Three Rules to Follow When Setting Up an Etiquette Correct Dinner Table

Changing culture and room for etiquettes

We are living in an arguably enlightened time. In places such as Singapore and Malaysia, and other parts of Asia there is no longer a servant class like the one that existed at the beginning of the 20th century. Women can inherit from their parents. Children born out of wedlock are no longer cause for such gossip. The laws and traditions which govern us currently are leagues apart from those present at the turn of the previous century. Everything is becoming less formalized now. We have beautiful sofas in our living room simply to complete the look, but prefer snuggling into our cheap bean bag  instead.


In the past, people would dress up in their finest and sit around an ornate dinner table to partake in civilized discourse. Now, microwaved meals are becoming arguably more coveted.

There is a large contrast between this and the microwave meals which people scoff-up in front of the television or computer. Eating a meal is no longer an event, it is simply an activity which we need to do to live.

Then it is important to go the whole hog. There are certain rules which ought to be observed if etiquette is to be adhered to. Therefore, here are three rules which are delivered directly from an etiquette expert who is a top designer of furniture in Singapore .

The Table

To host a fancy dinner party, people will need to eat at the dining table. There is absolutely nothing wrong with finger food or tapas, but this is not the aura you are looking for when it comes to a dinner party.


The table cannot be left blank. If you are using a tablecloth then make sure it is laid out evenly, one side should certainly not be longer than the other. Placemats can also be used if no tablecloth is handy. These should be placed evenly on the table and should be half an inch away from the table edge.

Dining chairs are also essential so don’t forget them. They must also be evenly spread out around the table, allowing for enough elbow space for each guest. Any chosen centerpiece should be tastefully chosen and placed directly in the middle of the table. Having a well put together table ready when your guests arrive will hint at the delightful evening that is in store for them.



Multiple cultures around the world enjoy their food without the accompanying cutlery. This kind of meal is hearty, it is wholesome, and it is an experience in itself. This, unfortunately, is not the case with every type of cuisine.

A lot of food requires food. If you are serving more than one course, which is most likely the case, then not only will people need cutlery, but they will need something more than just a fork and knife. Contrary to popular belief, these eating utensils cannot be bundled up neatly in a napkin on the plate.

There is also a specific order and place for each one. Firstly, forks go on the left while knives and spoons belong on the right. They should be set out in the order which they will be used, working from the outside in. Lastly, ensure that each piece is void of any smudges or marks, polish them up if need be.


What is a dinner party without wine? You probably have gone through the trouble of selecting the perfect wine to go with each course. This would have been a complete waste of time if there are not glasses set, ready to receive the nectar of the gods. Glasses tend to collect dust.

It is therefore advised to lay the glasses on the table at the very end of the preparations. These go on the right side of the guest and should be placed above the knives. The wine glass goes directly above the knives while the water glass is placed directly left of that.

When handling the glasses, always hold them by the stem. Touching the bowl of the glass may leave fingerprints or smudges which could be wholly unappetizing to your guests.

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