Not my favorite topic (YAWN), but it has to be addressed! Most of my staff is unaware, as I am sometimes, how to set a proper table. Well, here it is:
The plate is flanked by dinner knife(K), salad knife(L) and tablespoon(M) on the right, and in the order in which they are used from the outside in. The knives should be turned so the blade edges are on the left, next to the plate, dating back to the days when knives were very sharp. If salad is being served first, salad knife would be on the outside. If no soup is being served, than no soup spoon. The salad fork(H) and dinner fork(I) are to the left of the plate. A second salad fork would be placed next to the first one if there was a second course before dinner, so not liking that third fork(J)! The forks are placed in order of their use from the outside in. Napkins can be placed anywhere you’d like; folded on the plate, under the plate, under the forks. It’s up to you! The bread and butter dish(D) is placed above the forks with b&b knife blade on top of plate with blade facing the dinner plate.
For dessert, a teaspoon(N) with the handle on the right and a dessert(B) or cake fork with the handle on the left are set horizontally above the dinner plate. Wine glasses(F&G) go to the right of water glasses. Water glass(E) over the dinner knife.
That said, the funnest parties we do are always more casual:
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