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Setting the Table for the Dinner Party

dinner-tableFirst and foremost, the way you set your table has a lot to do with both the theme of your dinner party and the time that you're guests will be dining. As a rule of thumb, there are three basic place settings:

Basic Setting

This is always a good place to start as it works well for most daytime occasions, and, should you need to add elements to enhance the setting you can.


  • Position the dinner plate in the center of the place setting and place everything else around it.
  • To the left of the plate is the fork.
  • To the right of the plate is the knife and spoon.
  • The knife is placed to the right of the plate with the sharp edge toward the plate.
  • To the right of the knife is the spoon.
  • A water glass goes above the knife and the wine glass alongside the water glass.
  • Place napkins either under the forks or on the plate for an informal setting.

Tip: Be selective with your dinnerware. Add an element of absolute chic with the Robert Welch Westbury Cutlery Collection. And, because glassware is of equal importance and often overlooked, consider swopping out the standard water glass for the Open Up Universal 40cl glass.

Informal Dinner or Luncheon Setting


  • Begin with a Basic Setting and add to it.
  • Salad forks are placed to the left of the dinner fork.
  • If there's no salad, place the salad fork to the right of the dinner fork to be used as a dessert fork.
  • Should soup be served, set the bowl on the plate and a soupspoon to the right of the teaspoon.
  • Salad or bread and butter plates go to the left of the forks.
  • Place butter plates above the forks with the butter knife placed across the plate.
  • Cup and saucer go above the spoons with the handle toward the right.
  • Wine or water glasses can be positioned to the left of the coffee cup.

Tip: Introducing coloured glass can make all the difference. Opt for an opaque glass or a gradient glass, like the Blue Water Glass or Purple Water Glass, for the full on colour effect. Or, go subtle with clear glass with spiral colour detailing found in the Twist Tumbler range.

Formal Dinner Setting


  • Start with the Informal Dinner or Luncheon Setting and add to it.
  • Place white and red wine glasses along with the water glasses to the left of the coffee cup.
  • The teaspoon, soup and/or dessertspoons are placed to the right of the knife.

Tip: A formal setting is the ideal element to add subtle details to, creating a distinct dinner setting. Pay close attention to your china; select from the premium Satinique and Ginseng China collection placed atop a coloured/themed placemat or brocade tablecloth. Or, use coloured china against a solid coloured tablecloth.

If you have any questions, please ask below!