Etiquette 101: How to Set the Perfect Table and Which Fork to Use

Leah Bourne

Who can forget the infamous scene in “Pretty Woman” when Vivian, a.k.a. Julia Roberts, gets a much-needed lesson in table etiquette?
This holiday season, when we’ll be sitting down to dinner with family and guests, we couldn’t help but think that we needed a little lesson in dining etiquette ourselves. Setting a proper table, and then dining at one, is, well, daunting. What fork goes where? Which of the bread plates set on a table are you supposed to use? How high are the flowers supposed to be?
To answer those questions, and much more, we sought out Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, the Founder and Director of The Etiquette School of New York. Here, Napier-Fitzpatrick breaks down all the key elements to setting the perfect table and being the perfect guest at one—complete with easy-to-remember tips that anyone could use.
Still a tad confused? Scoop up Napier-Fitzpatrick’s book, “The Art of the Meal: Simple Etiquette for Simply Everyone.”
Weigh in, in the comments below. What’s the most challenging part of table etiquette?
MORE: Etiquette 101: Everything You Need to Know About Being Polite

Promoted Stories