How to lay table cloth
1) The table on which a tablecloth is to be spread, should be first covered with a baize base cloth, for the following reasons
a. To protect the diner's wrists and elbows from the table’s sharp edges.
b. To keep the tablecloth firmly in place.
c. To protect the surface of the table and prevent the rattling of crockery and cutlery.
d. To absorb moisture in case liquid spills on the table.
2) Based on the size of the table, appropriate linen should be used. The central fold of the tablecloth should be in the middle of the table and all the four edges should just brush the seats of the chairs. Soiled or torn linen should not be used. Three types of tablecloths namely cotton, linen and damask are used. Of these, damask is the best.
3) If a bud vase is used as a central decorative piece, it should not be very large or tall as that obstructs the view of guests sitting opposite each other. Heavily scented flowers should be avoided, as they affect the flavour of the food.
4) Each cover should be well-balanced. (A cover is the space required on a table for laying cutlery, crockery, glassware and linen for one person to partake of a meal).
5) Only the required cutlery, crockery and glassware should be placed on the table. On a normal dining table, the space required for one cover is 60 cm x 38 cm. The cover on the opposite side should be exactly similar, so as to give a well balanced look.
6) Cutlery should always be laid from the inside to the outside of the cover, since the order of sequence in which they are to be used is always from outside to inside.
7) Knives and soup spoons should be placed on the right-hand side of a cover, while forks should be placed on the left-hand side. Dessert spoons and forks should be placed on top of the cover. The side knife should be placed on a quarter plate and kept on the left side of the cover. The cutting edge of all knives should face to the left.
8) Water tumbler should be kept to the right of the cover, at the tip of the large knife.
9) Napkins should be placed in the centre of the cover, in between the cutlery. Normally during a dinner session, napkins are arranged in empty water tumblers.
10) Cruet sets a butter dish, an ashtray, meal accompaniments and a bud vase should be placed in between the covers at the centre of the table.
11) Crockery and cutlery should be spotlessly clean and the glassware well polished.
12) Chipped or cracked equipment should not be used. The hotel's monogram should be visible to the guest.
13) All cutlery and crockery should be placed about an inch from the edge of the table so that they are not accidentally tipped over.
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