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The Place Setting

Lesson 5 from: Manners @ The Table: A Modern Guide to Dining Etiquette

Daniel Post Senning

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Lesson Info

5. The Place Setting

Lesson Info

The Place Setting

the place setting is gonna give you some idea of what to expect for the meal that's likely to come. It's really your roadmap for the meal. The table's gonna be set in the way to best prepare you to eat whatever is going to be served now. Continental style dining, European style dining. They're gonna bring the utensil that you're going to need for the course that served. When that course is served in American style dining, you're more likely to see the table set with the silver or the flatware that you're going to need to eat the meal. So usually you're gonna work your way from the outside of that place, setting in through each successive course. Now a table that set like this is going to indicate to me that I'm gonna expect about a four course meal. We're likely to start with a soup course. Once that soup course is clear, the soup spoon will be cleared with it, leaving us with a salad fork and a salad knife to use next. That's for the salad course. Once the salad is cleared, they will ...

be taken away from the table, leaving us with the entree fork and an entree knife to use for our main course. Now, if you saw a small fork or spoon said at the top of the place setting, that would be for your dessert course for this particular meal. If I were to order dessert, I would expect them to bring the deserts over with that course. Now for more formal dining, you might have even more courses, and you might have more utensils on the table. Usually no more than three of any kind of utensil on again. Don't worry, They're gonna bring you any utensil that you need for a particular course. If it's not already provided. Now, what about a more informal situation in many restaurants today, you're going to be presented with your flatware wrapped up in a napkin. Well, if you have trouble remembering your left in your rights like I did when I was growing up, if you can remember how to spell the word forks, you can remember how to set the table and recreate a place setting similar to what we see here. Once you unfold that napkin, you place your napkin in your lap. You're left with a fork and a knife and maybe a spoon. If you remember how to spell the word forks, you're gonna remember that F goes first for the forks that come on the left. The O is like the plate that's in the middle of your place setting, followed by the are which indicates to the right of that place, that income, the K and the S, the knives and the spoons. So if you can remember how to spell the word forks from left to right, you're going to remember that you set your place setting with the forks, the plate, the knives and spoons moving from left to right. Now there's one more trick that I want to share with you. This is the classic table manners dining etiquette trick of B and D. If you take your thumb and your forefinger and you make a loop in your left and your right hand and then you take your other three fingers and put them straight up in the air, if you look down, you're gonna see a lower case be in a lower case D. That's going to remind you that it's your bread plate that comes to the left of your place setting and your drink or your water glass that goes to the right at a crowded table. It can sometimes be difficult to keep track of who's bread plate belongs to who who's drink belongs to who, if you can remember be indeed, you're gonna be in great shape no matter what the table looks like.

Ratings and Reviews

Michael Friesen

Daniel's course provides an excellent overview of the essentials of dining etiquette. The content is contemporary and reflects the more relaxed atmosphere that prevails in most dining situations today. I would definitely recommend this course to a friend looking to review the basics of dining etiquette.

Leela Biswas

Great, short class! It covers the basic strokes of table manners. I’d have liked to see more coverage of fork usage, especially with tricky foods like feathery salad greens and rice.

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