This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)
Do you have important guests at dinner? Today I show you what are the elements of a table setting according to etiquette, debunking some myths and, above all, using common sense.
Have you ever seen a table setting according to etiquette? Yes, the last time it happened to me for Cortesie per gli Ospiti, the reality show of Reat Time that has starred me and Irene.
It had been years since I had been home to anyone for lunch or dinner because, as you all know by now, I do not know how to cook and, to avoid losing important friendships, I prefer to be hosted.
But I know the etiquette because I had to study it. In fact I will tell you that when I learned about the essential elements of a table setting according to etiquette I dreamed of amazing my guests with a sensational cuisine.
All I needed was my cousins and a champagne risotto that looked like industrial glue to destroy all my dreams of glory.
For Cortesie per gli Ospiti I had instead to brush up my notions of etiquette and especially the plates that I had never used since my wedding day!
The Golden Birds service by Villeroy Boch was indeed one of the wedding gifts and has remained in its beautiful showcase for well ….. 18 years !!!
So for me to finally be able to use this service was really a topical moment, even if none of the judges have realized eating on a fine dish set. They were more engaged in disengaging themselves from the couch, eating and watching the house.
What are the elements of a table setting according to etiquette? Here are a few simple rules to make a great impression:
The tablecloth must follow the shape of the table and must be about 40-45 cm long beyond the edge
The centerpiece must be short because the guests must be able to look into their eyes as they speak
Only the cutlery that will be used is to be put: the forks of starters, first, and second courses go to the left and knife and spoon to the right. All in the indicated sequence
The napkin goes to the left next to the forks and folded into a booklet
The saucer of the bread, if necessary, goes to the left above the forks but … sincerely now it is no longer used
The glasses should be positioned to the right in this sequence: water, wine, champagne (if provided)
Underplate yes or no? It depends on the space in the table, if the table is small, as in my case, you can avoid putting the underplate.
And remember that:
The hosts must be seated at the head of the table, the woman more towards the kitchen and the man towards the front door.
To the right of the hosts go the most important or older guests.
A table setting according to etiquette has its advantages: people will focus on that rather than on the meal you will cook and in my case it is absolutely necessary !!
Tips of the day
- How should you dress? It depends on the importance of the dinner but in any case unless you are Queen Elizabeth I would not go over the cocktail dress code
- If you want to cook the soup try this recipe and remember that you eat with the spoon from the outside to the inside.