– A tablecloth covers the table and then the placemats are laid on top of it.
– If serving a salad, the salad plate is placed on the dinner plate. An additional fork is laid next to the dinner fork.
– If serving a soup, the bowl is placed on the salad plate and a soup spoon is placed next to the knife.
– Set only the tableware, flatware and glassware you’ll be using. If there’s no soup on the menu, don’t set a bowl and spoon. The same applies to a salad and the additional fork.
– A wine glass is placed at 1 o’clock and to its left is the water glass. Always use the appropriate wine glass; if serving white, use white wine glasses and red wine glasses for red.
– A bread plate (if serving bread) should be placed on the top left positioned at 11 o’clock.
– A butter knife is placed across the plate horizontally, blade facing inwards with the handle pointing to the right.
– Without being too fancy, I also like to include individual salt & pepper shakers. In that case, they are placed above the center of the dinner plate.
– If you don’t own these, a regular salt and pepper shaker set is totally fine. Just keep in mind that if someone asks for salt, pass it along with the pepper shaker. They ALWAYS stay together and are NEVER separated.
– If you want to elevate your semi-formal setting, adding a dessert fork and spoon (teaspoon) is appropriate. They are placed directly above the dinner plate pointing in opposite directions. The spoon handle points to the right while the fork handle points to the left.
– If using dessert cutlery, the individual salt & pepper shakers are placed above them.