Bread And Butter Plates

These convenient little plates are used at breakfast and luncheon, and at family and other informal dinners. Since butter is not served at formal dinners, bread and butter plates, are not usually placed. However, there is now a tendency to place bread and butter plates on the table, except at the most formal dinners, many hostesses maintaining, and quite rightly, too, that these plates are of great convenience, in affording a harbor for the roll or bread and for the celery, radishes, and nuts that are passed at dinner.

Bread and butter plates are removed after the salad course, with the salts and peppers.

The Napkin

The napkin is usually placed at the left of the forks and parallel with them. If the napkin is folded in a square or otherwise folded so that the corners are up, it is placed so that the open corners are toward the plate.

Often one sees the napkin placed on the service plate, but unless space demands this, it is not to be recommended. Service plates are usually of such loveliness that none of their beauty should be sacrificed.

It is no longer good form to put bread or a dinner roll in the napkin - too many embarrassing moments resulted from that custom, for it was most natural, when one was engrossed in conversation, to take up the napkin unthinkingly and discover the roll perversely flying for the regions under the table.

Setting The Table

Precision and decision are demanded in table-setting: mathematical precision in laying the table-covering and in placing the silver and other table-appointments, and artistic decision in the choice and harmonious arrangement of the table-appointments.

Placing The Decorations

Now having placed the background for your table-picture, focus your composition by placing the table decorations, the centerpiece, candlesticks or candelabra, and compotes.

For a table of six covers, four candles or two candelabra are sufficient. The candlesticks are usually placed about halfway between the center of the table and its edge, but their position depends on the general form and design of the decorations. The candles are unshaded.

Compotes, filled with bonbons or mints or nuts, are usually placed between the candlesticks and the edge of the table - their position too, depending on the general structural scheme.

Table Service. Styles Of Service

There are three styles of service:

Russian: In this style of service all the food is served from the kitchen, by attendants. The host and hostess take no part in the service. No food is put on the table except the decorating dishes of nuts, candy, and fruits. The food may be placed in individual portions before the guest, or may be separated into portions and arranged on serving-dishes for each guest to help himself.

English or Family Type: In this service all the food is served at the table by the host, hostess, or both.

Combination or Mixed Service: In this service the main course is usually served at the table, while the soup, salad, and dessert are served from the kitchen. Sometimes, the salad is served from a large salad bowl, and the hostess serves the dessert at table.