- Long Island, NY

Articles Business Directory Blog Real Estate Community Forum Shop My Family Contests

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Table Talk For Every Type Of Occasion

Notebook Save to notebook Email Email article Print Print article More More articles

By Mia Bolaris-Forget

I recently paid a visit to my dearest friend who is having her home “overhauled” by a designer. And, one to the key considerations that went into the colour scheme of her living room was based on her fine china. You know the one she received 12 years ago as a wedding gift and had to actually go dig up from the dregs of her basement just to remind herself what it looked like and give her designer an answer.

Well, she is not alone. Many couples (but primarily brides) run out and register for dinnerware they have little use for and therefore “never” use. Yet, most of us look forward to having friends and family over and we’re eager to unleash our domestic diva dazzle them with our entertaining prowess.

But let’s face it, most parties consist of a few bowls of chips and some dip, and a few fabulous, fun, and flavourful finger foods, making preparation, enjoyment, and clean up “easy”. After all not many of us have enough room to host an elaborate dinner for all our friends and family at least not all at once. And, it’s likely we don’t have the time (or energy) to prepare for a grande fete.

Yet, most of us are “awed” by the types of (lavish) celebrity affairs experience via Oprah, The Cooking Channel and other home and entertainment show. And, it’s likely those grand galas are what we fashioned or are fashioning our wedding day after. And, honestly one of my most cherished childhood memories was my mom’s often single-handed efforts despite her long work weeks to create some of these splendid occasions for me and the family at our modest home.

But, getting “formal” means familiarizing yourself with the formalities. Lets start with our “fine china”.

Formal Feasts: A formal dinnerware set is comprised of several individual components meant for serving typically, five courses including: soup, salad, fish, and entrée, and dessert.

· Dishware: Dishes are placed on the table first and serve as the foundation for the salad plate, which is placed on top and in the center. Slightly to the left (of the dinner plate) should be a smaller bread and butter plate with a butter knife placed across it. Soup bowls are traditionally placed on top of the salad plate.

· Flatware: This group includes your utensils. The smaller fork, more commonly known as the salad fork, along with the larger dinner fork are placed to the left of the dinner plate, while the soupspoon, dinner knife and seafood knife are placed to the right. Utensils used for dessert, include a dessert fork and teaspoon, and are placed horizontally above the dinner plate.

· Glassware: Drinking glasses, depending on what they are for have their own special spot on the table. Wine glasses are situated just above and to the right of the knife with water glasses placed right above the tip of the knife, and the champagne flute just behind the wine glass. However, experts suggest NOT “cluttering” your table with too much stemware if you don’t need it. Only put out the types of glasses you and your company will need.

· Service Plates: These are not typically included in modern set of even fine china, but are ideal for both ambiance and as an elegant replacement for less formal place mats. Service plates are oversized plates about 12 inches wide that are placed underneath dinner plates during the first two courses. Usually offered in solid colours, some with banded rims, these elegant extras are suppose to be removed once the main entrée is served.

Also, if you really want to stick to formalities, you may consider assigning seasts (yes, just like at a wedding). According to etiquette experts handwritten cards are fine, and they recommend following the “formula” of male, female, male, female around the table, trying not to seat couples next to each other, but instead giving them the opportunity to mix and mingle with someone else. Hosts should be seated at opposite ends (known as the head) of a rectangular table.

Casual Gatherings: This setting is recommended for daily dining or just having some friends over.

· Dinnerware: Plates should go in the center of each place setting with the salad dish set off above it and to the left.

· Flatware: Place both dinner and salad fork to the left (of the dinner plate) and dinner teaspoon and knife to the right.

· Stemware: Both wine and water glasses are set to the right of each meal setting.

* Note: For those with limited space who are opting for a buffet, help-yourself style meal, place large dinner plates in a neat pile on top of each other and set strategically on a designated table or counter. Do the same with salad plats and soup bowls. Wrap utensils in dinner napkins and tie with a bow. Then place in a large basket, container or bowl. Extra napkins can be placed neatly in a holder or fanned out freely and placed by the meal. Glasses can be set out individually in another space and each person can take his or her own.

Long Island Home & Lifestyle Articles > Eat, Drink, and Be Merry: Table Talk For Every Type Of Occasion

New Businesses
Carleton Hall of East Islip
J&A Building Services
LaraMae Health Coaching
Sonic Wellness
Julbaby Photography LLC
Ideal Uniforms
Teresa Geraghty Photography
Camelot Dream Homes
Long Island Wedding Boutique
MB Febus- Rodan & Fields
Camp Harbor
ACM Basement Waterproofing
Travel Tom
Yoga Womb/ SECS talk

      Follow LIWeddings on Facebook

      Follow LIFamilies on Twitter
Long Island Bridal Shows