Let's set the table together.

Inspiring moments and memories shared around The Table Together.

Setting the Table | Wednesday’s In the Know!

When it comes to entertaining, there are many things we must think about. From selecting the flower arrangements, to creating the playlist, choosing wines to accompany, and even a signature cocktail, oh and wait, the menu, we must capture all these details for a successful evening!  One thing that is often forgotten about till the last minute, or simply not paid much attention to at all, is setting the table. However important this step may be, if not one of the most important details for setting the evening’s tone, is something so often overlooked. Today, I am going to show you how to quickly and properly set the table while providing some tips on doing so in a fun, festive and celebratory manner regardless of the celebrations at hand.

Setting the Table: A skill we should all know, a proper place setting is one sure way to impress your guests while letting them know you were expecting their company and are ready for the evenings gathering. Here is a quick rundown:

Plates: In order from bottom to top:

  • Charger:  If using, a charger adds a sophisticated touch to the evening, even if the evening doesn’t require one.
  • Dinner Plate: Your main dinner plate.
  • Salad Plate: If serving.
  • Soup Bowl: If serving.

Bread Plate:

  • Top left corner of your dinner plate with the butter knife on top.
  • Tip to remember which side: Make a “b” by pressing your thumb and pointer finger together. Whichever hand makes a “b” (left hand vs. right hand) that’s the side of the dinner plate the bread and butter plate should be. Answer? It’s your left hand as your right hand makes a “d”.

Silverware: Always set the silverware from the outside in (toward the dinner plate) in the order they accompany each course. For example, if serving a salad, the salad fork should be to the far left as it is the first fork that will be used. Next up, dinner fork to its’ right.

  •  Forks: Left side of the dinner plate.
  • Knives & Spoons: To the right of the dinner plate. The spoon should be to the far right, with the knife to its left. Again, organize in the order of courses served. For example, if serving soup, the soup spoon should be to the far right.
  • Dessert Fork: Directly centered above the dinner plate with the fork teeth facing the right.
  • Coffee Spoon: Directly centered above the dinner plate, above the dessert fork, with the top of the spoon facing the left.

Napkins: There are numerous ways to fold a napkin, but before you try your luck at origami, think “less is more!”

  • Napkin Rings: With so many festive napkin rings to choose from depending on the season and occasion at hand, this is one of my go to options as it’s so quick and looks great! Neatly nestle your napkins in napkin rings and place in the middle of the dinner plate or to the left of the dinner plate by your fork.
  • Folded: In a neat rectangle or square under your fork.
  • Draped: Fold into a rectangle, and drape off the top plate toward your lap.
  • Tucked: Fold into a rectangle, and tuck between the dinner and salad plate with a small portion draping toward your lap.

Glasses: Water glass, red and white wine glasses…yes there is an order in which they should be placed! All should be to the right of your dinner plate at the tip of your knife or spoon. They should be arranged in this order starting at the tip of the knife with your water glass and angling toward the top of the dinner plate with the white then red:

  • Water Glass
  • White Wine Glass
  • Red Wine Glass

Tablescapes: Yes, you should add a few adornments to your tabletop but it doesn’t have to be complex or take your hours to build as simple is best! Think about what’s in season and use its’ bounty. From crabapples to kumquats, and pears, showcase their beauty as they weave throughout your table scape. Branches (like Eucalyptus leaves found at most grocery stores and floral shops), fall leaves and even seashells depending on the season, add an inexpensive touch of the season at hand while providing great depth and purpose.

·Simple Place Setting Adornments: Top each charger, plate or napkin with a seashell, small apple, pear, kumquat or “ingredient” from the season’s bounty as a fun and festive way to welcome each guest to their spot around the table together!

With simple touches like those above, you immediately set the tone for a fun evening ahead.

For other terrific tips and hundreds of recipes, perfect for entertaining a small or large crowd, visit my website (thetabletogether.com). While there, consider “subscribing” and I will send a new tip or blog post directly to your inbox every Tuesday and Wednesday morning!

P.S. Make sure you check out my YouTube channel, The Table Together with Tiffany Lewis, solely dedicated to bringing all of these fantastic tips and recipes to life!

Cheers to starting a new tradition around The Table Together!



Tiffany Lewis

Founder and true believer in the power of bringing people around The Table Together!