This week in our Romancing the home challenge, we do a table setting.
I grew up in a house where my mom spend more time on setting her table than on preparing the food. She usually left that part to me. She still has the most beautiful tables for her lunch and dinner parties.
For me the secret to entertaining, is to keep it simple. I am all about a slower life. Its summer and I decided to do my table setting outside in the garden. It is after all my favorite place.
So no table cloth. Just the basics of plates (my mom’s from Portugal), cutlery, wine glasses, individual salt bowls, fresh flowers from the garden and several pots filled with herbs, to pick from while we eat. I always have candles and crisp linen napkins.
Here are some tips on setting a table:
1. Utensils are placed in the order of use; that is, from the outside in.
2. Forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right.
3. Place knives with blades facing the plate.
4. Only set the table with utensils you will use. No soup; no soup spoon.
5. The lower edges of the utensils should be aligned with the bottom rim of the plate, about 2.5cm up from the edge of the table.
6. The water or wine glass should be placed approximately 2.5cm from the tip of the dinner knife.
7. Plan the table setting to match your menu. When bread and butter are served, add a butter plate to the table. Use separate salad plates if serving your main course with gravy.
8. Make sure the centerpiece doesn’t stand so tall that guests can’t see over it.
9. Butter should be waiting on butter plates, the glasses filled with water, and the wine ready to be served before the guests are seated.
Table manners have evolved over centuries to make the practice of eating with others pleasant and sociable. With so many table manners to keep track, keep these basic, but oh-so-important, table manners in mind as you eat:
1. Chew with your mouth closed.
2. Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate. Wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table.
3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or stab your food.
4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
5. Remember to use your napkin.
6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (Choking is clearly an exception.)
7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses)
9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
10. Take part in the dinner conversation.
Thank you for joining me! And remember to look at my Romancing the home friends posts to see their take on setting a table: