When hosting a dinner party for friends or an event for the family, the least of the problems is finding inspiration and suitable recipes. However, the art of setting a table is a very valuable and necessary skill. A unique atmosphere will be provided by candles, a beautiful tablecloth and fresh flowers. However, it’s time to go back to basics, or more precisely, to the rules of how to aesthetically and properly set a table. Whether you are inviting guests to your home for an exquisite dinner party or just preparing a meal for your family, proper table setting is equally important, and the basic principles are the same. That’s why we have a little download for you: how to set the table properly?

art of table setting
Source: RiE World

First rule

Complicated table settings function only to facilitate the process of serving guests. This is why we still use “old-fashioned” schemes at formal parties and banquets. The first rule, for both those who set the table and those who sit at it, is that we arrange cutlery in the order in which it will be used. The farthest away from the plate is the cutlery that will be used first. Even a layman the art of savoir-vivre, knowing only this rule, will always know how to use each cutlery.


The art of setting a table is not only the skillful arrangement of dishes and cutlery. In addition to keeping the tablecloth clean and the tableware shiny, it’s worth remembering to stick to style. If the tableware used is patterned, the tablecloth should be uniform, matching the color of the tableware. If the tableware is plain we can choose a tablecloth with patterns or light texture. The tablecloth should hang evenly on each side of the table, at least 20 cm each. Even better when it reaches the seat of the chair. An interesting fact is that the creases of the tablecloth created as a result of folding do not need to be ironed, as they are believed to emphasize freshness.

art of table setting
Source: RiE World


personal space

At the table, each person should have a space of about 50cm for himself, ideally 70cm. This will allow you to eat your meal and handle cutlery with ease. It is very serious not to disturb the “neighbor”. We will then avoid inadvertently spilled wine or scattered food on the tablecloth.


They are essential on every table. They serve not only as decoration, but also for hygienic purposes. For formal, important meetings, cloth napkins will be best. Remember that such napkins are placed on the lap before the start of the meal. The first person from the company to reach for it is the host (or hostess) of the meeting: thereby giving a sign to other guests to do the same. After using the napkin (i.e., after drying the corners of the mouth and wiping the fingers), we put it back in our lap each time. The napkins are matched with other decorative elements of the table. According to the rule of thumb, napkins are placed on the left side of the plate, but guided by aesthetics, a lot of variations have been created on how to arrange napkins and where they should lie. It is worth remembering that after eating a meal, we put them away on the right side. As you can see, the art of setting a table is also closely related to the rules of savoir vivre.

art of table setting
Source: RiE World



Place the tableware evenly 2 cm from the edge of the table. Arrange the dinner plate first, and on top of it, depending on the type of takeover and the food being served, a salad plate and/or a deep soup plate. Place the bread plate on the left side. Place the butter knife on the bread plate, with the blade to the left  The coffee/tea spoon should lie on the saucer, to the right of the cup.


Arrange cutlery in the order in which it will be used. The farthest away from the plate is the cutlery that will be used first. Arrange the forks on the left side of the setting, the knives and soup spoon on the right, and the de dessert spoon above the plate. If one of the dishes is fish, it is served with a special knife used not to cut the meat, but to remove the skin.


Arrange the water, wine and vodka glasses over the plate on the right side, in order from smallest to largest, from left to right.

art of table setting
Source: RiE World

The article originated and was first published on rie-world.com.


Używamy plików cookie, aby zapewnić najlepszą jakość korzystania z Internetu. Zgadzając się, zgadzasz się na użycie plików cookie zgodnie z naszą polityką plików cookie.

Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Ustawienie prywatności

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec