How To Set the Table

How To Set the Table

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From where to place your flatware to the spacing of different plates, get the lowdown on settings

Entertaining can be a daunting task.

There are the obvious tasks, like invitations to extend and food to prepare. Another important detail is setting the table — not just putting out plates, glasses and flatware, but setting each place properly. Whether you are hosting a formal dinner party or something more casual, these rules will help you to set a lovely canvas for a delicious meal.


Begin setting the plates out on the table. Try to make them as evenly spaced as possible so your guests have plenty of elbow room during the meal. If you are a bit of a perfectionist, bring a ruler to the table and measure the distance from plate to plate, which should be two feet from plate center to plate center. Once you have your plates set, the rest is easy!


I’m sure you’re familiar with the scene in Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts’s character is completely confused by the silverware at a fancy restaurant. To avoid this, always remember to start from the outside. Begin with the silverware you need for the first course and set that on the outside. Then, work your way in towards the plate. Forks belong to the left of the plate, and spoons and knives to the right. And of course, this rule has a couple exceptions. If you have a cocktail fork, that belongs on the outer right side. Dessert silverware, if you choose to set it on the table at the beginning of the meal, belongs at the top of the plate. However, I find that it is easier and less stressful for everyone if dessert items come to the table at the end of the meal after everything else has been cleared away.

For more tips on how to set the table, head to Menuism!

—Rachael White, Menuism

7 Dishes to Make When You Just Want to Set Something on Fire

Learn how to flambé without burning down the house.

Burning your food is not usually a #CookingGoal, but sometimes you&aposve just got to set stuff on fire to bring out its best.

The French call this culinary technique flambé (flahm-BAY), which, no surprise, shares the same origin as the word flamboyant. A hallmark of old-school fine dining, a dish prepared en flambé was traditionally done tableside by waiters sporting tuxedos and superior attitudes. But in this day of DIY, there&aposs practically no restaurant trick we can&apost do at home — with the proper precautions, of course.

So, here&aposs how to get your flame on without burning down the house. Please assume I&aposm giving you all the requisite safety warnings when I say this kind of high-drama cooking means you&aposre literally playing with fire. Proceed with caution.

How to Flambé

Watch as our own Chef John gives you a crash course on the safe way to flambé this classic steak recipe with a cognac-laced pan sauce.

To recap the flambé steps:

  1. Turn off the heat under the pan.
  2. Pour in the brandy or cognac from a small cup, not from the bottle, and let it heat up.
  3. Light the brandy using a fireplace lighter or a very long match.

Flambé Q & A

What&aposs burning?

Although it looks like your food&aposs on fire, it&aposs really just the added alcohol burning off, leaving nothing behind but pure flavor without the sharp bite of the booze.

Will setting fire to my food overcook it?

No. Although the fire is undeniably hot and will affect the surface temperature of the dish, the small amount of alcohol used to set the dish aflame burns off so quickly that it has a minimal effect on the core temperature of the food.

Can any booze be used?

Your best choices for flambé are brandy, cognac, rum, or any high-alcohol spirit. Beer and wine are lower in alcohol and will not ignite properly.

Why can&apost I just pour from the bottle instead of using a separate bowl?

A flash of fire in your pan is a just cause for oohs and aahs. An exploding bottle of booze in your hand, not so much.

Sweets with Heat

Here&aposs Chef John again, showing you how to make a favorite New Orleans dessert that rocks a fiery finish. A pinch of cinnamon thrown in at the end makes for a extra colorful, sparkly inferno.

How to Set a Table When You're Having Guests for the Holidays

There are many things to sweat during the holiday season—so much awkward small talk! Don't let setting the table for your formal holiday dinner be one of them. If you're not sure how to set a table (specifically, how to arrange the silverware or plates), or if you're a guest who isn't sure what to do with that place setting in front of you, it's OK. Odds are that you're like me and treat your couch as a dining room table most nights of the week. (Make TV trays cool again, am I right?)

