Easy Guide to Place Settings

Whether you are planning an informal or formal event, you should know a bit about the anatomy of a place setting. This reminds of when I was in high school, my parents took my sister and I to this fancy restaurant and I was totally overwhelmed. I had no idea what glass to drink out of, or even which one was mine. Now with alot more experience I can enjoy a formal place setting. Here is an easy guide to help you know what to reach for and when.

Start from the outside and work your way in toward the plate as the meal progresses. Usually, the big fork is for the entree; the big spoon for the soup. Any utensils placed horizontally above your plate are for dessert.

Here’s an easy tip to help you remember. Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. Your left hand will form a “b” and your right hand will form a “d.” Bread (b) is on your left; drink (d) is on your right.


It never goes back on the table. When you’re taking a break, rest your fork and knife entirely on the plate. When you are finished, place them diagonally on the plate, side by side, with the handles at 4 o’clock. The knife blade should face the center of the plate, not point out toward another guest (an ancient sign of aggression).


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