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Setting a table fit for a King

Brits up and down the country will be celebrating His Majesty’s accession to the throne on Saturday 6th May.  Maybe you will be joining a street party, getting into the spirit of things in a restaurant or perhaps like so many Brits, you’re choosing to celebrate in the comfort of your own at home. Whatever the venue, here are our top tips on how to set the table the royal way.



Dinner plates should sit in the centre of the place setting. Side plates are always placed on the left of the dinner plate with the butter spreader laid on the side, blades facing in. Delicate fine bone china is delicate but durable making it the perfect tableware to give some class to this special occasion.


Cutlery must be polished to perfection and set starting from the outside and working inwards with each course. Forks are set to the left and knives to the right, blades facing inwards. Soup spoons should be placed to the right of the knives. Forks and spoons for dessert should be laid above the plate with the fork prongs facing right and the spoon bowl to the left. The spoon should be placed above the fork.


Glasses should be set above and to the right of the dinner plate with white wine, red wine and water glasses. A Champagne flute will be placed behind the wine glasses for toasting during the evening.


Cover the table with a fine crisp linen tablecloth or timeless classic runner and then position the individual placemats. If you are really looking for regal perfection, then get out the ruler!  At Windsor castle, the official space between each place setting is 30cm, with chairs placed 27 inches from the table.



For a formal feast, crisp white 100% linen napkins like these delicate hemstitch ones are an elegant addition to a beautiful table and loved by 5* hotels such as The Dorchester.  The napkin should be lavishly folded and placed to the left of the setting or in the middle of the dinner plate. 


A seating plan is another must, often a contentious issue amongst friends and family. Ideally these will be beautifully written calligraphy name cards as well as a printed menu.


A floral centrepiece should be placed along the middle of the table with tall candleabras along the centre.



Restaurant Manager, Abigail Clark, from London’s very first hotel situated in the heart of Mayfair, Brown's Hotel, said, “Setting a table fit for a King involves a lot of precise and meticulous work. By following these seven golden steps, everyone will be suitably impressed by your dinner table etiquette. I hope everyone who is throwing a party has a wonderful time celebrating this momentous occasion".