Table Setting for a Modern Age

11th July 2011

Raised by restauranteurs, I was taught dining etiquette earlier than most kids learn to ride a bike. It was, and still is, an unspoken religion at home. In my mind, however, table setting, unlike dining etiquette, can have many different (and still appropriate) interpretations.

I recently set a table for a fancy dinner party and I realized I didn’t know all the “rules.” Don’t get me wrong, I knew where the forks and knives went, but the oodles of glasses were terribly confusing. So, I came home, searched the internet and found a number of different visuals. In the end, they are all basically the same with a few minor changes.

A classic table setting from Mrs. Lillien.

Emily Post: Basic Table Setting

Emily Post: Informal Place Setting

Emily Post: Formal Table Setting

Dining do's and don'ts.

Elle Decoration lays the table

Elle Decoration lays the table.

My friend Sarah was recently featured in this great video illustrating a few modern table setting interpretations.

But at the end of the day, it’s all about the food, not the table setting. Right? Most of us just don’t live in a reality where we need four glasses or a seafood fork. In our modern era, dining is an adventure and table setting is part of that experience.

Leave a Reply