To help soothe your holiday table worries, I spoke with etiquette expert Thomas Farley, also known as Mister Manners. You may have seen him on the Today show or read his work in Town & Country. Here, he shares his tips for hosts and guests alike.

Before you bust out your great grandmother's china and silver (that you have to polish by hand), please note that it's OK if you want to go a more casual route. "I would say we're living in an exciting age in the sense that, really, you entertain the way you feel it best serves the occasion and best suits your guests and what your own entertaining style is," says Farley, who notes that many people aren't even registering for china anymore. But, he adds, "There is a specialness, particularly on a holiday occasion, that comes from a really beautifully set table that I think is lost if even on your most special of all special occasions you're doing a buffet."

If you are doing a formal table setting, there are things to be aware of when you're setting the table.

Be strategic about seating arrangements.

Do your cousins always get into an argument over dinner? Do you think your two friends would feel more comfortable sitting next to each other? Strategize beforehand to remove that anxiety (for everyone), and assign seats using place cards.

"You're really losing an opportunity to make your gathering sparkle if you don't do place cards, seating people where you think that they will best enjoy themselves and contribute to the overall mood of the night," Farley says.

What's the deal with the forks and knives?

A carryover from Europe is what Farley calls the continental-style of dining. Forks go on the left side of the plate, and knives and spoons go on the right. When you're arranging them, think about how many courses you're serving and set them from the outside to in with relation to the course sequence.

Don't overlook this tiny detail, either. "The knife blades face in, not out, so that it's a non-threatening gesture, whereas blades facing out towards the person sitting to your right is a little bit more aggressive," Farley says.

What about glassware?

Wine and water glasses go to the right of the plate. Also, while it is the holidays and people may get merrier than usual, it's polite to have a nonalcoholic alternative for your guests who are opting out of alcohol. While a restaurant will take away a wine glass from someone not drinking, that may be alienating at an intimate holiday dinner.

"As a good host, I would want to make sure that just because somebody is not drinking, that they don't feel like they could be a part of that," Farley says. Instead, offer something festive, like a sparkling apple cider.

I'm a guest at dinner. How do I approach the place setting?

A helpful tip that Farley teaches his students is BMW. "Think of a BMW logo: bread, meal, water, wine. BMW, and always in that order," he says.

So bread is on the left, your meal is in the center, and your beverages are to the right. Now you can avoid accidentally sharing your water glass.

We shouldn't have to say this, but keep your phones away.

"If you ever look at a map of a formal place setting, you will see oyster forks, you will see demitasse spoons, you will see things and items of cutlery that you don't even have the foggiest notion of what they might be for," Farley says. "What you never see is a spot for a baseball cap, a spot for keys, a spot for a wallet, or a spot for a phone. And that goes face-up or face-down."

If you're expecting an urgent business call or you're nervous that the babysitter might need you, keep your phone on vibrate on your person (lap or pocket, for example).

If that call comes, excuse yourself and take it away from the table. And this extends to other phone usages, too, including Googling of random trivia ("Oh, what movie was she in?"), which snowballs into people checking their social media and no one actually talking to each other. If not checking your phone for a few hours is too much to bear, do what I do and sneak a peek on a bathroom trip. But don't fall down a rabbit hole and disappear for too long.

These tips should make your next holiday gathering less daunting. But if you get tripped up, just remember that your family and friends are there to spend time together. And it's not the end of the world if there's a fork or glass out of line at your dinner party, but at least now you know how to set a table the proper way.

Set the perfect Italian dinner table the Silver Spoon way

Eating well in Italy requires a little more than just great food. “Italians take pride in setting their tables, even for informal or everyday meals,” explains the text in The Silver Spoon Classic, our luxurious, new collection of the best recipes from the world's leading Italian cookbook. “Depending on the style of the dishes to be served, the table will be set with elegant or rustic plates, glasses, knives and forks, etc.

