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Place Setting

The space, or setting, on the table where the dinnerware, stemware, and flatware are placed.

At every dinner party, the table is the centerpiece. The following place setting tips will help you set the perfect table.

formal dinners (multi-course)

  • Courses are served one-at-a-time.
  • The dinnerware is placed in the center of the setting.
  • Side dishes and cups and saucers are not found on the table.
  • Demitasse may be served in a different room.

informal dinners (fewer courses)

  • Courses may be placed on the table all at once or one at a time.
  • If all at once, sufficient space for side dishes is needed.
  • Bread, salad, and fruit plates are all placed to the left of the setting (or the reverse for a left-handed person).
  • Cups and saucers are placed to the right of the outermost piece of flatware.

With those basics in mind, the links in the column to the right will provide you with a complete guide to the perfect place setting.


- , Editor, Etiquette Scholar

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