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Table Setting Information
Informal Table Setting
Utensils are ordered so that the outside utensils are used first. Note that the above setting is the European Style where the salad is eaten at the end. Americans will typically reverse the position of the salad and the standard fork.
The informal setting has a degree of regularity to it and provides diners with the comfort of knowing what to expect. In this setting the plate is the center and other utensils radiate from it. Closest to the plate on the right is a butter knife, with the serated edge facing the plate and immediately to its right is a soup spoon. Curiously, the spoon is provided in spite of the fact that it is often unecessary for any of the dishes served. To the left of the plate are first the salad fork and then the standard fork. Above the point of the knife is the wine glass and to its left rests the water glass or goblet. The napkin is usually placed on the plate, folded under the forks or even placed to the left of the forks.
It is interesting to note that most Americans eat with their forks in their right hands so they have to reach across their plates to obtain their fork. However, in Europe the fork, where customs for setting the table originated, the fork is normally held in the left hand and the knife in the right.
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