“Many Italian families have complete sets of tableware, glasses, tablecloths and so on that they use for special occasions - these are often passed down through generations of the family,” the book goes on to explain. “While in the past using a tablecloth was imperative even for an everyday meal, these days, the tablecloth is often substituted with tablemats. However, using a beautiful, possibly embroidered, white tablecloth will always mark a special occasion.

“A dinner plate is always set on the table, with a fork to its left and a knife to its right. For a more informal setting, you could put both the fork and knife on one side of the plate. Even informal dining will use a glass for your wine and a glass for water and, if you are planning to serve more than one wine during the meal, you should add additional glasses.

“In general, food will be brought to the table on serving dishes from the same dining service or set of plates that you are using for the place settings, but for more rustic meals, you can also bring the pots and pans you have used when cooking to the table, especially if these are casserole dishes, Dutch ovens, or terracotta dishes.

“Pasta, rice, and soups are normally brought to the table in a serving bowl. If there is going to be a dessert, a small spoon will be set at the top of each place setting, above the dinner plate. To complete your table setting, add a basket of bread, salt and pepper, olive oil in a pourer or jar (never the bottle in which you bought it), and a bowl with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

“Even if you are planning to eat only a first course as a ‘piatto unico’, you would never put a bowl in which to serve pasta directly on the table, always placing it on top of the main dinner plate. The same is true of knives and forks and even if you are not planning to use a knife as well as a fork, you would always put both on the table at each place setting.

“In general, as they are thought to display the food to its best advantage, the dishes used traditionally in Italy are white, perhaps with a simple colored rim, and you should use one design of china throughout the whole meal, from antipasti to dessert, not mixing and matching. And of course you should never mix and match designs of knives and forks or plates between the guests.”

Of course, the best laid dinner table will not impress your guests if the actual menu has not been assembled with a similar degree of care and attention. The Silver Spoon Classic advises that the menu must be properly balanced so that each dish can be enjoyed to its best effect.

"Traditionally, an Italian meal had five courses," The Silver Spoon Classic reveals. These are: an antipasto a first course (primo piatto), which could be pasta, rice, or a soup a main course (secondo), which was based on meat, fish, or eggs and a side of vegetables (contorno) and fresh fruit with a dessert (dolce) to finish.

"Nowadays, an antipasto course is served before the first course only for special occasions such as Christmas, New Year’s Eve, or Easter, or when serving a particularly formal meal. More frequently the antipasto will take the place of the first course or, when served in a larger portion, it can also become a main course. It is important to balance the richness of the different courses in your meal. If you are planning to serve a robust main course, you need to balance this with lighter choices for the other courses.

In a harmonious menu, it is advisable not to repeat the same main ingredient in the different courses you serve and also not to mix the styles of cooking too much - for example, a rustic first course should not be followed by too sophisticated a main course. It is also becoming quite common to serve a “piatto unico” that could be selected from any of the different savory sections of the book, accompanied simply by steamed or raw vegetables and followed by fresh fruit or a dessert. It’s also traditional to serve a variety of cheeses after the main course and before the dessert.

Got that amici? For the accompanying recipes, further dining and cookery tips, and much, much more, order a copy of The Silver Spoon Classic here.

Related wikiHows

  1. ↑ Natasha Miller. Event Planner & CEO, Entire Productions. Expert Interview. 20 April 2021.
  2. ↑https://www.four-h.purdue.edu/foods/Setting%20the%20table%20frame1.htm
  3. ↑http://emilypost.com/advice/informal-place-setting/
  4. ↑https://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table_setting.html
  5. ↑https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/food-recipes/party-ideas/a25997/formal-place-setting/
  6. ↑https://www.etiquettescholar.com/dining_etiquette/table_setting/place_setting/flatware/placing_flatware.html
  7. ↑https://www.thekitchn.com/table-manners-the-proper-way-to-eat-soup-178927
  8. ↑https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/table-etiquette-guide-informal-dining-manners/
  9. ↑https://www.realsimple.com/holidays-entertaining/entertaining/how-to-set-a-table

How to Set Up a Buffet Table

For more practical –– and visually striking –– food service, arrange your dishes and utensils on a beautiful buffet table.

