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Cutlery Etiquette with Zinello Flatware

Top tips on cutlery etiquette and table manners, brought to you by Zinello Flatware!

We at Zinello Flatware have comprised a few simple guidelines to cutlery etiquette, to help you dine with confidence at any gathering. Since not everyone has had the privilege to live their lives attending fancy soirees and eating at high-end restaurants, when given the opportunity to attend an upscale gathering it can be both exciting and daunting.

Cutlery Placement

The rules of cutlery etiquette can be much simpler than expected. Let’s start with the placement of the cutlery. Using the plate as a centre point, the spoons and forks will be to the right. Starting from the outside in, you will find the spoon, a small knife for starters, and a butter knife closest to the plate. Both knives will be faced with the serrated edge toward the plate.

Forks are always placed to the left of the plate, starting with the starter fork on the outside and the main fork on the inside. A helpful tip to remember is that cutlery is always placed with the intention of using the outermost cutlery first. You work your way in toward the plate as you eat!

However, just to mix things up – dessert spoons and forks are placed above the plate. Moving away from the primary place setting, bread and butter plates go to the left of the primary place setting, with the butter knife placed across the side plate. All cutlery should be spaced at a distance of about 4cm from each other.

The water glass and the wine glasses go to the right of the place setting, just above the table knife. There are some great visuals and more to learn here.

The Language of Cutlery

Fun fact – where you rest your cutlery on your plate during and after a meal can have different meanings! Here are a few tips to help you become well-versed in the language of cutlery:

  • “I’m taking a break” – your fork and knife are placed in an inverted V, with the tips facing each other.
  • “Ready for the next course” – the fork and knife are placed in a cross, with the fork facing up and the knife to the left.
  • “That was excellent!” – the fork and knife are placed side-by-side, with the tips facing the right.
  • “I am finished” – place your fork and knife side by side, straight up and down on the plate.
  • “I didn’t like” – fork and knife placed in an inverted V, with the knife edge placed in between the fork prongs.

Find out more about how to properly hold and use cutlery with this helpful video found here!

Table Manners

There are a few more common table manners you may want to brush up on. One well-known rule is to never place your elbows on the table – we’re sure your parents taught you that!

Another thing to worry about is your napkin. Your napkin is to be placed on your lap upon sitting down at the table, and placed slightly folded to the right of your plate when leaving the table – never on the chair or to the left of your plate.

Never forget – don’t chew with your mouth open! We hope these tips and tricks helped simplify the fine dining language for you, with Zinello Flatware you can now host your own fancy dinner party at home and feel confident setting the table! We suggest our Verona flatware set for an elegant touch.

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