Friday, September 7, 2007

Setting Pretty

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O.K. so you’re hosting your first family dinner and can’t remember if the bread plate goes left or right of the dinner plate. Does the knife go inside the spoon or outside? Pretty soon, your dinner table setting looks like a child’s tea party, not the pretty Martha Stewart inspiration you had in mind. The basic table setting does have rules and here are two great tricks to help you remember the order of plates and utensils:


First, picture the word “FORKS”, The order, left to right is: F for Fork, O for Plate (the shape!), K for Knives and S for Spoons. (Okay – you have to forget the r, but you get the idea!)


Second, holding your hands in front of you, touch the tips of your thumbs to the tips of your fore-fingerers to make a lower case ‘b’ with your left hand and a lower case ‘d’ with your right hand. This reminds you that ‘bread and butter’ go to the left of the place setting and ‘drinks’ go on the right.

Some other things to know:
Knife blades always face the plate
The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate
The bread and butter plate and knife are optional


My table setting would look little like this:

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Special thanks to Emily Post and Daisy Chain!

(Place setting above: Plate - Isle of Skye, set of 4, $120.00, home, james!. Flatware - Toursade natural olivewood 5pc place setting , $208.00, Mariposa. Glassware/tumbler - Ella large tumber, $54.00, Juliska. Salad/Bread plate - Jasper Conran casual blue salad plate, $14.99, Bed, Bath and Beyond. Napkin - Liberty of London classic pattern, $35.00, Daisy Hill, Elements of Chicago).

11 comments:

People St.Clair said...

I love your place setting especially the plates and the tumbler too.

girl meets glamour said...

Oh, I so needed this lesson..thank you Sarah, I'm printing this out right now to keep in my kitchen drawer :)

~Kate

Oh Happy Blog! said...

You are so lovely to post this... I have resorted to my age-old methods for so long and though I do this on a weekly basis, I find myself absent-minded from time to time wondering if th knife faces in or out... I will most certainly pass on these little tricks

K said...

I've used the "B" and "D" with my thumbs for ages....so glad you do too. Love your place setting! I also like how you mix expensive pieces with more affordable ones because, lets face it, we may not get all the things on our registry :) Keep up the good work.

Sarah Dennis said...

Natasha, thanks for the compliment. Those "Juliska" tumblers are my favorite and a joy to touch. If you've never felt a "Juliska" glass I encourage you to do so, you're not going to believe how light they feel and how strong they are. Congrats again on the WB shout out!

Sarah Dennis said...

Kate, glad to help; but make room in that kitchen drawer because I haven't even posted about how to set a informal and formal table - - - choices, choices, choices!!! *smile*

Sarah Dennis said...

Hey Danielle, please do pass it along. All good hostess should know how to set a basic table setting. "Each one, Teach one"!

Sarah Dennis said...

k, have you ever read the poem, "All I Really Need to Know I learned in Kindergarten". *smile*. That's how old I was when my Mom taught me how to set the table. She used the finger method and even though I've set a gazillion tables since, I still remember the fingers...

Anonymous said...

Just love your blog! When we set the table -- we place the dessert fork and spoon at the top of the main place setting. I eat desserts with a fork and spoon -- and give my guests the choice of which THEY feel most comfortable to use! My own method -- using both -- has even drawn attention from other diners at luncheons! LOL! I learned this way when I attended school in England. And the side dish sits directly to the left of the plate or charger -- handy for catching those crumbs from crusty bread! LOL!

Jan at Rosemary Cottage in very soggy Dallas

mas@elegantengagements.com said...

Love your blog, love the post about place settings. I have been doing B/D also - mom taught me well.

I just might have to blog about this too. thanks for the reminders!

Mike said...

I love the knife and soup. They are beautiful.