Alright! Not only is it very important to have a proper table arrangement, it is also healthy. It is said that the right table setting, leads to the right eating etiquette and manners. The right eating manners, lead to correct eating, habits and good health. Well, now that just brings table settings into a new all important light, doesn't it? So, let us start understanding the table setting method.

How to Set your Table Properly

As a concept, proper table etiquette is the practice of placing the crockery and cutlery on the table in the right manner and position. These positions are very easy to remember once you understand the concept behind it. The proper table setting is in order that the cutlery is required, from the outside. As in, the outermost dishes will be the ones that are used first, during the starters. Clear enough? No? Well, let us get into more details.

Etiquette to Set your Table Properly
Ideally, a meal table is supposed to hold 14 types of cutlery for the person who shall be dining at the table. Each of these 14 need to be placed in the correct order as per the etiquette to set up a table neatly.
  1. Napkin
  2. Service plate
  3. Soup bowl on plate
  4. Bread and butter plate with butter knife
  5. Water glass
  6. White wine
  7. Red wine
  8. Fish fork
  9. Dinner fork
  10. Salad fork
  11. Service knife
  12. Fish knife
  13. Soup spoon
  14. Dessert spoon and cake fork
Yes, I am aware that not every meal will require the diner to use all of them. However, it is customary for the host to keep all the entire set on the table for the ease of the diner.

The service plate is placed in front of the diner, the soup bowl on it. To the left, (going inside to outside) the order will be salad fork, dinner fork, fish fork, and napkin. On the right of the service plate (outwards) the order will be service knife, fish knife, soup spoon. Above the service plate (up to down) will be the dessert spoon and cake fork. Above the knives on the left will be the water, white wine and red wine glasses (in order from in to out). Lastly, above the napkin on the right, will be the bread and butter plate with butter knife.

See, isn't the table setting just so easy? However, it is also important to know that the water glass is the biggest glass, then the red wine glass, and the smallest is the white wine glass. Among the forks, the dinner fork is the biggest, followed by the fish fork and then the salad fork. The fish knife is smaller than the service knife. Lastly, the soup spoon is bigger than the dessert spoon. Hope all the size and appearance based doubts are cleared. Now, it should really not be difficult to know how to set a table properly, right?

Dining Etiquette
Since I've spent quite a bit of pen over discussing table settings, I surmise, some ink on proper dining etiquette is called for. Traditional table manners at home would dictate that one must always wait for everyone to start dining, before one starts dining. However, as per table etiquette, one must start dining when the meal is warm. Yes, in case of cold meal arrangements or buffets, one should wait for the host to announce the dinner, and the head guest to start dining.

Do not scrape your spoon, fork or knife on the plate hard enough for it to make a sound. Table and dining etiquette demands for a person to make absolutely minimum sound using the cutlery on the table. One must not talk when one has food in the mouth. One must wait till they have chewed and swallowed the food, to talk. These are etiquette that most of us have learned since childhood as table manners. It is important to know that the right dining habits, represent a concrete and strong personality, one that would be pleasing to know.

Setting up a table for special occasions can make your occasions even more special and dining will be a great experience. This is where I sign off! Happy dining!