Why should I use a tablecloth

Tablecloths like the pros: simple rules for the perfect table

Anyone who invites guests to eat at home will value good food above all. But it is well known that the eyes eat too - and that does not only apply to the food served, but also to the table. Keep an eye on the pros.

If you want to inspire your friends or relatives with a perfectly set table, the correct arrangement of the cutlery and crockery plays an essential role. But there are other points to keep in mind. What is the appropriate seating arrangement? What kind of tablecloth looks stylish? Or which decoration contributes to a successful evening?

Setting the table: The most common oversight

Of course, the appearance of the dinner is largely shaped by the dining table. Since very few can choose between different tables depending on the occasion, at least some precautions should be taken. As the host, check that the table is in a good position and does not wobble. This is mostly forgotten and the guests then have to be content with a wobbly dining table. A faux pas that even the most beautiful tablecloth or the prettiest flower arrangement cannot cover up.

If necessary, you can use small cork discs under the table legs to ensure more stability. It is also important that the guests have enough space. This means that both the distance to the wall and to the person sitting next to you should be sufficient. It is best to calculate between 50 and 70 centimeters for each guest. Less would restrict the freedom of movement of those present when getting up - possibly even with plates or a tray in hand.

The seats of the guests should also be arranged exactly opposite one another. you can orientate yourself on the backrests of the chairs for optimal alignment.

White tablecloth: festive atmosphere

Another important component when setting the table is the table linen. For festive occasions for lunch or dinner, experts recommend a white tablecloth. Sometimes a noble table runner is enough. If you use particularly good cutlery and crockery, a correspondingly fine tablecloth should be selected, for example made of linen, half linen or damask.

If there are several guests, you should place Moltons under the actual tablecloth. These are table pads made of brushed cotton. They protect the table and prevent the tablecloth from slipping.

In principle, the hosts should use crockery, cutlery and glasses that are appropriate for the occasion. Instead of the fine linen tablecloth, a blanket made of coarse cotton fabric or peasant linen fits a more rustic place setting - alternatively, place mats or sets.

Set the table with a system

Most hosts can probably go wrong with setting the table, i.e. placing cutlery and crockery. The most common mistakes can be avoided with the help of a few simple guidelines: The center of the place setting can be an underplate that protects the tablecloth from contamination - but this is not a must.

There is cutlery for each course of the menu. Knigge suggests a simple system for arranging the knives, forks and spoons: "The devices that are used with the right hand are to the right of the plate, those for the left hand are to the left of it, in such a way that the cutlery needed first each come to rest on the outside. " If no special fish cutlery is available, you can put down two ordinary forks instead, according to the etiquette experts.

Since the place settings naturally differ in the number of courses in the menu, there are also different basic arrangements. Our photo show offers you orientation when setting up.

Set the table step by step

This is how you should proceed:

  1. Place the tablecloth or the runner and straighten them accordingly.
  2. Position the underplate and place what is served on it for the guest.
  3. Place the dinner knife and fork on the side of the place plate. For right-handers, the knife goes on the right and the fork on the left. For guests who predominantly use the left hand, align the table setting in a mirror-inverted manner.
  4. Now the cutlery is positioned for the next course. You work from the inside out.
  5. The cutlery for the starter is on the outer area of ​​the cutlery.
  6. Place the bread plate on the left side of the place setting. An additional, smaller knife - ideally a bread knife or an envelope knife - is placed on top.
  7. You can place the cutlery for dessert above the place plate.
  8. The directional glass - for example the wine glass - is at a right angle between the dessert cutlery and the menu cutlery.
  9. The glasses that are also required for dinner, such as a water glass, are positioned around the directional glass.

Expert tips: this is how professionals cover

Especially on special occasions like Christmas and New Year's Eve, a festive table is a must. There are many rules for setting the setting in restaurants and hotels - some of them can also be used at home. A few ideas how to easily create a stylish effect:

  • Straight instead of round
    It is easier to set a straight table than a round table. The chairs are in each case directly opposite, so is also set. So that it doesn't get too close to the table, the distance from the fork to the knife of the person sitting next to you should be at least 50 centimeters.
  • The little finger
    When setting the dishes, the first thing to do is to place the underplates in front of the center of the chair - with a little finger from the edge of the table.
  • The EC card rule
    The cutlery for the main course is placed to the right and left of the plate, next to it is the cutlery for the starter. So the guest can use it from the outside in. The distance should be such that you can still swipe an EC card that has been set up.
  • Place the forks offset
    The forks can be staggered. If there are three, the two outer ends of the handle are at the same level as the underplate. The middle fork is placed a little higher. It looks like a textbook if the lower end of their prongs is level with the upper prongs of the two outer forks.
  • Orient the wine glasses on the knife
    A red wine glass comes over the large knife for the main course, the white wine glass over the starter knife. The water glass is the smallest of them all. It should therefore be placed in front of the other glasses. If beer is also to be drunk, the glass is turned upside down to the right of the wine glasses. There should be a maximum of four glasses per guest on the table.
  • The extras
    A dessert spoon belongs over the underplate. Then a bread plate is placed in a straight line to the left of the underplate. The associated butter knife is on the right side of the plate, with the cutting edge pointing to the left. For left-handers, the cutlery should be turned over - spoons and knives on the left and the forks on the right. You don't change the placement of the glasses.

Table decoration: less is often more

When decorating the table, you should follow the motto "less is more". The table decorations should be selected according to the occasion. It is important that everything together does not appear overloaded or hinder free movement at the dining table or even the culture of conversation. You should also coordinate the individual decorative elements well with one another in terms of color and effect, but also with table linen, cutlery and crockery.

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  • Christmas,
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