile image

      kmackey32 8 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      haha ok that's good. :)

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I have to relearn all of this! I developed some counter-productive behavior during my college years living off campus:) Thanks!