During the holiday season everybody wants to celebrate something important, whether are the achievements of the years, religious events, or just the advent of a new year that will bring novelties, hopes and new perspectives.
As in all the celebrations, food is the center of the attraction and if we don’t indulge at least once a year, what’s the point?
“Do not worry if you have a few pounds on, you will have the eternity to have only bones” ~ my joke. You can take care of those few pounds after the holidays.
At the moment, I just want to give you some suggestions on how to set a formal, or a casual dinner table. The drawings are pretty much explanatory, but a few rules apply when sitting at a dining table properly staged.
Cutlery – The way the cutlery is set, will indicate which food will be served first. If there is a spoon on the right, you know that a soup is coming. The cutlery on the outside of the plate will be used first, work your way from outside in towards the plate. The silverware, fork and spoon, or just one of them, at the top of the plate is only for desserts and not for stirring drinks, or coffee.
Hands – Both hands must be visible on the table, but not the elbows. The body must occupy only the space that it takes. Elbows must stay closer to the body when cutting the food and not hitting the next person sitting near you.
Napkins – will be folded in half and placed on the lap with the fold toward the waist. Gently dab the mouth with the napkin when needed, but never rub the mouth with it.
Plates – I like to place a charger plate in both casual and formal dinner setting, I think it decorates the table well. On top of the charger, place all the plates according to the sequence of food and how they will be served.
Drinks – are always placed at the right, butter plate on the left.
Bread and Butter – In different cultures you might see the breadbasket in the center of the table, which will be passed around if guests ask for, or you might not see a butter plate at all. If you are the host setting the dinner table, make sure you know the preferred customs of your guests.
How to serve – In a formal dinner, never serve the entire dinner in one plate, it is a good practice to change plate for each course. If you are the host and serving the food as well, please know that the rule is to serve from the left and pick up empty dishes from the right of each guest.
Dessert and Coffee – Dessert is usually served at the table with coffee. Invite the guests to the sitting room, or living room for a taste of spirits, such as digestive, cognac, port or sherry.
I hope this simple guideline will make a great dinner experience for you and your guests. May your table be blessed with healthy, tasty food and pleasant company.
A big thank to Rebecca of http://misbehavedwoman.wordpress.com for awarded me with the fifth star of The Blog Of The Year 2012 Award. I love her strong character. It is refreshing to read her blog on social issues. My stats as of now, show I have received 4,149 visitors to my blog site today. I am ecstatic, cannot be happier than this. This is a load of fun! I take my hat off to everyone who is passing through, leaving a comment, or awarding me. Thank you.
Need to know more about this award? Check out the FAQ page:
And the award goes to:
Tom – http://thepalladiantraveler.com – he fell in love with my Italy and writes about the pursuit of happiness from within the borders of Italy and, occasionally, beyond.
Cristian – http://cristianmihai.net – A writer and author from Romania. Don’t ask him to sing.
Tina – http://astronomybythecosmos.com – She writes about astronomy, very interesting subject.
Leanne – http://leannecolephotography.com – Very nice and attractive photography.
Let’s start celebrating. Ciao,
Copyright © 2012 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved
Valentina Cirasola has been a lifetime designer in fashion and interiors. Her extensive knowledge of colors and materials led her in both directions successfully. Vogue Italy featured her as the guru of staging a home in the theatrical way. Among designing and remodeling homes, designing custom-made furniture and writing books, Valentina is now teaching etiquette, table manners, table setting and life style. Check out her latest books ©Red-A Voyage Into Colors on the subject of colors, available on