Accessories, Decoration

Table Setting Guide for Fine Dining

Sculpture Leaf Wall Art behind set dining table


The time we share when enjoying a meal with family or friends is sacred. It’s an opportunity to share a unique experience, form precious memories, have intimate conversations and tell personal stories.

That’s why at Forwood Design, we believe that these special moments should be accompanied by a beautiful atmosphere, one you feel comfortable sharing your food and time with others in. We believe this can be achieved with a combination of suitably styled accessories, dinner party prep and suitable table setting.

We know that good organisation and decoration sometimes may seem complicated to achieve. So, no matter what you’re celebrating and whichever style you choose, review our guide for a reminder on how best to set your table for fine dining, how to accessorise it and more to ensure dinner party magic…

The importance of detail

There are several things to consider when prepping your party to ensure super host status. But one of the fundamental basics of any prep work is to pay attention to detail. That is what will make your event something to remember because, just as your decoration must be well cared for, it is also important that your guests feel special and comfortable.

Dining Table Details

Make your feast magical by paying attention to dining table details! Impress your guests with a display of tasteful table decorations:

Sophisticated sculptures have to be considered when decorating your tablescape because these kinds of elements can produce balance, harmony, and variety.

Here are our proudly perched Peacock sculptures, made of stainless steel & then nickel plated – and also perfect for combining with other accessories.

There is an atmosphere that is oh so very charming, with lit candles bestowed upon a dining table. Stylish matchbox holders in close reach are therefore a dinner party essential. Be sure to check out our different shades of faux shagreen matchbox holders on offer, including our Caviar Black Shagreen.

Shagreen table with wine coaster and cheese board

Wine Coasters are another essential tableware that offer a modern touch – as well as a useful protection against possible spills.

Formal Table Setting Guide

When it comes to setting a formal table, knowing how to set it properly is a necessary skill for a meticulously planned dinner party. A truly spectacular meal requires a beautiful table setting that suits the occasion, yet even the most experienced dinner hosts can find the various table setting rules a conundrum! That’s why we’ve created this handy guide to ensure your table is set to perfection:

Tableware Placement

The following are some specifications on how to arrange your tableware for formal dining. How much effort you want to put in is up to you, and whether you’re looking for a relaxed dinner table decoration or something much more elevated:


  • For cutlery, don’t forget to keep it aligned to present an organised look. Place the cutlery on the table in the order of use, starting with the outside and working inwards with each plate;
  • Diagonally to the left of your plate, place the bread plate and butter knife. Above the plate, set the dessert teaspoon and fork. Finally, diagonally to the top right of the plate is where you place your glasses, such as for your guests water and wine.

TOP TIP: your dinner knife is a great indicator for where to place your glasses – just above!

Basic Table Setting Etiquette:

  • Before setting the plates and cutlery, use individual placemats to not only protect the table cloth and/or table surface but also to manifest an individual’s position on the table. The placemats don’t have to be minimalist either, use this opportunity to add some charming flair. Check out our luxurious Rachel Winham’s Midnight Shagreen Placemats. We adore the glamorous touch they add!


  • The first thing people do when they sit at a table is reach for their napkin. So, place this at the top of your dinner plate, which should be in the centre of your placemat. Remember, here’s a chance to add another layer of elegance to this act – we suggest one of our fabulous napkin rings sets.

Perfect complements

We believe luxury should be not just a part of every room in the home, but also throughout your dinner party. Accessories are an important way to achieve this, but remember not to overuse them, just the necessary complements. With that in mind, there are a lot of appropriate accessories to help you achieve your dinner party goals, whilst ensuring a memorable touch to the night:

Who doesn’t love a cheese platter to grace their eve? Our Walnut Serving Board brings rustic charm to your table whilst remaining elegant and refined. And don’t forget the drinks! Why not serve these in style too? Consider our Jules Serving & Drinks Trays that will leave your guests in awe. Interested in taking it to another level of luxe? Meet our modern twist on the classic bar trolley with our exclusive drinks trolley range. These are a perfect addition to your dinner party pre-drinks, fitted with an exclusive engineering wheel design for easy and smooth movement whether serving, storing or displaying your favourite drinks and glassware.

Read more about luxury drinks trolleys

Great atmosphere

Whether you are the guest or the host, here are some formal etiquette tips to maintain an environment of respect and comfort for any special occasion: 

  • Arrive on time and call ahead if you know you will be late;
  • Do not place bags on the table;
  • Set the cutlery on your plate, not the table, when you are not using them;
  • Don’t put your elbows on the table;
  • Pass food items to the right;
  • When you are finished leave your plates in the same position, do not push your plates aside or stack them.



At Forwood Design, we have everything you need to take your dinner table to the next level! We are sure that taking into account detail, comfort and luxury are the keys to success in any of your events.

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