Related To:

A Stunning Smorgasbord

While a seated meal might seem the most-formal format for an elegant affair, buffets are equally (if not more) appropriate for big holiday gatherings. Having guests serve themselves is much easier than passing platters up and down a table, and it will allow them to swiftly fill their plates with just the food they want. But there's more to building a buffet than tossing a bunch of dishes on a counter. Read on for guidelines that will help you create a buffet table that's both beautiful and smart –– the visual presentation is as important as practical arrangement to facilitate smooth flow.

Layer Your Linens

To build a visually striking buffet table, start by layering two or three linens of varying widths over your table. Combine a textured fabric like linen or burlap with a patterned or printed one.

Create Levels

Using boxes, crates or stands to add height to your tablescape is probably the best trick in the book when it comes to creating a full, beautiful buffet. If you skip this step, your buffet will inevitably look “flat.”

. And More Levels

Don't be afraid to put cake stands on top of crates and boxes to create even more height at the back of the table. This makes it easier for your guests to access the dishes at the back of the buffet — and will keep their sleeves out of the food.

Add Texture

Add texture to your table with flowers, garlands or even cut branches. Hydrangeas make a great full-volume arrangement that won’t break the bank. For a more romantic or feminine gathering, display garden roses with a few petals scattered down the tabletop, or try simple olive branches in water –– they work with just about any color scheme.

Friendly Fire

Never underestimate the power of good lighting. Transform your room into an intimate and festive environment with low overhead lighting and a few flickering candles. Make sure the candles are lit before your guests arrive for an instantly welcoming vibe.

To Each Their Own

Offer two different plate sizes. The smaller ones are great for guests who want to snack on a few appetizers or start with a plate of vegetable dishes before moving onto heavier meats and mains.

A Table That Reads

As you lay out utensils and dishes, plan for your guests to move from the left side of the table toward the right (like reading a book). The plates should be placed on the far left, and the food items should be thoughtfully arranged in the way guests will likely want to add the food to their plates (e.g., the gravy should be placed all the way to the right).

Happy Endings

It’s hard for guests to prepare their plates when they’re juggling silverware and napkins. Place flatware and linens at the far right side of the buffet for easy pickup at the end of the line.

On the Menu

Guests always appreciate knowing what they’re being served. Create a simple chalkboard sign listing all of your buffet items, or use a few simple menu cards to label each dish. These were made with precut white tabletop cards and a red pen.

Dish It Out

Make sure that your guests have the proper utensils they’ll need to serve each dish on your buffet. If you don't have enough serving spoons, tongs and other larger utensils, ask some of your guests to bring them for you to borrow for the night.

Raise the Bar

Keep the beverage station separate from where the buffet line will form. This keeps the flow of the party moving and prevents guests from struggling with drinks while they're trying to serve themselves food. It also makes for a nice "cocktail hour" focal point and allows guests to serve themselves drinks just as easily.

To browse the tables in the database, we can run the SELECT command from the command line:

We can also use the content tab in Sequel Pro to graphically browse the tables:

In the next post in this series of posts, I will go over the basics of querying for data in a SQL database.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them below. If you liked this post, you can share it with your followers or follow me on Twitter!

How to Host a Fall Dinner Party

Hosting a fall dinner party? We got some autumn entertaining tips from an expert and scoured the web for our favorite fall dinnerware and table linens—so you can pull off a festive fall get-together without stressing out about it. And yes, there are ideas about what food to serve too.

A delicious meal is the most important aspect for obvious reasons (well, besides the company and camaraderie), but a beautiful, seasonally decorated dinner table sets the vibe for the evening—and a few thoughtful touches can make whatever you’re serving seem even more special.

