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Setting a formal table

Follow the steps below to set a formal table, or eliminate steps depending on what you have on hand.

1) Set the dining table with a tablecloth (iron if necessary).

2) Place a charger two to three inches from the table edge (a charger is a large, decorative base plate on which other dinnerware is placed during dinner service).

3) Place the dinner plate on top of the charger 4) Place the salad plate on the dinner plate (plates are progressively getting smaller).

5) Left of the charger, place a folded napkin (linen and ironed) or if using a napkin ring place the napkin on the salad plate.

6) To the right of the napkin, place the salad fork then dinn er fork.

7) Right of the charger, place the knife (cutting edge facing the plate), then teaspoon, then soup spoon.

8) Just above the charger, on the left, place a bread and butter plate with a butter knife resting across the top of the plate (blade facing charger).

9) Centered above the charger, place the dessert fork (tines to the right), with dessert spoon placed just above the fork in the opposite direction.

10) If using place cards, place the card directly above the dessert spoon.

11) Place a white wine or water glass in the top right corner above the charger and the red wine glass to it’s right (if using all three glasses, place the water glass above the white wine glass).

12) Clear salad plates, dinner plates and flatware as courses are finished. Replace with a dessert plate.

13) Coffee cup and saucer are placed to the right of the dessert plate.

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