Table Settings, also referred to as Place Settings, refers to the way a table is set with eating utensils and tableware for serving and eating. Table Setting involves the layout of how utensils and plates are positioned and arranged. Utensils on a table are typically arranged in the order they are meant to be used. Table Settings can be informal for everyday meals or more formal for special occasions. Informal Table Settings typically require fewer utensils and dishes while formal settings require more tableware. Table Settings can also differ depending on the environment like the home, restaurant, or special events.
The basic rules for setting a table include placing the fork to the left of the meal plate, while the knife and spoon to the right of the plate. The water glass should be placed above the knife. Napkins can be placed under the fork or on the plate for an informal table setting.
Forks are typically placed on the left because historically the knife was used to transfer food to the mouth of the user and since the knife was already held by the right hand, the fork was placed on the left. The fork then was held by users with their left hand.
The three components of a place setting include dinnerware, flatware, and glassware. Dinnerware includes the plates, cups, bowls, saucers, and platters, while flatware consists of dinner, and steak knives, dinner forks, and tablespoons, and dessert spoons. Glassware includes water glasses and wine glasses that hold the beverages.