When it comes to all of those holiday dinners, there are two groups of people. You are either the host or the guest. In my family, that role stayed the same for almost 20 years. I was the host of the holiday dinners up until a few years ago. I was the one who had a bigger space, so it was easier for everyone to come to me. I did not mind a bit because I love to cook and host a good party. There was one area I was never sure I was getting right, and that was how I set my holiday table. Setting the right table can add to the atmosphere of the entire meal, so getting it right is key. If you are not 100% sure of where the flatware, glasses and napkin goes, here is a guide to help:
8 Steps To Setting Your Holiday Dinner Table
- Table Linens: Whether you are setting a casual or formal table, linen napkins and a tablecloth or runner is always a nice touch. Your napkin will go to the left of the forks, in the water or wine glass or folded in the middle of the dinner plate.
- Place Mat or Charger: Next you want to build your foundation. Begin with either a place mat or a charger, which looks like a large plate. Choosing a charger in a complimentary solid color to your dinnerware is the perfect way to set the perfect dinner table.
- Dinnerware: The dinner plate goes on top of the placemat or charger. A salad plate goes above the forks and the butter plate goes above that, slightly to the right.
- Flatware: Forks go on the left of the dinner plate, with the salad fork to the left of the dinner fork which is next to the plate. The dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate, with the edges facing the plate and the spoon to the right of that. Butter knives should be laid flat on the bread plate with the cutting edge facing the direction of the dinner plate. For a more formal table, you will add a dessert fork to the right of the dinner fork and a teaspoon will go in between the dinner knife and soup spoon. If you have the need for one, the cocktail fork will go to the right of the soup spoon.
- Glassware: Your red wine glass goes above the soup spoon, the water glass will go slightly above and to the left and the white wine glass next to that. This will look like Mickey Mouse ears.
Formal: For a more formal affair, you will add to the above guidelines. For glasses,
- Table Accessories: Be sure to keep salt and pepper grinder, butter, sauces and other items in reach of your dinner guests. The larger the number of guests, the more of these you will need on the table.
- Place Cards: For the more formal affair, the place card goes directly above the dinner plate or charger. For the more casual dinner, attach them to a small gift for your guest.
- Centerpiece: Every table should have some sort of centerpiece. This can be fresh flowers cut from your garden or a piece of driftwood from the beach with candles around it. Get creative and have fun! That is what is important in this case!
I think part of the reason I had a bit of dread in my stomach when I have people over to eat is my mix match of flatware. I have pieces from 3 or 4 old sets of flatware and it is so embarrassing! I needed new flatware, so I was on the hunt for something that would fit my personality. I wanted a company I could trust who made a larger variety of high quality flatware and additional pieces I may need. I also wanted to find flatware that was not my grandmother’s flatware! I wanted something a bit on the quirky side, but still had a feel of elegance about it. For me, that company is Gourmet Settings. Not only do you get gorgeous handmade flatware from Gourmet Settings, you also get to bring a bit of joy to your table. If you are going to use your flatware everyday of the year, why not make it beautiful and a little fun?
I chose the Silver Tear pattern from Gourmet Settings and I absolutely love it. It is stainless steel flatware with a mirror polished finish. It has a groovy twist, which gives it s whimsical look but still looks elegantly modern. It is perfect to use everyday and will still look absolutely smart and impress your guests at your next holiday dinner. It is created from heat forged stainless steel and the highest quality 8mm gauge. It comes with a 25-year warranty and is 100% dishwasher safe! The place setting includes a 7 1/2″ salad fork, 8 1/4″ dinner fork, 9 1/4″ dinner knife, 7 3/4″ table spoon and 7 1/4″ teaspoon and sells for $90 for the 20 piece setting for four. Gourmet Settings also serves the restaurant and food industry and offers gift ideas and registry for weddings. They even have their “Flatware 101” which offers all you need to know about the subject. One USA reader will win (2) 20 piece settings in the Silver Tear pattern ARV $180.
Do you set a formal or casual table during the holidays?