So invite a few friends or family members over some fall night, and surprise them with your gorgeous table. But don’t go too crazy here. Hold off shelling out your dough on some Waterford crystal (by all means, put it on your Christmas list if you’re feeling lucky). Coordinate a few key pieces to keep it autumnal and extend that attention to the food as well, and you’ll have an evening to remember.

Create a Query to Pull an Individual Category of Recipes

  1. Go to Access’ 𠇌reate” tab and click on the “Query Design” button. A pop up box will appear asking which table to base the query on. Click on “T002 – Recipes” and click the add button. Now click close.
  2. Click on “Recipe Name” in the “T002 – Recipes” box, hold the shift key down, and then click on the bottom field name. It may take a second or two to respond. Once it is highlighted, drag all of the fields into the boxes below.
  3. Under 𠇏ood Category”, go down to the criteria row and enter the “[Enter Food Category]” without the quotation marks. This will cause a pop up box to come up when the query is run that asks you to enter the food category that you want. We will use this to generate a report.
  4. Save the query as “Q100 – Recipes by Food Category.”
  5. Close the query box.

Harvest Party Table Setting

Set the Stage with Natural Elements

Setting the table is your chance to set the scene and mood for your party. I wanted my dinner to be special, but relaxed and casual, as well. It features beautiful seasonal produce in its natural form with little alteration — allowing the true beauty of these pumpkins and gourds to shine. Along with the pumpkins straight from the farm, the setting includes super-tall, elegant taper candles — elegant and rustic elements — my favorite combination. A centerpiece made of pumpkins, squash and gourds versus a formal floral design says all of the right things about my party.

As the harvest season is all about the celebration of bounty, I wanted the table to feel full and plentiful. With so many colors and shapes to choose from, it is easy to get overwhelmed and end up with a hodgepodge result. I recommend that you pick 2 or 3 complementary colors to avoid making the table setting too busy. I selected gourds that were all muted in color – pale butternut, green-blues and creamy white, then added pops of red-orange for contrast.

What You’ll Need:

  • Linen runner: If you don’t have one, you can use a piece of burlap or brown kraft paper, or create a runner out of a drapery panel folded in half, like I did.
  • 2 or 3 medium blue pumpkins: If you are seating 6, place 2 medium pumpkins down the middle of the table, placing them in the gaps between the place settings. If you are serving 8, use 3 pumpkins, placing them in the space between the place settings.
  • 8 to 10 small gourds and squash: Use a variety of sizes, shapes and colors (sticking to your coordinated palette), and lay them evenly down the center of the table in groups of 3 or 4.
  • 2 branches (I used pear berry branches): Weave branches in through the pumpkins and gourds, creating a natural flow down the table. The branches help to visually pull all the elements together, creating a cohesive look.
  • 6 mini pumpkins: Create candle holders by coring out the center of mini pumpkins. This is an inexpensive way to make candle holders if you don’t own any. For step-by-step instructions, visit the “How to Create a Mini Pumpkin Candle Holder” post on Everyday Occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick .
  • 6 taper candles: I used ivory, but a soft toffee or fawn-colored candle would look great with this, too.
  • 6 white pantry plates: I like to use solid white plates when I am using a large variety of colors on the table. The white helps to ground the table and provides some much-needed simplicity to the bountiful centerpiece.
  • 6 white hemstitched linen napkins: Let the centerpiece be the center of attention. These hemstitched linen napkins are luxurious, but in a subtle classic way.

Harvest Party Menu

Not only should your table reflect the bounty of the season, but your menu should, too. When you’re at the farmers’ market selecting your centerpiece pumpkins, ask around for great recipes that utilize the season’s best. The menu I’ve compiled below is a balance of indulgent, fresh and flavorful seasonal recipes.

