We understand that now might not be the right time to think about having lavish get-togethers but that doesn't mean you can't practice how to set a table (after all, when restrictions are lifted, we can bet you won't have a free weekend for months).
How you set the table can affect the whole mood of your special occasion so you want to make sure you set the tone and have the right vibe.
The key to any setting is either buying or showcasing your crockery and cutlery in the best possible way, accenting them with statement decorations that'll take your table from average to elegant.
From leading brands such as Maxwell & Williams and Krosno, your table setting is guaranteed to put others to shame. Simply follow this guide and you'll have everyone in the neighbourhood demanding a seat at your table.
1. Pick a colour theme and stick to it
This is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to setting a table. The colour theme you choose can really set the mood for the whole evening. For example, if you were to choose darker colours like green and black, the mood might be sombre or if you were to choose brighter colours like red and gold, the mood might be happier and feel a little more fun.
Once you've chosen your colour, make sure you stick to it though, no one likes a table that's all over the place.
2. Correct placement
This all depends on how fancy you want to have your lunch/dinner. You might only need to set out table knives and forks (which in that case you should know exactly where to place them) however, you don't want to be the person who mixes up the glasses or god forbid doesn't know that cutlery should be placed in the order you eat. See below in case that person is you:
- Dinner plates should sit in the centre of the place setting. Set the cutlery on the table in the order of use, starting from the outside, and working inwards with each course.
- Forks should be set to the left of the plate, with knives placed to the right, blade edges facing inwards. Soup spoons should go to the right of the knives.
- Dessert forks and spoons should be laid above the plate with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl facing left.
- Side plates always go on the left of the dinner plate.
- Glassware should be set above and to the right of the dinner plate; red wine, white wine and water glasses.
Now that you've nailed the basics you can start to get a little bit fancy....
Nothing says 'special occasion' like a crisp, white tablecloth. A table cloth should fall at least a foot below the top of the table and no less than about 15cm above the ground.
If you know your family like to get pretty rowdy when the drinks are flowing and fun is being had then it's a good idea to lay a blanket over the table to help prevent spillages or hot dishes marking your table underneath.
Again, this one is not absolutely necessary but it can add a nice touch to your table setting and protect your table from unwanted spills or hot dishes.
Put placemats in front of each chair, trying to leave around 30cm between guests for comfort (no one likes bumping elbows as they're trying to get to the roast potatoes).
There's no rule as to how to place or fold a napkin so let your creativity out on this one. If you're simply folding a napkin in half then place it to the left of the plate, underneath the forks, is perfectly okay.
Or you can opt for a more ornately folded napkin and place it in the centre of the dinner plate.
Now, you might like the convenience of paper napkins but for a formal occasion, it's time to get out your linen or cotton options (sorry about the extra washing).
This all sounds very technical but trust us it's easy to pick up and even easier to remember next time you have some entertaining to do!