With the busy day schedule we both have, me and my boyfriend often dine in restaurants because cooking at home takes so much time we both simply don’t have. And dining in restaurants is just so good: the perfect ambiance, the music, the fact that you have a waiter taking care of your order, the unbelievably delicious food and of course, the sophistication and beauty of the table arrangement. It’s that moment that creates the entire ambiance actually – the moment when you’re escorted to your perfectly arranged table that’s perfectly illuminated and decorated that you just instantly get in that luxury state of mind and turn your enjoyment mode on. How can you give that up?
You don’t have to actually. You can re-create it at home. I’ve been thinking about this moment and after careful observation of how things are done in a few good restaurants in Brisbane, I decided I was going to give it a try: prepare dinner for the two of us in the comfort of our own dining room with a dose of restaurant charm. And since I don’t spend that much time in the kitchen, normally I don’t have all the necessary elements, so I sat down and started searching for cutlery and glassware sets. I found a great Hospitality wholesale which came as a blessing to a rookie like me; you have everything there! Plus, you can have everything delivered right to your door. So, what do you need to prep your table for a dinner for two, or even for a friends gathering, and more importantly, how should everything be arranged on the table?
The standard table setting is for a three-course meal and it follows the basic ‘outside-in’ rule: the flatware element you’ll be using last should be placed next to the plate in front of you. Here’s how the etiquette goes.
The dinner plate and other larger plates like the luncheon are placed together at the edge of the table, which means they’re not placed on the table when your guests sit down.
Once they sit, the plates should be placed. I got the basic plate set from Hospitality wholesale which includes a salad plate that should be placed left of the forks, a dinner plate, as well as fish and dessert plates which stay a few centimetres of the edge of the table.
Forks, knifes and spoons
Forks are always placed on the left side of the plate. The one placed the furthest is meant for salads while the one next to the plate is for the dinner. This is how it goes if you’re serving the salad first, and it would be in reversed order if you want to serve it after the main course. The dinner knife is always placed next to the dinner plate with the blade facing the plate. Spoons include a soup spoon which stays far right of the knife, and a smaller one for the dessert which is placed above the dinner plate along with the dessert fork.
This is maybe the most important part, especially for people who enjoy a glass of good wine along with their meal. You should have a glass for water placed at a position closest to the hand, slightly above the tip of the dinner knife. One wine glass at least, should be placed right above the one filled with water. Wine glasses hold an etiquette of their own, but since we’re talking about preparing the table for an in-home friends gathering, more than one glass for wine is simply not needed. Just make sure you put the right glasses according to the wine. Along with the glasses go the coffee cups. A coffee cup with a saucer stands right of the place setting with the spoon placed right of the saucer.
Finally, the decorations
You want a table that’s going to emit the sophistication and style you feel and enjoy in a restaurant.
As you know, a restaurant ambiance is created with the right decorative garnishments like candles for a more intimate and romantic atmosphere, a larger flower arrangement for a more classy but chic look, and just one flower in a thin vase for a touch of elegance. And yes, sometimes silence is golden, but don’t let it ruin your perfect ambiance: play whatever you enjoy at a volume level that will allow you to talk and listen to your partner.