How to Set a Russian Table Setting


The phrase “born with a silver spoon” alludes to a period in history when there was a shortage of silverware and visitors did not use forks or plates. In mediaeval times, the only necessary utensils were a spoon, a knife, and one’s fingers. Guests were expected to bring both of these items with them. At the opulent and labor-intensive feasts that were hosted by royalty and aristocracy, silver spoons were presented to the lucky children in attendance. After some time, the sophistication of the atmosphere rather than the variety of dishes on the menu became the defining characteristic of a fine dining experience.

The service in the Russian manner, sometimes referred to as service a la Russe, is the most luxurious option. According to Sydney Living Museums, this format is used in modern times for formally attired meals and banquets. With an ornate Russian table arrangement, you may give your visitors the feeling of being seated at the tsar’s table.

Setting The Table

The relevance of the table cover increases when one considers that the food will not be seen on the table. First, on top of the tablecloth at each place setting, place a “quiet cloth,” which is traditionally a piece of double-sided cotton flannel but may also be a doily. This is how supper is served in the Russian tradition. On top of it, place the plate that is often referred to as a charger or a service plate. A plate that is used to serve food is held in place by a charger. Put the silverware in the drawers in the order that it is used. For instance, the salad fork should go around the outside of the dinner fork, and the salad knife should go around the outside of the dinner knife.

Forks should go on the left side of the dish, while knives and spoons should be on the right. According to the instructions provided by Hospitality School, the blades of the knives should be oriented so that they face the plate, and the tines and cups of spoons and forks should be turned so that they face upward. Put the dessert spoon in the spot directly to the left of the soup spoon. If it is being used, the oyster fork should be rested in the bowl of the soup spoon. Above the forks, place a couple of bread and butter dishes, each with a butter knife perched on the plate with the blade facing away from the silverware.

Place a dessert spoon and a cake fork in a horizontal position just above the charger plate. Position the water glass so that it is on top of the knife. Put the glass used for red wine to the right of the glass used for water; put the glass used for white wine to the right of the glass used for red wine; and put a salt shaker and pepper shaker in the space between each pair of covers.

Food Presentation and Courses

When dining in the Russian manner, deliver all of the food to the guests on similarly packed plates at the same time. This ensures that no one has to wait for the food to be handed down from the head of the table, as was the custom in the French dining style. In most restaurants, a meal will begin with an appetiser or soup, followed by seafood, meat accompanied by veggies, then sweet, savoury, and finally dessert. The food is all brought out from the kitchen, and the chef puts the appropriate amount on each dish.

Serving Your Guests

Instead of changing the tablecloth between courses as the French used to do, you should always switch out the dishes that are being used. Only the silverware that was used during each meal should be removed. Make sure each of the guests is served starting from the left side of their dish, but clean their plates starting from the right side. Remove the dishes from each finished course before putting a new plate of food before your guests.

Decorating The Table

You will need something to occupy the vacant space in the centre of the table since the only meal that may be on show is the roast or the turkey, which should be placed on the sideboard rather than the table. Although the specific table decorations have evolved slightly over the years, it is still acceptable to have a bowl of fruit or candles in the middle of the table along with a floral arrangement.

A dash of colour may be added to a table set in the Russian style by using coloured table runners, coloured glasses, or coloured napkins. Place cards should then be placed at each setting, and considerable consideration should be given to the overall seating arrangement.

Russian Style Service Modern Touches

It’s interesting to note that the emergence of service in the Russian tradition completely revolutionised even today’s informal eating. Unknowingly, modern families combine many different aesthetics. If you’ve ever tried to pair your wine with your food, you’ve already experienced Russe. The custom of having a drink before supper became popular in the 1920s in Russia.

Even such mundane items as cutlery and serving utensils have been influenced by Russian design. For eating in the Russian style, several specialised pieces, including salad forks, soup spoons, tongs, iced tea spoons, olive forks, and a large variety of other pieces, as well as their location, were designed.