Do I have to polish my flatware?
An occasional stainless steel polish couldn't hurt to maintain its shine, but with silver, a good polish is absolutely necessary from time to time.
Aside from the basic place setting, what other accessories should I consider?
Think about the type of foods you always serve and choose a set accordingly. For instance, if you pride yourself in your fresh-baked pies, you'll need an entertainment set with a serveall. Many manufacturers offer a hostess set, a serving set and an entertainment set. Again, depending on the manufacturer, they might combine the contents of these sets or offer specialized pieces that other manufacturers might not offer. It is in your best interest to know which serving pieces you will need for your prepared dishes and then choose from a manufacturer that will offer you a style and combination that fits your preferences.
What is the best way to compare flatware?
It is essential to hold a piece of flatware in your hand in order to determine its individual comfort and balance. The most durable flatware will be heavier, thicker in gauge and less-likely to bend.
Once I have my dinnerware and flatware, how do I properly set a table?
Once your tablecloth, placemats and/or runners are in place, this is the "proper" order for setting your table:
- Center the DINNER PLATE.
- The NAPKIN may be folded and placed on top of the dinner plate or to the left of the dinner plate (your choice.)
- The DINNER FORK should be set to the left of the DINNER PLATE.
- The SALAD FORK is set on the outside of the DINNER FORK.
- If there's a SALAD PLATE, this is placed to the left of the two forks.
- The DINNER KNIFE is set on the right side of the DINNER PLATE with the blade facing inward.
- The SOUP SPOON is set on the outside of the DINNER KNIFE.
- The BREAD PLATE is set above and to the left of the DINNER PLATE (11 o'clock).
- The BUTTER KNIFE is set on top of the BREAD PLATE.
- The WATER GLASS is set above and to the right of the DINNER PLATE (1 o'clock).
- The WINE GLASS is set to the right of the WATER GLASS.
- If you're serving tea, the TEA CUP and SAUCER are set to the right of the WINE GLASS.
- The COFFEE SPOON is set on the right side of the SAUCER.