The art of receiving and making guests feel at ease and ‘ often innate .
There are manuals that can teach empathy and good taste necessary to make every call a success, but it ‘s true that there are some basic rules, often overlooked or simply ignored , the knowledge of which allows you to gain confidence and style, to be able to translate in that atmosphere , liked me and cared for and that will make your reception unforgettable .
Obviously there are calls that require a strict application of the rules laid down by the label and calls for such an application would be forced so stiff and out of place.
We leave the evaluation to your sensibility ‘ , rest assured that it is nevertheless useful to provide an overview of the principles essential to avoid making mistakes, and being able to manage the class with the contexts in which spontaneity is not enough …
Even the shape of the plates must be coordinated with the type of dinner you organized : dinner services and basic square shape are perfect for dinners oriental style , and in general ethnic styles while the more ‘ developed are suitable for chic occasions and tables formal .
The flowers and Provencal motifs lend themselves to the use for outdoor dining.


The formal invitation can ‘often lead to misunderstandings regarding mealtimes.

For the avoidance of doubt:

Ia breakfast and ‘what is consumed after waking up, and not’ subject to call.
Ia breakfast, which is defined by some lunch (improperly, but perhaps the reference to Latin prandium, which was for the Romans a hearty meal, the more ‘full day), generally takes place between one and one o’clock and fourth, although the time varies widely depending on the region of Italy ‘in which you are located.
lunch and ‘the evening meal (eaten between twenty and twenty-one, again with variations depending on the latitude …).
Ia defines the dinner meal that takes place from nine o’clock onwards, after the theater.

How to get there

The informal invitations can be made by phone. In addition to communicating the date and time of the call, you specify whether it is a special occasion.

This type of call should be made with at least one week in advance of the date of the meeting, and ‘allowed for invitations to no more than’ a dozen people. For a larger number is used instead of the written invitation. Also essential in the case of formal occasions, in which case it must be sent with an advance of about twenty days.

how many invited

There are no rules on the number of guests (except the foresight to avoid entering into thirteen at table, ’cause that might disturb some guests superstitious, as well as create problems related to the equipment …)

The board and ‘however to not invite a number of people exceeds the available space at the table (plus’ or minus 60 cm. Center of a plate in the center of the host side) and, in any case, never again ‘asked how many of you are able to manage with serenity’.
A hostess who is absent for a long time in the kitchen or appearing flustered ’cause he can not follow it all with sufficient care, Puu jeopardize the success of a dinner for another exquisite.

The tablecloth

Those few square meters of cloth with which you decide to coat the board will help to create the style of the evening : the color , the texture , the design and the preciousness ‘ of the fabric are details that can not be chosen at random, but must be designed depending on the formality ‘ of the event , noting that the fabrics such as damask , lace , silk in neutral colors and pastel colors are suitable for very important occasions , while the linen and cotton are suitable for less demanding occasions and for dinners.

If you want to give a special touch to your table , and follow the ethnic trend , you can opt for special fabrics such as hemp , raw fabrics Indians in shades’ of red, green , gold and bronze , or ethereal organza utilizare and sheer shimmering , overlapping tablecloths in natural fabrics.
In any case , the cloth must always be perfectly ironed ( unless it has a wanted wrinkled effect ) and , if white , must be immaculate.
The tablecloth is expected to fall to the sides of about 30-40 cm . For occasions most ‘important and formal , you can use tablecloths arrive up to 25 cm . from the ground.
Only in the case of a buffet lunch you can ‘ create a table ” dress ” , which means ‘ use of a very long tablecloth that falls to the ground and is rounded and bent towards ‘ internal .
It is a type of formal preparation and no doubt decorative , but absolutely not recommended for seated dinners , for obvious reasons of hindrance to the diners .
Measures : always under the tablecloth roll a sheet of plastic or a flannel , to protect the table from unforeseen damage.