Tips for Hosting a Great Dinner Party

Entertaining your friends for dinner can seem more challenging than it needs to be. With these helpful tips, you’ll be able to host a fall harvest dinner party with ease … and have a great time, too!

Make the House Buzz

Have you ever been the first to arrive at a party? If the house is quiet and the lights are bright, it doesn’t quite feel like a party. I like to have the lights low, candles lit, fun music going and a “help yourself” cocktail station ready to go 30 minutes before the party begins. Getting everything set out early allows me to wind down before anyone arrives and gives me a chance to feel like a guest at my own party. There is nothing worse than arriving when the hostess is frantically dusting the mantle and juggling pots and pans in the kitchen.

Cocktails, Then Wine

I like to start a party off with a fun festive drink for cocktail hour, then serve wine at dinner. I hardly ever offer a full bar to my guests – it is too much to put together for a small gathering. If you offer someone a tasty seasonal drink when they walk in the door, it gives you another opportunity to set the mood for the evening. For the harvest party, I recommend serving Spiked Mulled Cider and a local Pumpkin Beer to kick off the night.

Leave the Dishes!

After dinner, so many times my guests offer to help with the dishes … no way! No one really wants to do dishes, not even me. I encourage my guests to leave their plates right where they are — “don’t worry about the dishes, let’s have dessert!” — and we all move into the most comfortable room in the house (perhaps around a fire). I like to pre-set this chosen, comfortable area with coffee or an after-dinner cocktail and dessert.

If I want the evening to last forever, I’ll put out a big tray that is full of chocolate-covered fruit, cookies, candies and caramels that can be continuously nibbled on as the evening goes late into the night. This open-ended dessert invites guests to get comfortable and help themselves. Easy conversation and stories are certain to follow.

About the author: Jenny Steffens Hobick, a home entertaining and lifestyle blogger, makes entertaining accessible and enjoyable… for the hosts and guests. As a former caterer and party planner, Jenny shares her secrets to hosting casual and elegant parties. From table settings to recipes, her creative tips and resourceful methods inspire her readers to make Everyday Occasions special – whether it be a family style feast, elegant cocktail party or intimate dinner for two. Jenny believes that entertaining at its best is done often, with an effortless and easy style.

Where to find an Enchanting Table in Creative Mode

Minecraft Java Edition (PC/Mac)

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Java Edition (PC/Mac)1.8 - 1.17 Decoration Blocks

Minecraft Pocket Edition (PE)

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Pocket Edition (PE)0.14.1 - 1.1.3 Decorations
Pocket Edition (PE)1.2 - 1.16.20 Items

Minecraft Xbox Editions

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Xbox 360TU35 - TU69 Miscellaneous
Xbox OneCU23 - CU43 Miscellaneous
Xbox One1.2.5 - 1.16.20 Items

Minecraft PS Editions

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
PS31.26 - 1.76 Miscellaneous
PS41.26 - 1.91 Miscellaneous
PS41.14.0 - 1.16.20 Items

Minecraft Nintendo

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Wii UPatch 3 - Patch 38 Miscellaneous
Nintendo Switch1.04 - 1.11 Miscellaneous
Nintendo Switch1.5.0 - 1.16.20 Items

Minecraft Windows 10 Edition

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Windows 10 Edition0.14.1 - 1.1.3 Decorations
Windows 10 Edition1.2 - 1.16.20 Items

Minecraft Education Edition

Here is where you can find an enchanting table in the Creative Inventory menu:

PlatformVersion(s)Creative Menu Location
Education Edition0.14.2 - 1.0.18 Decorations
Education Edition1.0.21 - 1.14.31 Items


  • Platform is the platform that applies.
  • Version(s) is the Minecraft version numbers where the item can be found in the menu location listed (we have tested and confirmed this version number).
  • Creative Menu Location is the location of the item in the Creative menu.

Watch the video: Wir decken den Tisch. - We are setting the table. - A1. A2 - German to go (June 2022).


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