Setting a table to perfection isn’t everyone’s speciality. No one wants to have the wrong etiquette. However, having the right products at hand can help you transform the look of your table, whether you want to be the perfect dinner party host, the dream date night partner, or the Christmas dinner queen.

Sitting down at a table and eating really does bring those you are closest to together, and an inviting table set to perfection can enhance this experience. If you’re looking to add a special touch to complement any delicious food you may serve up, find inspiration in how you can set a table with some quality product ideas, and of course, how to set a table!

How to set a table

The art of cutlery layout can easily transform the look of your table, but it’s sometimes difficult to know how to create this look. Setting a table might not be something you do every day, but it’s nice to make the effort every so often – and you don’t even have to go over the top! Think about the vibe you want to create, how you want your guests to feel whilst gathered around the table.


Premium Stainless steel cutlery on a dining table, fully forged


Whilst dinner plates are found in the centre of the place setting, knowing where to put other plates can be trickier. Side plates are usually found at the left of the dinner plate with a butter knife placed on top of it.


Cutlery really depends on what type of food you will be serving, so it might be worth bearing this in mind before setting the table. Cutlery makes a big statement, as this is what your guests will interact with the most. As a general rule, place the cutlery down in the order in which you’ll use it, starting from the outside and working your way inwards towards the plate. Forks are usually on the left of the plate, whilst knives are put on the right with the blade edges placed inwards. Soup spoons are found on the right side of knives, whilst dessert spoons and dessert forks are placed above the plate. Spoon bowls face left and the fork prongs face right.


No table set would be complete without glassware, with wine being an infamous dinner party drink. This should be situated above and to the right-hand side of the dinner plate, including white wine, red wine, and water glasses.

Cups and saucers

Cups and saucers are often set down for a tea or coffee course along with a spoon, normally brought out after the dessert course is completed. This set is always placed to the right, positioned above the outermost cutlery piece.


Formal table setting at a dinner party - white table cloth


Some things to consider

Now that you know the basic positioning and products needed to create the perfect table setting, perhaps there are a few other things you should take into consideration.

The menu is probably the most obvious thing you should be considering when thinking about laying a table. As mentioned above, different foods require different pieces of cutlery. Menus vary in formality too – and it should certainly be taken into account when thinking about your capability as a host. What menu can you achieve in reality? You don’t want things to become unenjoyable and stressful for you as a host, so also bear what truly matters in mind.

Also, consider the number of guests that you are catering for. This will remind you to check that you have enough cutlery and places to sit, ensuring that everyone is comfortable with enough space to eat. You’ll want space between your guests, but the practicality of passing each other items like salt and pepper is beneficial for everyone. Furthermore, consider the placement of candlesticks and other centrepieces. You’ll want to position these carefully so that all your guests can still see each other to engage in effective conversation.

Cutlery collections

With 75 years of experience in British design, Grunwerg is dedicated to offering high-quality stainless-steel cutlery items to suit any occasion you could think of. With classic designs standing the test of time, you can easily discover matching knives, forks, spoons, and other staples in British cutlery to add a hint of luxury to your home dining experience. Different fully-forged patterns are available in 24, 44, 56, and 84 piece sets.

With different collections to suit different numbers of people, Grunwerg has something for everyone when it comes to mixing a touch of elegance into any setting. Hopefully, these products and the above considerations will help you perfect your table setting skills today!

06 January , 2022