Informal Place Settings are Most Common

“A few of the people you'll meet at every party. It will pay you to get along with them.” — It will also pay to know their names and primary uses so that you can easily “read” your place settings at luncheons and dinner parties. 
Know your spoons– Placing a superfluous teaspoon at a formal dinner setting, is one of the biggest and common mistakes people make when setting the table. Teaspoons, with accompanying cups and saucers, are only found at informal lunch settings, tea settings or breakfast settings. If there is a teaspoon at your place setting, there must be a course for it; a fruit cup or appetizer, a palate cleanser, etc…
If a soup spoon is at the formal place setting, then a soup should be on the menu. And if there is a soup spoon, it should fit the soup type; Bouillon spoons only go with bouillon cups or bowls, cream soup spoons are only placed at settings with low, soup “plates,” etc…
Informal Place Setting Diagram —Only a luncheon or a very informal dinner setting will feature a cup, saucer and teaspoon. At formal dinner parties, coffee or tea are served away from the dining table. The service for coffee, tea or after dinner liqueurs, is brought out after the meal and usually served away from the table.

Eating is the one social activity common to everyone around the globe, but eating and dining are two different things. Practice dining when you are not in public and it will help you to avoid merely eating when among others.
“Table manners grew out of the fact that unless he is eating in a room empty of all but himself, a man eats in company and food is less appetizing if the other fellow's table manners are sloppy and disgusting. It matters little what sort of food is being served, whether the table is loaded with priceless silver and china or tin and graniteware; the simplest meal is made more attractive by the use of good table etiquette.”— From “Manners for Moderns,” 1938

Part of this article was previously published on the Etiquipedia.blogspot
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia


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