Whether you are entertaining important guests or just want to impress your loved ones for a special occasion, it can sometimes be helpful to know the correct way, so as not to make any mistakes when setting your table. Here, Opinel gives you all the right advice for a sophisticated and elegant setting for a meal!

The tablecloth

The first element to put on your table is a tablecloth, which you have washed and ironed beforehand. White is the preferred colour, although another colour may be acceptable, provided it is plain and not patterned. Embroideries on your tablecloth may perhaps be a plus since they make it possible to emphasise the accessories you have on the table. Ideally, the tablecloth should fall to about 30 centimetres from the ground, so that it is neither too long nor too short.

The plates

Then place the plates, absolutely clean, about two centimetres from the edge of the table. Also leave a space of about 40 centimetres between each plate so that your guests have enough space to eat, without being too far away to make conversation. If your plates are decorated, be sure to place them so that the central pattern is in front of your guest's seat back. Finally, never stack more than three plates on top of each other.


The next step in setting your table is to place the cutlery. The fork is placed to the left of the plate, with the prongs pointing towards the table, while the knife is placed to the right, with the cutting edge of the blade towards the plate. For an elegant look, we recommend you use the knives from the Table Chic collection, which will enhance your table while offering your guests an impeccable cut. The soup spoon, on the other hand, is placed to the right of the knife, with the convex part upwards. Finally, as far as dessert spoons and forks are concerned, you have a choice: either you can bring them in along with the dessert, or you can arrange them when you set your table, placing them against the plate, just in front of the glasses.

The glasses

Continue laying your table by arranging the glasses. First of all, remember that you will have to provide at least two glasses: one for the water and one for the wine. Moreover, a French table is above all judged on the quality and quantity of its glassware. So, start by putting the largest glass, which will be reserved for the water, in front of the plate, and be sure to fill it before going to the table. Then, to its right, put the red wine glass, then the white wine glass, which will be the smallest. If you have champagne flutes, put them to the right of the wine glasses, slightly further back. Be careful not to choose coloured glasses for your table: in fact, when tasting wine, it is customary to observe its colour before tasting it, so a tinted glass will prevent you from seeing the colour clearly.

The table napkins

For table napkins, you have two options. You can put them directly on the plate, and the most dextrous of you can fold them into origami beforehand for a spectacular touch on your table, or, if you do not want to hide the dishes you have chosen for the occasion, you can place them, folded in on themselves, to the left of the plates. Be sure to use clean napkins, preferably made of fabric and matching your tablecloth, for a refined effect.


The table decoration

To add an elegant touch to your table, you can arrange a few decorations, without, however, doing too much so as not to fall into the error of bad taste. We advise you, for example, to place some flowers in the centre of your table for an effect that is bucolic yet remains sophisticated.

Now all you have to do is prepare the meal, for example by following one of our recipes published on our website, to delight your guests and your dinner will be unforgettable!

Now you can follow one of our recipes to make this meal unforgettable!




Photos Credits : Thierry Vallier