DEC 05|5 min read
Having a dinner party with your friends and family? Learn how to properly set a dinner table based on your occasion.
As an everyday task, setting a table is something you may not put much thought into. However, when it comes to hosting a dinner party, or even setting a weeknight dinner table, it never hurts to learn some basic table setting. There are various ways to style and set your dinner table, (there’s more to it than knowing the difference between napkins and tea towels!), and your place settings will change based on your event, guests, type of cuisine, and location.
You may have heard of ‘starting from the outside and working your way in’ as a tip for understanding cutlery - but what does that really mean? In our guide, we’ve outlined how to set a table properly for every occasion with easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions.
Whether it be a more formal affair, like dinner with the in-laws, or an everyday after-school kids' meal, we’ve got you covered in our guide below.
Yes, there are a few basic etiquette rules and steps to follow when setting a table for dinner. For example, the fork to the left, the dinner plate in the centre and the knife to the right. However, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how to set your table for dinner. What works for one person may work differently for another! Feel free to experiment with different types of cutlery, servingware and decorations to create a table that suits your style.
We’ve provided easy-to-follow instructions below for how to set a table correctly according to your type of event.
For most table settings, you’ll need a tablecloth or placemats, dinner plates, knives, forks, spoons, and water glasses. For more formal events, extra serving utensils and cutlery like napkin rings, side plates, dessert spoons, and red and white wine glasses are typically added.
From drinkware and placemats to plates and tea towels, you’ll find everything you need for setting your table to fit any occasion in our kitchen dining range.
Your dining table set-up will mostly depend on your guests and the type of food you’ll be eating. For example, if serving Japanese cuisine, chopsticks are essential! However, if you’re planning to eat tacos and quesadillas, cutlery isn’t as important for setting the table – your hands work just as well in this case (although, be sure to set aside plenty of napkins!)
With so many various table settings for dinner, there’s a good chance you may be overwhelmed! We’ve provided step-by-step guides below so you can rest assured you know exactly how to set the table for every type of dinner event.
Your everyday table setting ought to be quick and easy to set up and clean up, so you can get onto the rest of your night with ease. We recommend investing in a matching servingware set that’s long-lasting and can withstand daily wear and tear – remember simple is better!
Dinnertime with small children can usually be a recipe for mess, but it doesn't have to be that way. You don’t have to be rigid with the rules around table setting for dinner when children get involved. In the end it comes down to whatever works best for you and your child.
Don’t dread meal time, we’re here to help! We can’t guarantee that there’ll be no mess involved, but to keep a (relatively) clean table setting, we like to have wipes and tea towels handy and use as much easy-to-clean cutlery and servingware as possible – we recommend silicone or plastic utensils for quick and easy cleaning.
Inviting friends or family over for Saturday night dinner? Consider entertaining outdoors and hosting a BBQ! With warmer nights on the horizon, keep your food protected from the elements (and critters) by using a food cover. Add a cheese platter or salad bowl to your dinner table setting to level up your servingware with bright, fun colours – perfect for that sunset picnic vibe! String up fairy lights and add some decorative candles and flowers to the table for a summer night feel.
Although you may not host formal events regularly, it’s always useful to know how to set the table properly for an upscale event. Whether it’s a wedding, function or high tea, most formal table settings will require the use of extra plates, knives, forks and wine glasses – so be sure to stock up before your event.
Take creative liberty with your table setting by decorating according to theme, texture or style. For example, use matching textured platters, trays and bowls with pops of colour that complement your tablecloth. Accessorise with wine glass tags, coloured napkins and drinkware to refine your table theme.
From fancy summer night soirees to entertaining for kids, you can now take the guesswork out of how to set a table for dinner - no matter the occasion. So, the next time your family and friends ask, “Who’s hosting?”, you can happily oblige! Impress your guests at your next event with all the know-how for a stunning table setting. Bon appétit!