Because Christmas is such an extra special occasion, you might want to push the boat out a bit further. Now, you’ve mastered the above basics, let’s look at how to set a really wonderful table.
1. Before the 1st Course
Silverware ought to be perfectly aligned with the charger’s bottom rim. After the guests have spread their napkin on their laps (use festive napkin rings, if you like), the large plate can be removed. The water glass should stand just above the dinner knife. To its right stands the white wine glass, with the red wine place top center.
2. Arranging the Table for Soup
The soup will be served in a soup dish that’s been heated, lying on top of a dinner plate. Eat with a soup spoon, placed on the outside right. After the guests have all finished the soup, they will lay their soup bowl along the top right hand corner of their plate. Now is the time to take away the plate, bowl, and spoon. Keep the bread and butter dish in place for now.
3. Arranging the Table for the Next Course
If you are serving a further course (fish for example), do so on a medium sized plate. For this we need to use the broad and short fork that is by outside left, and the knife (fish knife if appropriate) on the outer right. When finished, the guests will place their silverware diagonally across the plate. The handles will be placed at 4:20 with the knife’s blade facing inwards.
4. Arranging the Table for the Main Course
After the previous course has been removed, the table is empty and ready for the main event. Either bring the big plates in with part of the food already on, or empty if you wish the food to be served at the table. Make sure the plate has already been heated (unless the food is being served cold). It’s to be eaten with a dinner knife and fork.
5. Arranging the Table for Salad
The salad will be served on another medium sized plate, and eaten with the final fork. This fork’s end tine is broader than the others, and can also be used to cut. When this course is completed, the bread and butter plate, butter knife and wineglasses are to be taken away. As is the salad plate and its fork. Now the table is ready for dessert.
6. Setting the Table for Dessert
Now a small plate for dessert will arrive with coffee (or a tea cup and tea spoon). For dessert, the cake fork and dessert spoon are laid at the top of the setting (placed here in the beginning). The tine of this fork should face to the right. The spoon’s bowl should look left. Now the only stemware remaining is the water glass.
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