table talk: basic table setting

Setting a table is not as difficult as it seems. The basic rule is: Utensils are placed in the order of use, that is, from the outside in. A second rule, with only a few exceptions is: forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right. For a basic table setting, we have already shared  some great tips to help remember the order of things:


1. In a pinch remember the acronym BMW: bread, meal, water/wine. Starting at your left, you go “Bread, Meal, Water.” Bread is to your far left, the meal is in the middle and the water or wine is to your far right.


2. Visualize the letters b and d to locate your bread plate and drinking glass. With each hand, touch the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb while extending your remaining fingers- creating the “OK” hand sign.

Your left hand creates a lowercase b – designating your bread plate.
Your right hand creates a lowercase d – designating your drinking glass.


3. Wondering where the utensils go? Count the letters in the words  “knife,” “spoon” and “fork” to remember their placement. The word “right” has five letters, as do the words “knife” and “spoon.” The word “fork” has four letters – just like the word “left.”


Some other things to know:

Knife blades always face the plate

The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate

The bread and butter knife is optional


  1. Cathrine Hoehn says

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