From Traditional Western culture until nowadays, dinner table setting is arranged during family meal time as well as the restaurants, hotels to the every each corner . There is so called table manners that we should know and it is applied when we are being served by western food. Not everyone follow exactly but we have the flexibility to use it due to our requirements. Here shows three common type of table settings.
The first one is the basic table setting. There is only one dinner plate, knife, fork, and a napkin. Placement setting as figure below and it looks very casual and simple.
Next, Let’s look at the informal table setting, the dinner plate put at the first with dinner fork at the left and dinner knife at the right. Don’t put too close from the edge but approximately 1 inch distance. Then follow by the salad fork or dessert fork ,tea spoon and soup spoon which place at outer space . Then, we will have One water glass and one wine glass put at the right as shown in figure above. The Salad plate is placing on top of dinner plate and the napkin is placing on the salad plate. This type of table setting is fit for those who need a simple course set . Some buffet party will apply this plate setting as well.
Let’s see the formal table setting above. It is considered the complete set for plate setting as we have Service plate also called a charge , simply resting for the dinner plate and it doesn’t mean to be used as normally it is bigger and more heavier than the dinner plate. We have the salad plate also can use as dessert plate placing on top of dinner plate. Same as informal plate setting, dinner fork and knife is on inside while salad fork, tea spoon and soup spoon will be placing outside. The bread plate with butter knife are only used according to the menu. Dessert spoon and cake fork are placing on the north of dinner plate. There are three glasses as shown in the figure above: water glass, red wine and white wine glasses. However, some restaurants prefer to use only two glasses. The coffee cup is generally not placed on the table until the dessert is served. Normally Napkin will be placed at the left of table setting or on top of the plates. Menu normally will place together with the napkin or on the plates.
What are the common table manners practise
1. The dinner should not begin to eat before the host has done so.
2. Only utensils which are to be used for the planned meal should be set.
3. Plate setting should not go too different than the formal setting as shown.
4. Candlesticks, even if not lit, should not be on the table while dining during luncheon
5. Bread knife is used to retrieve butter but not dinner knife ,its to prevent the food from getting all over the butter.
6. You should place your napkin on your lap as soon as food or drink first appears. After done eating, the napkin should be placed to the left of your plate. If you are half way eating, but temporarily leaving the seat, the napkin should be placed on left of the chair.
7. When you are finished with a course, always place the knife and fork parallel together across the center of the plate. If you are taking a “rest” but are not quite done, criss cross your knife and fork, with the knife blade pointing to the left.
8. When eating soup, the spoon is held in the right hand and the bowl tipped away from the diner, scooping the soup in outward movements. The soup spoon should never be put into the mouth, and soup should be sipped from the side of the spoon, not the end.The knife should never enter the mouth or be licked. Food should always be chewed with the mouth closed.Talking with food in the mouth is seen as very rude