Welcome, a table set in the rules of the art

Welcome, a table set in the rules of the art

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For the holidays or a special occasion you want to put the small dishes in the big but you are not really sure.e to know the mysterious rules which govern the position of glasses and knives? It's normal ! The use has evolved a lot over time, we do not set up a festive table like that of everyday life and even the fussy people sometimes hesitate between the two main methods of implementation: English or French. By following our advice, you will see that it is not so complicated to set a table in the rules of art, in French style and without faults in taste, worthy of great restaurants and the best tables!

How to set up the tablecloth and the napkins?

First of all choose your tablecloth carefully: it must be made of fabric, clean and well ironed. It must also be large enough to fall widely on each side. If your tablecloth is too small, you can connect several smaller tablecloths but preferably identical and in threes so as not to have a connection in the center. (What do you mean you don't have 3 identical tablecloths?) The most chic hosts place an under-tablecloth or a fleece under the fabric to dampen the noise of the many glasses, dishes and plates. The napkins must be made of fabric, match the tablecloth and also be perfectly ironed. You can place them in the center of each plate, but their place is more generally on the left of the plate, near the cutlery.

A beautiful table, it starts with a pretty tablecloth

Well-placed plates

The plates should be placed 2 cm from the edge of the table and 30-40 cm from each other to guarantee sufficient comfort for your guests. They must be impeccable, without traces, scales or cracks, and if they have a pattern, it must be well centered and turned towards the person who will sit in front. In order to never leave the table bare, you can opt for sub-plates. They will add a decorative touch depending on the material and color chosen: ceramic, wicker, glass ... many fantasies are allowed! Note also, if you stack in the same place the plates of successive service, that you never stack two flat plates on top of each other, and that the flat plates slide under the deep plates, and not the opposite .

The choice and the position of the plates, what a headache!

Where to place the glasses?

Here is one of the thorny points of the establishment! The quality of the service is often judged by the quantity of glasses present at the table in France: they should ideally be made of crystal, but ordinary stemware will do the trick, provided they are sparkling, free of lime or fingerprints! The glasses are arranged behind the plate, from left to right, from the largest to the smallest. The water glass is thus on the left, followed by red and then white wine glasses. The champagne flute or glass is placed on the far right or, even more chic, behind the water glass. Avoid colored glasses that prevent you from appreciating the color (color) of the wine, and bring the shot glasses only during dessert or coffee.

Pretty thin, light and transparent glasses is the best!

The rules for placing cutlery

Another sensitive point is the position of the cutlery: on the left, on the right, how much, in what order and in what direction? Don't panic, it's not that complicated! The fork is placed on the left of the plate, the knife on the right. If a spoon is needed, place it next to the knife. French dressage provides that the sharp side of the knives is turned inward, and the curved side of the forks and spoons upwards. In theory, you should have as many place settings as there are dishes. Place them in the order of use, from the outside to the inside. You will use the cutlery furthest from the plate first. However if you have planned a pantagruelic meal with many services, no need to line up more than three place settings at the risk of overloading the table. You will bring the new cutlery at the same time as the dishes. For the same reason, only bring the cheese and dessert cutlery when serving them, at least if you want to follow the label to the letter. But nobody will probably blame you if you put them in front of the glasses, behind the plate, at the start of the meal. Likewise, French-style training only tolerates dessert forks, but I imagine that no guest will take offense at having to use a teaspoon!

For cutlery: we go from outside to inside

Where to put the bread at the table?

Another controversial subject, the position of bread! Ideally, it should not be bread cut into slices or pieces but individual rolls. These are placed in the center of the plate or, even more chic, in individual plates at the top left of the plate. At this point, if you plan to move to be able to put it all on the living room table, relax: sliced ​​bevels can be offered to guests, but must be in a basket on a dessert or tray. Impers to avoid absolutely: the bread basket on the table or, even worse, the uncut bread at the table!

The position of the bread, an important detail

Other recommendations for a perfectly set table

Does all this seem complicated to you? It is ! It is also up to you to adapt these rules according to your table, your dishes, your habits and the level of requirement of your guests. If setting a table in the state of the art can be fun, it is not about turning your dinner into a nightmare. Remember that being in good company around an appetizing table is the essential aspect of a meeting with family or friends! But if you want to carry the experiment to the end, here are some other tips that might be useful to you: * When your guests arrive, the table must already be set (yes, even the plates that will be removed during first service). However, no dish should appear at the table before the guests are seated. * Mineral water should not be served in bottles. Pour it into a nice carafe that you will place on the table. * The bottles of wine must be placed in front of the master of the house who will serve. If you are using a decanter, leave the bottle in sight so that guests can see it. * Do not forget to place a salt and pepper shaker at the table, and if your menu provides for it, a small plate of butter near each guest, at the top left of the plate. * Do not overload the table with decoration. The idea is to showcase your dishes, not hide them under the ribbons, the subjects and the fabrics! Not too fragrant flowers or an elegant table runner are usually enough to dress up a festive table, and the dishes themselves set the tone for the event. Even if you "pack the package", avoid excessively large decorations which may disturb the guests or the service.

Candles and a few flowers for a refined atmosphere