In order for fine dishes to shine, it is customary to serve them on beautiful plates with appropriate cutlery, and use table decorations to complete the overall impression. Let’s remind ourselves of the proper serving etiquette!

After you have done the lion’s share of the work and cooked all the delicious dishes that you will serve to your guests, it is time to decorate the dining table. This is usually done just before the guests arrive, so it is good to have everything prepared in advance to avoid stress.

If we’re dealing with breakfast or lunch, it is usual to put a tablecloth in light and neutral tones. A white tablecloth is a sign of elegance and you will not go wrong if you opt for it. Serving dinner allows using tablecloths of darker and bright colors. But when it comes to holidays, celebrations, and parties, there are no special rules—it’s a matter of your creativity and aesthetics. When serving a festive dinner/lunch, one should provide cloth napkins, while paper napkins are reserved for each day.

Preferably, use a set of the same cutlery for each course to visually achieve an elegant and even look. The choice of cutlery pieces to put on the table depends on the dishes you have prepared: it is unnecessary to put all the pieces because you will overcrowd the surface and confuse the guests. Cutlery should be placed from left to right— forks first, then knives, and finally spoons.

The rule is to place cutlery in a way that guests go from outside towards the plate while eating. The blade of the knife should always be facing the plate. The plate is placed between the fork and the knife, flush with the chair. Glasses are placed on the right side, above the knife and spoon. Don’t forget the dessert spoon or fork that is best placed above the plate.

Decoration is a nice addition, but by no means should you exaggerate with it. Tall candlesticks that will not disturb the view of guests or take up too much space on the table are a good choice. Bouquets of flowers are a nice touch but don’t even think about putting them in the middle, but on the end of the table so as not to take up the place where the food should be. Good company, delicious food, and great wine are still the most important part of any celebration, so even if you make a slip in serving, there is no need to worry.

Enjoy!

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