by Gene Logan

The proper use of cutlery has plagued people for years. Most of the time some of the more beautiful sets of flatware will end up relegated to storage and never be used. They are so tempting when shoppers see the place settings arranged in stores and these become impulse buys for many. When cutlery is first bought they may see one use, but many are not removed from the boxes or even the chests in which they arrive. One of the reasons for this is because people are not sure how to place them properly.

There is long and fine tradition of rules and etiquette for fine dining that holds sway today and there is an established method for arranging the cutlery pieces and dinnerware with every meal. Many people find that it is easier and quicker to eat and run with food usually in their hands, and in this manner they can eat in a very speedy manner. This manner of eating is perfectly acceptable, but there is much to be said for taking the time to arrange your table properly.

Mealtimes are meant to be enjoyed with family members and with your neighbors and friends. It is a time of bonding, laughter and company. It can also be a great time for you to use your new cutlery pieces. Your family and guests will enjoy your efforts. You will enjoy showing off your treasured possessions and be amazed at the difference in your table when you place your cutlery correctly. You can also help your children learn the skills and etiquette of proper dining.

If you will choose to use these rules of etiquette with most of your meals you will be able to take advantage of opportunities to use your better cutlery more often You will enjoy the compliments of your family and friends because they will definitely notice and appreciate what you are doing The compliments that will come your way will be a huge bonus for you for your efforts. A good thing to remember is that once you learn how to set a proper table with cutlery you will have learned a lifetime skill that will stand you in good stead forever.

There is a method to the madness of cutlery placement. It is to be done so that the appropriate utensil is immediately at hand that the guest will need for the food in order of each presentation of the courses. In the past this made tremendous sense. In the days of the Victorians, meals themselves were elaborate presentations with much pomp and splendor and there were numerous individual courses.

With a proper setting, you must arrange the cutlery pieces in a specific pattern. The soup spoon goes to the right and the only flatware to the right of this would be a cocktail or seafood fork. The knife is to the left of the spoon and next to the plate, with the blade facing the plate. On the far left will be the forks. This is the basic rule for you to learn and know. Once you have this established in your mind, the rest is easy.

You will want to be certain that the entire table look as good as possible so you will need a fine linen cloth, beautiful cutlery and a nice centerpiece. Flowers or a fruit bowl will both make nice and attractive additions to your table. You should have a service plate for each guest. This is a large, flat bottomed piece that will have each setting placed upon it. These are also known as chargers and may be china or even metal. Today the fun is in offering a slight restructuring to the entire styling of the table while still enjoying most of the rules of etiquette with fine dining. The newest dinnerware and cutlery are styled in such lovely geometric patterns you will not fall short on ideas for restructuring your table.

You can create the table setting that you wish and you can accomplish this with style and flair. Make it as complex or as innovative as you wish. You need only follow a few simple rules to show off your dinnerware to everyone.

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