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Basic Table Etiquette

If you're getting things ready for an everyday dinner or a weekend breakfast, you might want to know how to set a table properly. For casual events, one needs just a basic table setting: a placemat, cutlery (fork, knife, and spoon), a dinner plate, a water glass, and a napkin.

Basic Table Setting Instructions:

  1. Lay the placemat on the table.

  2. Put the dinner plate in the middle of the placemat.

  3. Lay the napkin to the left of the plate.

  4. Place the fork on the napkin.

  5. To the right of the plate, place the knife closest to the plate, blade pointing in. Place the spoon to the right of the knife. (Note: The bottoms of the utensils and the plate should all be level.)

  6. Place the water glass slightly above the plate, in between the plate and the utensils, about where 1 p.m. would be on a clock face.

Basic Table Setting Etiquette Tips:

If you prefer, it is acceptable to set the napkin on top of the plate in a basic table setting, though some think this can create a more formal feeling.

Now that you know the basic table setting rules, brush up on your table etiquette.

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