Fine Dining Set Up at Home

Fine dining is usually being associated with the celebration of important milestones in one’s life. A fine dining set-up is not just about the food but also the service and atmosphere—a special dining experience that is guaranteed to make a meal extraordinary.

Eating on a fine dining setting that is beautifully and elegantly put together is an experience worthy for a special occasion. However, recreating a fine dining set-up at home, like a luxury condominium or luxury houses in the Philippines, is intimidating for many.

This is why people usually opt to go to restaurants with a fine dining table set-up instead. But with the lingering anxiety in dining out because of the pandemic, it might be the best time to look up fine dining table set-up guide and start having that luxurious dining experience at home.

Fine dining is possible to be done at home | Photo from Flickr

Fine dining is possible to be done at home

The way the fine dining table was set demonstrates how much the host cares about and honors the guests. There are some rules to follow, but once the basics are established, following a table set-up guide is quite simple. So, before getting into the nitty-gritty of knowing what flatware goes where, when a specific plate should be cleared, and how many glasses should be present, it is best to be familiar with the essential items required to complete a fine dining set-up.

Fine Dining Table Set-up Essentials

There are many table set-up guide that offers different ways to do table setting experiments. Before jumping into that step, knowing the essential items needed to complete a formal dinner table setting is important to be secured first.

Knowing the essential items will jumpstart one's journey in creating a great fine dining experience

Knowing the essential items will jumpstart one’s journey in creating a great fine dining experience

Place Mat

Assuming that the fine dining table already have linens like a tablecloth in place, the first and probably the most uncomplicated item on the list is a place mat. The place mat is not only included in a table setting for aesthetic purposes but it is meant to protect the table from stains, water marks, and heat coming from plates or bowls. Some table set-up guide would include charger plates for the same purpose.

Plates and Bowls

Depending on the menu, there are a variety of plates and bowls that are needed to properly create a fine dining table setting. Before proceeding to the fine dining set-up, figuring out the food and beverages to be served is vital.

Different plates and bowls are used depending on the menu

A soup or salad is usually served first so having a soup bowl or a salad plate ready on your counter is wise. Sometimes, bread and butter are made available at the start of the meal as well so it is imperative to have the bread plate available. As for the rest of the menu, there are different sizes to be used depending on the food that will be served: midsize plates are usually used for fish course, large dinner plate for the main course, and a small dessert plate for cake.


Flatware refers to the forks, spoon, and knives needed for formal dining. Like plates and bowls, this totally depends on the menu that will be served. Although, in a fine dining set-up, it is good to know the standard flatware that are usually being used.

For a menu with soup or salad, there should be a soup spoon or salad fork available. If bread and butter will be served, a butter knife is necessary. As for the main course, a dinner fork and knife is a given but for a menu with a fish course, a designated fish fork and knife is added. Lastly, small dessert spoon and fork should be provided.


A fine dining cannot be complete without the glassware. Since a formal dinner table is usually to celebrate a special occasion, expect that there will be toasts during the event. Most table set-up guide would require at least four glasses to be made ready. Depending on the beverage, it can be anything among the following glassware: water glass, juice glass, red or white wine glass, champagne flute, and dessert wine glass.

There are a variety of glassware with specific purposes used in fine dining

Table Napkin

It may sound like a small item in the entire fine dining set-up but a table napkin is important for guests to blot out spills, patting food stains on the mouth, and cleaning guests’ hands after eating.

The napkin is a necessary item when it comes to fine dining

Table Decorations and Place Markers

Fine dining is not only about the food, the service and atmosphere matters a lot as well. Having a dining table that is properly and beautifully set will contribute to how much the guests will enjoy the experience.

If there are plenty of guests coming, the use of place markers is a nice touch and will add to the premium service that every host would want their guests to feel upon arriving at the dining table.

Table decorations is a sure way to upgrade the fine dining set-up

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Step-by-Step Guide in Setting a Fine Dining Table at Home

1. Put place mats

The first thing that will go on the clean table is the place mats. A place mat goes in front of every chair where each guest will be seated. Before putting them on the table, make sure that they are freshly cleaned and goes with the theme or table decorations for the event.

If one opt not to use place mats, charger plates will be used instead. It totally depends on the host’s preference but the charger plates serve the same purpose as place mats.

2. Place the plates and bowls

In creating a formal table setting, the largest plate of the dinner service goes on top of the place mat or the charger plate. Ensure that it is in the center of the guest’s table area to achieve a clean and elegant aesthetic. Afterwards, place the soup bowl or salad plate on top of it. If both will be used, the salad plate comes first before the soup bowl. The bread plate is placed on the other side of the plate and should be done later.

3. Arrange the flatware

Here comes the tricky part. To make the arrangement of the flatware easier, it is best to divide the table to three sides: the right side, the left side, and the top of the formal table setting.

The dinner knife, fish knife, and the soup spoon are placed to the right of the charger plate or place mat—with the largest, the dinner knife, closest to it. The salad fork, the dinner fork, and fish fork are placed to the left. All of these should be placed vertically and be lined up with the place mat.

On top of the setting, the dessert fork should be placed above the place mat or charger plate in a horizontal position, with the fork prongs facing right. Above this goes the desert spoon, also in a horizontal position with the rounded edge facing left.

4. Place the bread plate and butter knife

The bread plate and butter knife should be placed on the top left of the plate, over the corner of the place mat, with the butter knife placed on top and center of the bread plate which should be diagonal to the plates.

5. Arrange the glassware

The drinking glasses should be at the top of the formal table setting, on the right side. The rule for glassware is simple, the order of placement is usually according to the order of use—from water glass, juice glass, wine glass, and so on.

6. Place the napkin

The last requirement in the fine dining set-up is setting the napkin. There are different ways to set up a napkin on a formal table setting. Some opt to put it on top of the plates and bowls while some like to place it outside of the charger plate or place mat, on the left hand side.

7. Put table decorations and place markers

Making a proper fine dining set-up by following this table set-up guide is enough. Now this is optional but adding table decorations such as flowers, candles, and elegant centerpieces on the table is guaranteed to add a more luxurious touch to the setting. Also, if there are more guests coming, it will be nice to add place markers with their names on it for a complete set-up.

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Create a Fine Dining Experience at Your Luxury Home

There is both art and science involved in table setting. In summary, forks are placed to the left of the plate, knives and spoons to the right, glassware to the top right of the dinner plate, and bread and butter above the forks. Knowing these basic rules will make setting up fine dining at home easy—this is luxury living.

Luxury living is all about convenience, comfort, and aesthetic coming together. It is what Brittany Corporation provides to its residentsa world-class luxurious lifestyle while residing in their own luxury real estate properties. Brittany Corporation, the top developer when it comes to luxury real estate, boasts of it world-class developments in the country such as Crosswinds Tagaytay with its lineup of luxury condominium and luxury houses in the Philippines. Crosswinds Tagaytay is a luxury resort that is inspired of the Swiss architecture and lifestyle, a community perfect for that fine dining set-up you have always wanted.

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