As a child and daughter of a Doctor, my parents did quite a bit of entertaining. Some times I was expected to participate in the event and when I was of age, I was sent to a class called White Gloves and Party Manners. Although I was not expected to learn the whole formal setting, I did learn manners that to this day I still remember and practice. Thanks Mom...and I am sorry I whined about going when I was a child.
Basic Place Setting
When teaching children how to set a basic place setting, tell them to remember:
Left to Right:
F - Fork
O - for the shape of the plate
R - Okay, so there really is not anything for the letter R.
K - Knife
S - Spoon
Informal Place Setting
As you can see, this is a setting for a buffet dinner since there is no dinner plate.
A. Dinner Plate if you chose to serve in this manner
B. Forks. Salad Fork on the left. Dinner Fork to the right of the Salad Fork.
D. Dinner Knife with the cutting edge facing the plate.
E. Spoons. In this setting, soup will be served prior to the main course, so it is placed in the outside position, keeping with the idea that you work from the outside in with your utensils.
F. Glasses. Water Glass above the knife and wine glass to the right of the water.
G. Salad Plate
H. Bread Plate with Butter Knife placed diagonally.
I. Dessert Spoon and Fork.
J. Coffee Cup and Saucer
Formal Place Setting
A. Dinner Plate or Charger if a buffet style dinner is being served.
B. Butter Plate
C. Dinner Fork
D. Fish Fork
E. Salad Fork
F. Dinner Knife
G. Fish Knife
H. Salad Knife
I. Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon
J. Oyster Fork
K. Butter Knife
L. Glasses - can number up to 5 and are places so that the smaller ones are in front.
La. Water Goblet placed directly above the knives.
Lb. (not shown) Champagne Flute would be placed to the right of the water goblet.
Lc. Red Wine Glass
Ld. White Wine Glass
Le. Sherry Glass
***If I ever drank this much alcohol at a dinner party, someone would have to fish me out from under the table!...maybe with the fish fork!**
TRIVIA OF THE DAY
The 15th century saw the arrival of the "touaille", the ancestor of our napkin. This was a strip of material more than 13 feet long, folded in two over a stick and attached to the wall like a dish towel. However, it was not used much.