Reference > Etiquette > The Order of Laying the Table

The Order of Laying the Table

After the interlining has been spread, the cloth should be laid with great care, making the center fold run perfectly straight with the room, and the cross fold again exactly divide the table at right angles to the other crease. By these straight lines, everything else is gaged. The fancy linen piece is next laid, and its center must coincide with that of the cloth. If the piece is square, it sometimes has better effect to place the points on the long lines of the cloth, giving it a diamond shape; this, however, is a matter of fancy. The center ornament is then placed on the exact point where the folds of the cloth cross in the middle of the table. The plates are next put in position, attention being given to the decoration on the china, if it be a monogram that it is right side up, if flowers that they are in natural position, etc. Where there are an uneven number of covers it is better to place the plates at equal distances around the table, without regard to the place of the hostess being opposite to that of the host. In other cases, the plates at the head and foot of the table, and those on the sides, should be directly opposite each other. Under no circumstances must the plates be omitted. On the left of the plates place the forks; three or four may be put on and laid in the order in which they will be used. Three knives (one of them being a silver knife for the fish course) and the oyster fork are placed on the right of the plate; the soup spoon may go in front of the plate or with the knives on the right; the bowls of the forks and spoons should be right side up, the edges of the knives turned toward the plate.


Diagram of Table

A. Plates.
B. Plant, Flowers, Fruit, Lamp, or ornamental piece of silver.
C. Compotiers, holding cakes, fruit, or flowers.
D. Candlesticks or Candelabra.
E. Salt and Pepper Boxes.
F. Water and Wine Glasses.
G. Bonbons, or Hors d'Oeuvres, or Carafes.
H. Bonbons, or Hors d'Oeuvres.

Detail of one cover.

Source

The Century Cook Book (1901).

Print

Print recipe/article only


comments powered by Disqus