The dinner service

To be complete, a service should be composed of at least:12 dinner plates

12 soup plates
12/24 fruit dishes (also used for the starters)
In addition, a number of dishes, oval and rectangular, wide, low bowl for rice, one or two bowls for the first dry blends, a soup tureen, salad bowl.

The choice of styles, colors and materials depends largely on personal taste and the formality ‘of the occasion: the porcelain and’ certainly more ‘suitable to express elegance and sophistication, both in classic white or ivory, with gold and platinum edges and delicate decorations in relief. Ceramics and majolica are indicated for invitations more ‘casual and can be in bright colors.
There is also a current trend for equipment minimal style, with dishes of geometric shapes, clean lines and whose rise to create the effects of great freshness and charm.
The ton-sur-ton dish-cloth and ‘more’ pleasant in light tones and pastels, and instead is less effective if the tablecloth and ‘colored in bright colors: better to opt for color contrast effect (yellow / blue / green amethyst, tobacco / orange and play with the combination of candles and accessories for the table replicating the color of the dishes.

How to set the table

Lunches and dinners do not require formal, but often provide, when Working the plate (useful decorative element, as well as protection of the tablecloth), which will remain ‘in place for the duration of lunch, and they will be placed on the flat plate and the bottom plate (and ‘good to remember that the holster should be reserved exclusively to soups, pasta and risotto while you serve them dinner plate).

Bearing in mind that all the cutlery should be placed following a chronological order of use (more ‘distant from the flat ones that will be used first), they follow this format:

the forks should be to the left of the plate (with the sole exception of the fork for oysters, which goes instead to the right)
the knife (with the likes facing the inside) and the spoon (with the concave part that rests on the tablecloth) go right.
high above the dish, dessert cutlery should be placed (the handle of the fork goes to the left, one teaspoon or boxcutter to the right,
with the blade facing the plate of the latter).

Too many cutlery impede diners and are not elegant: the sides of the dish ever more ‘than two forks, two knives and a spoon, if the menu so provides.
More cutlery and replaced, if necessary, will be added to the background during the meal.
The towel should be placed to the left of the plate, or above it, simply folded. Never under the cutlery (and even above).
The glasses should be placed in front of the flat, slightly to the right, in line with the tip of the knife.
If you use four glasses – the maximum number allowed, but it ‘s advisable not to exceed the number of three, should be placed on the left of the water (more’ big), then the one for red wine (medium), and finally one for the white wine.
Behind these three, should be placed, and he ‘planned to be used, the flute for champagne.

the centerpiece

and ‘a fundamental decorative completion of the table. Whether the choice falls on fresh flowers or more ‘elaborate and creative compositions, and I’importante’ that it does not obstruct the view of the guests, and that is in harmony with the colors of dishes and tablecloth

The saucer for the bread must be placed to the left of the plate, in line with the tip of the fork.
The task of presenting it possibly to a third person, who does know the parts.
The rule of etiquette states that the person of lesser importance is presented to the one who has more ‘.
In any case:

man is presented to the woman
the young lady
The person with whom you have more ‘confidence to that with which it has less

At the time of presentation, the person presented before to reach out should be expected that the glances meet, as a sign of acceptance. Expressions such as pleasure honored, lucky, etc.. should be avoided.
The man can ‘respond with a very pleased.
For the lady can ‘do with a smile …
If during the presentations and the man ‘sitting, it will raise’. The ladies will do so only if and to be presented ‘an elderly person.


You start to serve the aperitif with the arrival of the first guests, without waiting for all the guests are present.

It is accompanied by the so-called “nibbles” (whose job should be precisely to whet your appetite, do not turn it off …): ideal olives, cheese cubes, small voule-au-vent, and canapés . The choice of drinks must have two alcohol and two soft drinks.
If the invitation and ‘limited to only drink, you should not prolong their stay well beyond the time of the meal that will follow’, so as not to embarrass the hosts, they would feel “obliged” to invite them to stay .. .

The seating arrangements

The allocation of seats can ‘be done with tags placeholders, on which are written the names of the guests.

