There are many elements that make up a successful dinner party. The food itself has the leading role, of course, but you cannot overlook the work done by the supporting cast. In that regard, knowing how to correctly set your table is vital.
Whether it is a large Christmas celebration or an intimate gathering with friends, the way you set the table helps to elevate your meal. Yet there is an art to getting this task right. To help you along the way, here’s how to set a table for dinner party celebrations.
How to set a formal dinner table
As you might already gather, setting a formal table requires you to put in a little extra care and attention. With an elegant tone as the backdrop, you want to ensure every guest is provided with all of the glassware and cutlery they need for a gastronomic celebration.
Below are a few table setting ideas for a formal dinner table:
- Drape the dining table with an ironed tablecloth.
- At each seat, place a charger plate. Set down a soup bowl at the centre of every charger. Bread plates should be placed to the top left of the chargers, with a butter knife – its blade facing outward – set atop each plate.
- The dinner fork and salad fork should be put on the left of the plate. To the right of the chargers, place your dinner knives and soup spoons. Dessert spoons are laid above the chargers. You can put each napkin to the left, right, or on the charger plate.
- Choose your glassware, setting these to the charger’s right. Along with a water glass, the other glass is dependent on your drink choice. If it’s red wine, you want a red wine glass. Drinking champagne? We recommend our silver champagne flutes.
- Individual salt and pepper shakers are usually part of formal table settings.
- Place cards can also be used if you want to organise where people sit.
How to set a casual and basic dinner table setting
Less work and consideration is needed for a casual or basic table setting. However, whether you’re having an informal brunch or an opulent seven-course meal, effort is still necessary when arranging your table.
For instance, when it comes to a basic dinner table setting, you still have to pay careful attention to what cutlery, plates, and glassware are used and how all of this is placed on the table. Yet unlike a formal approach, you won’t have to be so regimental with your cutlery selections or go that extra mile with place cards and salt and pepper shakes for each person.
Similarly, a casual table setting follows the same sort of formula. The difference is that you don’t have to go with an elegant or standard approach. In fact, you can inject extra personality into your table setting, whether this is a funky dinner plate or how the food is served. You can also just stick to basic cutlery and one type of glass.