Correct positioning of cutlery

The rules of table etiquette are very simple, and we will start with the position of the cutlery on the table: as you can see, in front of you is a plate, surrounded by the corresponding cutlery: spoons, knives and forks.

If it is a simple meal, the table etiquette is basic utensils on each side of the plate. But if it is an important and/or long

meal, it is very likely that you will find more cutlery surrounding it.

Regarding the position of the cutlery on the table, to the right you will find the spoons and knives, always starting with

the spoon on the far right, a small knife for starters (just to the side), and on the left, the traditional table knife (in both

cases with the edges towards the inside of the table).

The same applies with the forks, which will always go to the left of the plate, placed in the order that will be used

starting from the outside.

Place the water glass and wine glasses to the right of the place setting just above the table knife.

Above the place setting, you have a dessert spoon and fork. Bread and butter plates go to the left with the butter knife

laced across the plate.

Distance of Cutlery

All cutlery should be placed at a distance of approx. 4cm.

It’s time to eat, where shall I start? The correct use of cutlery has a trick: always use the utensils on the outside first and

working your way inward. If there’s a spoon on the far right, then this will be for soup, gazpacho, etc.

As for the starters, the same thing applies work your way from the outside in.

The same goes for the glasses, if you are serving both red and White wine, set glasses right to left in the order used,

White wine for the first course and fish dishes on the outside, then for the red wine next.

Although in many cases, the cutlery for the dessert is not put on the table until the time comes, protocol places them

on the table from the beginning. The cutlery for dessert is laid on the table above the dinner plate.

The language of the cutlery on the table

Language of cutlery

The language of the cutlery is very interesting and useful when it comes to socializing. Here are a few tips to get it right.

For example, when taking a break during lunch or dinner, you should place your fork and knife in the centre of your

plate with the tips facing each other forming an inverted (V).

When you have finished eating a course, and you are ready for the next one, the correct thing is to place the knife and

fork forming the shape of a cross, with the fork facing up and the knife to the left.

If you wish to show your appreciation, you can position the cutlery to the right. This way you will indicating to the staff

that the food has been to your liking. But there are those who clearly show that the food has not been up to par, and for this the correct thing is to place the cutlery in the same position as in case of when you are taking a break but introducing in this case the tip of the knife between the teeth of the fork.

As for the positioning of the cutlery at the end of a meal, it consists simply by placing the knife and fork straight up and down in the centre of the plate, with which we are implying that we have finished and that the plate can be removed.

Last but least we have the dessert, you will find that the cutlery is situated above the plate as mentioned above.

By Cynthia Nwankwo(Top5er)

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