The hosts sit in front, at the head. Respecting the strict alternation men / women among the guests, to the right of the hostess will sit ‘the guest more’ elderly or greater regard, the left one that follows in importance or age ‘.
The same rule should be applied course for the ladies who will be seated to the left and to the right of the landlord.
Married couples do not sit close together.
In the case of a couple who invites another couple: the ladies sit facing each other, I’invitato stara ‘to the right of the hostess, her husband left.

Serve at the table

There are two ways to serve the table:

the so called the Russian “provides that the preparation of the dishes done before being brought to the table, which requires a perfect organization, and in general, and ‘possible if you can’ count on the support of a help in the kitchen, to avoid abandon the guests for long minutes.
The second way and ‘the so-called “French”, which provides instead that the flow rates are presented in the table, and they are served on plates.

For some types of casual dining , often used a mixed service : for starters and maybe the first , the courses are made directly on individual plates , while other dishes can ‘be more’ appropriate use of dishes, from which can then serve directly at the table .
The dishes are served to the left , the right drinks .
The particular case of the buffet, where guests help themselves and freely , leaving the taste of each frequency and discretion with which to do it .
The platters are received from the left, with precise order laid down by the label, which is expected to begin by the person of greater importance or respect.
So : first the two ladies next to the master of the house ( starting with the one to its right) , for the ultimate hostess, and finally the gentlemen ( for the first ones seated next to the host, with the same order as for the ladies ) and the landlord.
After the first round of appetizers, wine is served . The glasses should not be raised when the wine is poured in them and should be filled just over half ‘ and never more than two thirds .
The courses are served twice ( with the exception of the broth in the cup, soup , cheese and fruit ) , but do not insist if they refuse . The cutlery should not be used for personal use by the serving plates .
During lunch breaks , the knife and fork on the plate should be supported , opposed, with tips touching .
At the end of the meal, the cutlery is placed in the pot, paired ( the fork with the tines up, and knife with the blade inward, perpendicular to himself.

which wine

With seafood appetizers: light and dry white wines.
With appetizers of meat and vegetables: rosé wines, both dry and bites to.
With pasta dishes, I’abbinamento is done in bas type dressing:

fish: dry white wines
meat: light red wines incurred and dried
venison: full-bodied red wines


if the grill or in the oven: important dry white wines
though with the addition of sauces: white wines bites to


if roasts and red meats: red-backed
if boiled or stewed: young red and generous
with poultry: aromatic red
with the game: red textured aroma and perfume important

The glasses

Depending on the shape, there are two types of glasses: those with stem (commonly referred to as glasses), and those without the stem.

The glasses are generally elegant impression, and are suitable for wine tasting, especially if fine.

The cafe ‘is eaten in the living room.

The cups are brought on a tray, and empty, because ‘coffee’ is used in the presence of the guests, if possible not by the coffee and that ‘was on fire, but in that special, in china.
The cup and ‘filled (for three quarters) by the owner, or by personal service.
Sugar and milk are supplied in a second time.

The most common questions

Do not you ever starts a pot before he did the hostess .

On the table does not support the elbows, which are required to be close to the body .
In the moments when you do not eat , your hands never go down under the table , but on top of it , at the wrist . To use the last spoonfuls of soup, and only if it is not a formal table , and ‘ admitted that it rises to the little flat , not at an angle towards you ‘ , but towards the center of the table.
Prohibited blow on the soup .
The wine should always be sipped , not drunk with greed ‘ . To deny that we be served not cover the glass with his hand, and ‘ simply a negative sign .
Before drinking and after drinking, you can isce his mouth with the napkin , pressing lightly on the lips , without rubbing .
Forbidden not only use , but bring to the table toothpicks.
Whatever the dishes provided by your menu, the fish is always served before the meat, fruit and dessert before .
It’s not ‘ allowed the repeated use of the same ingredients , with the exception of mushrooms, truffles and fish.