Dear ladies and gentlemen, I propose you today to learn an iconic piece of the French Chic: how to set up a table on the French style. It’s actually easier than you thought, just follow me!

This is what I propose you to realise. We will go steps by steps.


Let’s have a little check, do you remember the order of cutlery use ? From outside to inside, or the opposite?

It’s of course from outside to inside.


When we set up the table we will do the opposite, from inside towards outside.

The reason is simple, it’s easier to calculate distance. Because, yes, there are distances to follow. Let’s learn it together.

We start!

First we place the plate. 2 cm from the edge of the table. You can measure it with half a thumb as well.

Easy until here, right? We continue with cutlery, with those the closest to the plate, which is easier for measuring distance.

Dessert Cutlery

We place this dessert cutlery at 1 cm from the plate (or 1 finger)


You remember, desserts are eaten at last, that’s why they are the closest to the plate, it’s the last cutlery we would use. And we still keep 2 cm from the edge of the plate.

NB: desserts are eaten with fork and spoon, spoon only is the casual way~

Other Cutlery

Then we place the cutlery of the dish coming before the dessert, for instance the main course. Let’s say we will eat it with fork and knife. Knife still on the right (used right hand), fork still on the left. We place them at 1cm, or 1 finger space, from the dessert cutlery.

And of course, still 2 cm from the edge of the table

After this we continue and place cutlery of the dish coming before the main, like an appetizer using fish knife and a soup.

That’s a lot of cutlery on the side, don’t you think? That’s why sometimes we also place the dessert cutlery on top of the plate. Spoon above the fork, each handle towards the hand supposed to take it, 1 cm distance.

Note: on the French way we would put both forks and spoons towards down ~


On the French way glasses are displayed on the line on top of the plate, not on the right (this is the English way). 1 cm / 1 finger space from the plate, and same distance between each other.

French style likes symmetric, and centered shapes. Center your glasses.

Other settings

French style loves bread, we place a bread plate, on the left, 2cm from the glasses, and 2 cm from the forks, if enough space.

Napkin? On the plate if it’s a lunch, on the left for a dinner (if there is space beside next guest’s cutlery…)

And we can even add some more elements: knife-rest, name card holder etc.

And we are set! This wasn’t very hard, right? We have kids doing it very well in our classes, so why couldn’t you?