The Perfect Dinner Table

Author: Caroline Brandelius   Date Posted:17 May 2020 


Whether it’s time to surprise your partner with a romantic dinner or it’s a feast for family and friends, the way you set the table will definitely lift the festive atmosphere and signal what kind of dinner to expect. Here are some tips how you easily can set your table from fine dining to casual buffet.


The Romantic Dinner

1 Start with a centerpiece. This could be a place mat or a nicely folded linen napkin, or even both.  

2 Place a wine glass and a water glass above the napkin or placemat. 

3 On the right side two knives, one for the starter and a second one for the main course.

4 On the left side two forks, one for the starter and one for the main course. 

5 At last, put a dessert spoon between the napkin and the glasses. 

Now you have a nice functional set up for a three course dinner. For a more romantic touch place some flowers in a vase on the table or spread out some rose leaves. For a more luxurious feel place a wine cooler with a bottle of Champagne on the table. 


Fine Dining 

1 Start with the glasses. Two wine glasses, one dessert wine glass and a water glass. Put them almost in the centre of the table and in line with the chair. You will drink from right to left. 

2 Then you place a nicely folded linen napkin in the centre, between the glasses and the edge of the table. 

3 Three knives on the right side, one for each course.

4 Three forks on the left side, one for each course. 

5 For dessert place a spoon and a little fork between the glasses and the linen napkin. If you think it’s too much cutlery on the table you can choose to place out dessert cutlery later when it’s time for dessert. 

When you set the table for fine dining the details are key. Try to think lines and make sure everything pairs up beautifully, both in close and from a helicopter perspective. Then you will present a classy table with high expectations. 


Family Buffet

1 Place a table runner or a tablecloth on the table. 

2 Decorate with flowers, candles and water carafes with glasses positioned next to it. 

3 Put plates, napkins and nice buckets or glass jars with cutlery on the buffet table. 

4 Wine glasses and drinks can also be placed on the buffet table so the guests can help themselves. 

This set up makes it easy for everyone to mingle around, get the food when they want and sit beside whomever they want. A tip when you set the dining table and the buffet table is to work with various heights and levels to get a more dynamic presentation. For example a big tall bouquet in the middle and smaller vases with flowers along the table. For the buffet table you could place milk crates upside down or stable boxes and cover it with a big table cloth and then you will have different levels to display your food. 

We all know a good dinner party is about having fun with your friends and family. While your table setting shouldn’t make or break your party it will go a long way to establishing the mood, making your guests feel comfortable and ensuring the night runs smoothly.


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