How to Draw a “State of the Art” Table Plan for your Dinners

Sep 4, 2011
Veronica Brandy

The principle of a well dressed table is very simple: the tableware and glasses must be set up in their order of use, but there is also a certain way to arrange them, and how to make a well balanced seating plan.

Tablecloth and plates

Do not squish the guests and allow each of them about 65 cm width at the table.  The completed arrangment must be well balanced and should leave the same amount of space for each guest.

Regarding the tablecloth, if the table is round, we should iron the creases so it has a smooth appearance.  If the table is rectangular, it is possible to leave the fold mark along the length, but it is imperative that it rests exactly on the middle of the table.
For a great and formal dinner, it’s best to choose a layering of white or off white for the towels.  This will delicately add richness to the whole table decoration.
For the plates, they should be evenly placed about 2 cm from the edge of the table.

Tableware

They will be positioned in order of use from outside to inside.  On the right are knives (blade side inward), and forks go on the left with the rounded side on top. The utensils for cheese and desserts are either placed above the plate or will be placed along the dish to which it corresponds.

The tableware should not have fingerprints or limestone traces.  To clean them, you can dip them in club soda.

Glasses

Their organization is in descending order: water glass, red wine glass, and white wine glass (or flute of champagne).  For the material, it is preferable to use crystal glasses.

Additional Remarks

Several jugs of water and salt shakers must be placed on the table to avoid too much movement.

Table plan

The hosts should sit in the middle of the table face to face.  To the right of the mistress and master of the house are the honor places, given to people you invite for the first time, or to older people, or those having the most important function (not mandatory anymore nowadays).

Couples are always separated in principle.  We must also be mindful of alternating male/female guests at the table.

What about you? Do you have any secrets to making great table plans for your dinner parties?

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