Table layout - theory and practice for 6 steps

Correct serving is always a token of attention to guests, a way to create a festive atmosphere, as well as an indicator of the artist's artistic taste.

  • In this article we will consider the rules of informal serving, that is, those that are appropriate for the reception of guests at home in everyday life and on holidays.
  • Serving at home depends on the occasion, the time of the day, the themes and menus, but in all cases, the purpose of serving is one - to lay out the dishes and appliances so that the trapeze is convenient and pleasant to eat.

Based on this goal, the table laying rules were invented. In daily life, you must observe all these canons only in the most solemn occasions, but once you have mastered their essence, you can lay your hands on the table for any occasion - from a romantic dinner to a family celebration of the New Year.

Before you start, take a look at two sample layouts for serving the table. As you can see, it's much easier to cover a holiday home table for guests than for an official reception!

Table layouts

So, how to serve the table? We made a step-by-step instruction in a certain sequence, describing each of the stages. If in brief, then the most convenient procedure is as follows:

  • Tablecloth - Plates - Cutlery - Glasses - Napkins - Decor (vase with flowers, candles, themed decorations).

Keep in mind that a few days before the event you need to solve all the organizational issues and prepare:

  • Decide on the number of people, make a menu, put in order the tablecloth, check the number and quality of napkins, dishes, appliances, think over the decor.

On the day of reception, wipe all utensils and appliances clean, and then proceed to cover the table.

Step 1. First we make a tablecloth

Here the main thing is to make sure that the overhang of the tablecloth is not more and not less than 20-30 cm. The overhang will look shorter, but longer - it is uncomfortable for those sitting at the table.

As for the color, then you can choose either a win-win and traditional white tablecloth, or lay out any favorite option, add it with tracks and underpants as shown in the photo.

White tablecloth with underpants

But examples of festive serving at home and without tablecloths at all.

Serving options without tablecloth

Step 2. Lay out the plates

This part of the "serving" theory will be the most extensive. After all, the composition and combination of plates depends on the planned menu, the number of guests and the scale of the holiday.

According to the classic rules of serving a table, several plates can be relying on one person:

  • Substituting a large plate (serving) - for a day and everyday table, it is not necessary, and some styles of serving (for example, rustic) allow its absence. The photo below shows examples of serving with and without a substitute.

Serving with and without a tray

Also may be needed: medium (snack), small (pirozhkovaya or dessert) and a deep soup dish.

  • According to the canon, the look of a deep dish depends on the type of soup. For thick choose a wide (photo on the left), for a light broth or cream soup - a bowl with or without handles (photo on the right). But this is the rule, which can be completely ignored.

Types of plates for soup

Scheme of regular servings at home

As for the arrangement of plates, then on the substitution put snacks or deep plates, dessert and / or salad plates are placed on the left as shown in the picture to the right. At this place can also be located a tea pair, a pie plate or, for example, a bowl for eggs on the occasion of Easter. The photo below shows the options for the festive serving and the composition of the plates.

Examples of festive serving at home

  • Plates should be placed at a distance of 1.5-2 cm from the edge of the table and at the same distance from each other;
  • To ensure that the snack plate does not slide over the stand, you need to put a paper or textile towel between them, as shown in the photo below.

Serving of plates

Casual table setting

Step 3. We lay cutlery

Now proceed to the layout of the devices. They are put on the sides according to the number of food changes (concave side to the table):

  • On the right of the plates are knives and spoons;
  • Left - forks;
  • On top you can put a teaspoon.

Festive serving at home does not require a large number of special knives, forks and spoons. Most often, one knife, one fork and a couple of spoons (for soup and dessert) are enough.

Serving of cutlery

But if necessary and desire, you can additionally serve the table with special forks, knives and spoons as shown in the next photo-selection.

Festive table setting

For more information about the rules for placing devices, see the next video tutorial.

Step 4. Put the glasses, wine glasses, glasses

Next, behind the plates, just to the right, we put the glasses from bigger to smaller. Depending on the drinks available and the preferences of guests, glasses for water, red / white wine, champagne and / or a glass for juice, spirits and glasses are exhibited.

  • Example of placing glasses for informal servingExample of placing glasses for informal serving
  • Example of placing glasses for informal servingExample of placing glasses for informal serving
  • Glass arrangement on the New Year's tableGlass arrangement on the New Year's table

Step 5. Serving the wipes

For especially solemn occasions, napkins can be folded nicely and artistically onto a plate. For all other cases of strict rules of serving, napkins are not. They can be put in a glass for water, put under a snack plate, put in rings, tied with ribbon and decorate with decor.

Serving of napkins

Serving of napkins

In case you are laying the table not for the holiday, but, for example, for dinner, then you can put the napkins on the side of the plate under the forks as shown in the photo below.

Example of daily serving

See also the material: 5 ideas and master classes on the manufacture of hand-made diapers.

Step 6. The final touch - the decor of the table

Table setting and decor

Hooray, almost done! It remains only to decorate the festive table with flowers in a vase and thematic decorations. For the New Year it can be cones, rosemary and spruce branches, on March 8 - buds of flowers, and on Easter - hares and willow branches. Theme of the table decor should be given more attention in a separate article, but for now we suggest looking at photos of beautifully decorated tables in different themes and styles.

Variants of decor and table layout

Variants of decor and table layout

Daily Serving Options

Daily Serving Options

Easter service

Easter service

Table setting in rustic style

Table setting in rustic style

Table setting for a festive dinner

Table setting for a festive dinner

table setting with rosemary

table setting with rosemary

And a little bit about the arrangement of dishes

In addition to serving cutlery and utensils, you need to arrange meals with food. Here is a small reminder of how it can be done beautifully and correctly.

Rules for placing dishes

That's it. We wish you successful practice and cheerful, spiritual holidays!

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